NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Wednesday morning that the all-star contest will be returning to Hawaii in 2014. It also will be played the week before Super Bowl XLVIII.
The game’s future was in question for a second consecutive year because of concerns about the level of competition. There are rules prohibiting specific types of plays, extremely limited game-planning and tackling that is nowhere near as hard-hitting as in a standard contest.
The game, though, draws strong television ratings and is popular among players because of the all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii that often doubles as a working vacation.
Speaking at the NFL owners meeting, Goodell said he continues to solicit ideas to make the game “better and hopefully more popular.” One of those changes could be changing the traditional AFC vs. NFC format.
A suggestion under consideration would be the naming of team captains who could then pick squads from either conference. One example cited by the league would be a potential “Team Eli vs. Team Peyton” matchup if the Manning brothers were selected for the game.
Goodell said the NFL’s contract for the game to get played at Aloha Stadium is only for 2014 but he expects the Pro Bowl will “continue to be in Hawaii on some sort of rotational basis.”