The Pro Bowl and a Little History
by Tim Brulia
Today is a breather from all of the Super Bowl hype-nonsense that will build up into a hyperventilating frenzy that will culminate next Sunday evening when an NFL legend hands the Vince Lombardi Trophy to NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell to then hand to the owner of the winning team so that CBS' Jim Nantz can interview him/her.
Today is Pro Bowl day.
The Pro Bowl, never really a huge deal, lately has been abused and criticized by the commissioner, players, the media, fans and probably your own mother. The NFL - at least - in the USA, is perhaps a near perfect sport, lauded and loved by almost everyone. Its black sheep, if there is one, is this game. The Pro Bowl is in essence, the NFL's All-Star Game. But, there must be enough interest to have it played yet again today (according to ACNielsen, it had more viewers of its all-star game in 2012 than any other sport's "ASG.").
Our job here at the Gridiron Uniform Database (GUD) is not give our two cents on the pros (no pun intended) and cons of the Pro Bowl, but simply to provide and share the uniform history of this game. And that we shall do.
Back in early September, the GUD launched a visual detailed history of the Pro Bowl, the entire history of the Pro Bowl, including the pre-merger Pro Bowl, the AFL All-Star Game, not to mention the lone AAFC All-Star Game, known as the Shamrock Bowl. We accompanied that launch with a blog article detailing the evolution of the Pro Bowl's uniforms.
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In a nutshell, the Pro Bowl's uniform history is that the PB started out with very simple and plain designs, with one team (normally the West All-Stars) clad in white and the other side (usually the East All-Stars) rocking red jerseys. Effective with the merger season of 1970, the uniforms received an overhaul, but the teams retained a basic look that was more or less unchanged through the 1993 season, with the AFC clad in white jerseys and red pants, while the NFC sported blue jerseys and white pants. Then from the 1994 season game right up through last season's clash, a bodacious explosion of out of the box designs of patterns, fonts, sublimation logos, and patches, patches, patches wreaked havoc on the PB uni template, sending traditionalist-types hyperventilating and running for cover.
Whatever the case, we at GUD hope that the game will be well played and with a bit - just a bit, mind you - of intensity. We encourage you to review the Pro Bowl yearly history of uniforms as so ably portrayed by the GUD graphic engineer, Bill Schaefer.
Then tomorrow, get yourself ready for the Super Bowl. You'll have no choice!!