The best of the AFC and the NFC congregated at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii today for one final test-on-the-turf for several months (until next season).
Televised on Fox, the AFC–clad in white jerseys and red pants–was on offense first and quarterbacked by Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning, they made the first touchdown (thanks to San Diego Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal) in the top of the first quarter. The NFC–wearing blue tops and white bottoms–responded to that score by a touchdown in the middle of the first quarter (courtesy of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald). The AFC made another TD on their next possession (end zone catch made by Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh). The AFC would increase their lead to 17-7 with a field goal in the bottom of the quarter.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took over for the AFC in the second quarter. TJ Houshmandzadeh made another TD for the AFC. 24 to 7. Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo, who led the NFC offense in the first quarter, was still in the game in the second. Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens put a TD on the NFC board in the second quarter. The AFC made another field goal nearing the bottom of the quarter. AFC 27 and NFC 14. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck stepped in after Romo during the bottom of the second quarter. Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley made a TD for the NFC with less than a minute left. AFC 27 and NFC 21 going into halftime.
The third quarter started with an NFC touchdown by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson went into the game for the AFC. They took back their lead with a field goal. 30 to 28. The NFC then sent in Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jeff Garcia as quarterback.
The fourth quarter spelled a touchdown for the NFC, thanks to Terrell Owens, giving them the top bunk with 35 points. An Adrian Peterson TD in the bottom of the fourth quarter increased the NFC points to 42 to win the Pro-Bowl. NFC 42 and AFC 30.
The MVP Award was given to Adrian Peterson.
As sad as I am to see football season end (again, I don’t have cable so there’s no ESPN or NFL Network option), it’ll be nice to have a full weekend’s worth of time to run errands, go to the cinema, and veg out amongst bound volumes.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Kenny Albert and former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl “Moose” Johnston (who’s been to two pro-bowls himself and had to borrow a helmet from Green Bay Packers QB Brett Favre in one of those appearances) provided commentary.
2. Kelly Rowland, dressed in white pants, a black and white striped long-sleeve top and sporting longish, curly locks, sang the National Anthem–not a very haunting rendition she delivered.
3. Forty-one of the eighty-six players made their first Pro-Bowl appearance today.
4. Peyton Manning has been to seven Pro-Bowls prior to today.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor brought thirty-eight guests with him to Hawaii.
6. The three Washington Redskins in today’s game, tight end Chris Cooley, tackle Chris Samuels, and long snapper Ethan Albright had their late teammate Sean Taylor’s number 21 on their jerseys.
7. The quarterbacks wore microphones so that their play-calling could be heard.
8. Bill Carollo was the referee today. Kenny Albert mentioned that none of the officials today had presided over a Pro-Bowl game before.
9. Each participating team’s mascot was also present.
10. Daryl Johnston remarked near the two-minute warning in the second quarter, “If you ever get a chance to meet Adrian Peterson, be prepared for a firm handshake.”
11. Lifehouse performed during halftime. They performed “Hanging By a Moment” and “First Time.” Dear gawd, there’s accompanying choreographed dancing–c’est absurd.
12. The coaching staff for both teams wore khaki shorts, white socks, white sneakers, and off-white/beige, minimal foliage Hawaiian shirts.
13. “It’s your growing problem; it’s our job to shrink it.” — the tagline for Avodart.
14. Heineken’s got a newly advertised offering: draught keg (I don’t recall seeing this commercial before today).
Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.
Click here for the 2008 Pro-Bowl roster.