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Pro Bowl captain Deion Sanders vows to 'suit up' for game

By Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 06:04 p.m. HST, Jan 13, 2014

The NFL is willing to radically change its Pro Bowl format, but not quite enough to put Hall of Fame defensive back Deion Sanders back on the field for its annual all-star game.

Sanders, who will be one of the captains for the Jan. 26 game at Aloha Stadium, tweeted today, "Ladies and Gentlemen I am officially announcing "I WILL SUIT UP IN HAWAII" Please let @JerryRice know that a real captain leads by example!"

Sanders also notified Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson that his jersey number 21 might not be available to him, tweeting, "@RealPeterson21 u may have to wear another number in the pro bowl for #teamDeion because your Captain may play in the #Probowl! WHAT!!!"

But Brian McCarthy NFL spokesman told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, "like NFL fans and those of us at the league, Deion's pumped for the Pro Bowl, but he and Jerry won't be playing in the game."

Sanders and Rice were earlier named as the team captains for the new-look all-star game that will no longer have an NFC vs. AFC format.

They will "draft" rosters for the game next week and a three-hour prime-time broadcast from the beach at Ko Olina will air Jan. 22 on the NFL Network.

Last month Rice noted Sanders' non-appearance for a media teleconference, saying, "I can tell Deion (Sanders) is afraid of me."

The institution of a "draft" comes as the NFL attempts to perk up interest and TV ratings for a game that commissioner Roger Goodell had considered scrapping a year ago after a lackluster performance by players in 2012 and declining TV viewership.

Rice and Sanders are to be assisted by two active player captains and an NFL.com fantasy football champion.

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serious wrote:
What's the poem? You can never go home?
on January 13,2014 | 09:52AM
CriticalReader wrote:
OK, now the game is officially a joke.
on January 13,2014 | 10:19AM
salsacoquibx wrote:
it always been a joke..
on January 13,2014 | 10:21AM
zoomzoom65 wrote:
Yup, yup, yup. Such a silly and a waste of time to even consider watching this so-called all pro(?) game. Time better spent playing fiddle sticks.
on January 14,2014 | 05:36AM
jankenpo wrote:
No big thing in touch football.
on January 13,2014 | 10:38AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Please, give me a break and leave your ego out of it before it becomes an oldtimers game!
on January 13,2014 | 10:56AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Maybe The Pro Bowl needs to be played two weeks after The Super Bowl, so all selected Pro Bowlers could play in the game. Interest would be genuine, as one last meeting between Super Bowl players would generate lots of interest. I think this format for drafting players is not a good idea. The traditional AFC NFC matchup seems appropriate, given that The Super Bowl is played that way. Also, The Pro Bowl played after The Super Bowl gives Hawaii the limelight to itself. Also what's the big deal about not playing up to par? They have the entire off season to recover. Just no big hitting and clipping and all that sort of thing. Keep it safe. It's a reward game for those that performed above and beyond compared to all NFL players. It would be a disappointment if The Pro Bowl was discontinued. Keep the game going.
on January 13,2014 | 11:40AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
You can call this game a fluke or whatever you want......but the bottom line is that it helps our state, and gives the players what they want - to play in Hawaii as opposed to any other state that they go to every year. Keep it going, make the money, and enjoy your fav players.
on January 13,2014 | 12:12PM
Loki wrote:
This game is a joke!
on January 13,2014 | 01:58PM
loquaciousone wrote:
I like bowling and once carried a 200 plus average...I wonder what kind of ball Deion would use -- and Oddball?
on January 13,2014 | 02:17PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
200 average? My average is 165.
on January 13,2014 | 06:19PM
false wrote:
More thrills watching seniors playing gateball than watching the fiasco called pro bowl.
on January 13,2014 | 02:44PM