The pandemic forced the NFL to cancel plans to hold its annual Pro Bowl this year, but the league’s annual all-star season at the end of the season was still at the top for San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.
Speaking at a Paley Center for Media Event – “Changing the Game: NFL Pro Bowl Goes Virtual” – who led executives and personalities from the NFL, EA Sports, ESPN and Verizon to discuss the intersection of football, television, gaming and interactive entertainment, Young told the story of how he and the Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman both got the name NFC : s Pro Bowl list. The two planned a plan to split the playing time so that Aikman could leave the game early to attend a family event. It almost worked too.
At least until the announcer played the broadcaster, John Madden, drew attention to national TV Aikman’s absence on the sidelines.
Young also fondly remembers Hall of Famer Reggie White who often holds court in Hawaii in the Pro Bowl. The nickname “Secretary of Defense”, White was not only a 13-time selection of the Pro Bowl in defensive end but also an ordained minister. Young said White would often spend part of his time in Honolulu naming other players at sea.
This was the first time since 1949 that the Pro Bowl was canceled. In his absence, the NFL worked closely with its partners at EA Sports, ESPN and Verizon to create a week-long event featuring a series of matches between celebrities, NFL Legends and current players competing in “Madden NFL 21.” The week culminates in the first virtual Pro Bowl with NFL players selected for the Pro Bowl playing the game within Madden 21. The virtual Pro Bowl will be available for fans to watch across a variety of platforms.
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