NFL STARS TAKE CENTER STAGE AS 2012 PRO BOWL KICKS OFF SUPER BOWL WEEK

AFC AND NFC PLAYERS MEET SUNDAY AT PRO BOWL IN HAWAII

The NFL's best will be in the spotlight on Sunday, January 29 (7:00 PM ET, NBC) as the 2012 Pro Bowl kicks off Super Bowl Week.

The NFL All-Star Game will take place once again at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii and will be the signature event to start the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots and New York Giants in Indianapolis (Sunday, February 5, NBC).

"Being selected to represent the NFC team in the Pro Bowl is a tremendous honor," says New Orleans Saints tight end JIMMY GRAHAM. "I think any guy who gets named to the Pro Bowl realizes that it's a heck of a compliment and I am grateful and humbled by it."

For the third consecutive year, the Pro Bowl will be played the week before the Super Bowl. The 2011 Pro Bowl on FOX was watched by an average of 13.4 million viewers, the most for a Pro Bowl since 1997 (13.5 million viewers), making it the most-watched All-Star game of any sport since 2009.

Last year, the NFC tied a single-game Pro Bowl scoring record by defeating the AFC 55-41 (the NFC also scored 55 points in 2004). Washington Redskins cornerback DE ANGELO HALL was named the MVP of the 2011 Pro Bowl, notching an interception, returning a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown and posting six solo tackles. The 2012 game is the 42nd between the AFC and NFC All-Stars with the NFC holding a slight edge in the all-time series, 21-20.

The 43-man teams are comprised of 21 offensive and 17 defensive players plus five specialists, including a long snapper. The AFC All-Star team will be led by GARY KUBIAK and the coaches from the Houston Texans while MIKE MC CARTHY and the Green Bay Packers' coaching staff will guide the NFC Pro Bowl squad.

The San Francisco 49ers lead the NFL with nine players selected to the 2012 Pro Bowl – kicker DAVID AKERS, safety DASHON GOLDSON, running back FRANK GORE, punter ANDY LEE, long snapper BRIAN JENNINGS, cornerback CARLOS ROGERS, defensive end JUSTIN SMITH, tackle JOE STALEY and linebacker PATRICK WILLIS.

The NFL is the only professional sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players in determining its All-Star teams. The consensus vote of each group counts one-third towards the total. Each team submits two ballots – those of the coach and the players with no one permitted to vote for a player on his own team. This year, over 100 million fan votes were cast on NFL.com and mobile devices.

Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $50,000, while each player on the losing squad earns $25,000.

The Pro Bowl was held consecutively from 1980 to 2009 at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium, moved to Sun Life Stadium in South Florida in 2010 and then returned to Hawaii in 2011.

Fans can purchase tickets to the 2012 Pro Bowl at www.NFL.com/probowl or www.ticketmaster.com.

2012 AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE ALL-STARS

(Starters listed in Bold)

(Non-participating players listed in Italics)

(* Replacing non-participating player)

( Need player selected by head coach)

OFFENSE

WIDE RECEIVERS

TIGHT ENDS

A.J. Green, Cincinnati

Antonio Gates, San Diego

*

Vincent Jackson, San Diego

*

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati

Brandon Marshall, Miami

Rob Gronkowski, New England

Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh

Wes Welker, New England

QUARTERBACKS

Tom Brady, New England

TACKLES

*

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati

*

Ryan Clady, Denver

Philip Rivers, San Diego

D'Brickashaw Ferguson, New York Jets

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

Jake Long, Miami

Joe Thomas, Cleveland

RUNNING BACKS

Arian Foster, Houston

GUARDS

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville

*

Ben Grubbs, Baltimore

*

Ryan Mathews, San Diego

Logan Mankins, New England

*

Willis McGahee, Denver

*

Brandon Moore, New York Jets

Ray Rice, Baltimore

Brian Waters, New England

Marshal Yanda, Baltimore

FULLBACK

Vonta Leach, Baltimore

CENTERS

Nick Mangold, New York Jets

*

Chris Myers, Houston

Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh

DEFENSE

ENDS

INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS

Andre Carter, New England

Ray Lewis, Baltimore

Elvis Dumervil, Denver

Derrick Johnson, Kansas City

Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis

*

Antonio Smith, Houston

CORNERBACKS

Champ Bailey, Denver

INTERIOR LINEMAN

Johnathan Joseph, Houston

*

Geno Atkins, Cincinnati

Darrelle Revis, New York Jets

Haloti Ngata, Baltimore

Richard Seymour, Oakland

STRONG SAFETY

Vince Wilfork, New England

*

Brian Dawkins, Denver

Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Tamba Hali, Kansas City

FREE SAFTIES

James Harrison, Pittsburgh

Ed Reed, Baltimore

Von Miller, Denver

Eric Weddle, San Diego

Terrell Suggs, Baltimore

SPECIALISTS

PUNTER

KICK RETURN SPECIALIST

Shane Lechler, Oakland

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

PLACEKICKER

SPECIAL TEAMER

Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland

*

Montell Owens, Jacksonville

Matthew Slater, New England

LONG SNAPPER

Jon Condo, Oakland

2012 NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE ALL-STARS

(Starters listed in Bold)

(Non-participating players listed in Italics)

(* Replacing non-participating player)

( Need player selected by head coach)

OFFENSE

WIDE RECEIVERS

TIGHT ENDS

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta

Greg Jennings, Green Bay

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans

Calvin Johnson, Detroit

Steve Smith, Carolina

QUARTERBACKS


Roddy White, Atlanta

Drew Brees, New Orleans

Eli Manning, New York Giants

TACKLES

*

Cam Newton, Carolina

Jermon Bushrod, New Orleans

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

Jason Peters, Philadelphia

Joe Staley, San Francisco

RUNNING BACKS

Matt Forté, Chicago

GUARDS

Frank Gore, San Francisco

Jahri Evans, New Orleans

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

Davin Joseph, Tampa Bay

Carl Nicks, New Orleans

FULLBACK

John Kuhn, Green Bay

CENTERS

*

Michael Robinson, Seattle

Ryan Kalil, Carolina

Scott Wells, Green Bay

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS

Jared Allen, Minnesota

*

London Fletcher, Washington

Jason Babin, Philadelphia

Brian Urlacher, Chicago

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants

Patrick Willis, San Francisco

*

Julius Peppers, Chicago

CORNERBACKS

INTERIOR LINEMEN

*

Brandon Browner, Seattle

B.J. Raji, Green Bay

Carlos Rogers, San Francisco

Jay Ratliff, Dallas

Charles Tillman, Chicago

Justin Smith, San Francisco

Charles Woodson, Green Bay

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

STRONG SAFETY

Lance Briggs, Chicago

Adrian Wilson, Arizona

*

Chad Greenway, Minnesota

Clay Matthews, Green Bay

FREE SAFTIES

DeMarcus Ware, Dallas

*

Kam Chancellor, Seattle

Dashon Goldson, San Francisco

Earl Thomas, Seattle

SPECIALISTS

PUNTER

KICK RETURN SPECIALIST

Andy Lee, San Francisco

Patrick Peterson, Arizona

PLACEKICKER

SPECIAL TEAMER

David Akers, San Francisco

Corey Graham, Chicago

LONG SNAPPER

Brian Jennings, San Francisco

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