ArmchairGM Wiki

The Pro Bowl is the annual all-star game of the NFL. Since the 1980's, it has been held at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is held one week after the Super Bowl. The participants in the Pro Bowl are decided by fans, who can vote by visiting the Pro Bowl website.


A postseason All-Star game between the new league champion and a team of professional all-stars was added to the NFL schedule in January 1939, at the end of the 1938 season. In the first game at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, CA the New York Giants beat a team made up of players from NFL teams and two independent clubs the Los Angeles Bulldogs and the Hollywood Stars. An all-NFL All-Star team and regular NFL franchise battled on the football field until the end of the 1942 season.

The NFL revived the game in January 1951, after the 1950 pro football season. It was a contest between conference all-star teams: American vs National (1951-53), Eastern vs Western (1954-1970), and AFC vs NFC (since 1971).

After the AFL-NFL Merger of 1970, the name of the NFL's all-star game was changed to the "AFC-NFC Pro Bowl". Since the merger, the head coaches of the teams that lost in the AFC and NFC championship games have been selected as the coaches for the respective Pro Bowl squads — a compromise that arose from the decision to discontinue the Playoff Bowl, which had it been retained, would have matched up the two teams that lost the conference title games.

Currently, players are voted into the Pro Bowl by the coaches, the players themselves, and the fans. Each group's ballots count for one third of the votes. The fans vote online at the NFL's official site, There are also replacements that go to the game should any selected player be unable to play due to injuries. Prior to 1995, only the coaches and the players made Pro Bowl selections.

Pro Bowl MVP

The first Most Valuable Player award in the Pro Bowl was presented in 1951. From 1957 to 1971, two awards were presented to an offensive back and a defensive lineman. In 1972, there were awards for both an offensive player and a defensive player. Since 1973, there's been only one single MVP award.

NFL All-Star games (1939-1942)

No Most Valuable Player awards were presented during these games
Date Score
January 15, 1939 New York Giants 13, Pro All-Stars 10
January 14, 1940 Green Bay Packers 16, NFL All-Stars 7
December 29, 1940 Chicago Bears 28, NFL All-Stars 14
January 4, 1942 Chicago Bears 35, NFL All-Stars 24
December 27, 1942 NFL All-Stars 17, Washington Redskins 14
  • 1943-50 - No games (mainly because of World War II)

NFL Pro Bowls (1951-70)

Date Score Most Valuable Players
January 14, 1951 American Conference 28, National Conference 27 Otto Graham, Browns, Quarterback
January 12, 1952 National Conf. 30, American Conf. 13 Dan Towler, Rams, Running back
January 10, 1953 National Conf. 27, American Conf. 7 Don Doll, Lions, Defensive back
January 17, 1954 East 20, West 9 Chuck Bednarik, Eagles, Linebacker
January 16, 1955 West 26, East 19 Billy Wilson, 49ers, End
January 15, 1956 East 31, West 30 Ollie Matson, Cardinals, Running back
January 13, 1957 West 19, East 10 Back: Bert Rechichar, Colts; Lineman: Ernie Stautner, Steelers
January 12, 1958 West 26, East 7 Back: Hugh McElhenny, 49ers; Lineman: Gene Brito, Redskins
January 11, 1959 East 28, West 21 Back: Frank Gifford, NY Giants; Lineman: Doug Atkins, Bears
January 17, 1960 West 38, East 21 Back: Johnny Unitas, Colts; Lineman: Big Daddy Lipscomb, Steelers
January 15, 1961 West 35, East 31 Back: Johnny Unitas, Colts; Lineman: Sam Huff, NY Giants
January 14, 1962 West 31, East 30 Back: Jim Brown, Browns; Lineman: Henry Jordan, Packers
January 13, 1963 East 30, West 20 Back: Jim Brown, Browns; Lineman: Big Daddy Lipscomb, Steelers
January 12, 1964 West 31, East 17 Back: Johnny Unitas, Colts; Lineman: Gino Marchetti, Colts
January 10, 1965 West 34, East 14 Back: Fran Tarkenton, Vikings; Lineman: Terry Barr, Lions
January 15, 1966 East 36, West 7 Back: Jim Brown, Browns; Lineman: Dale Meinhart, Cardinals
January 22, 1967 East 20, West 10 Back: Gale Sayers, Bears; Lineman: Floyd Peters, Eagles
January 21, 1968 West 38, East 20 Back: Gale Sayers, Bears; Lineman: Dave Robinson, Packers
January 19, 1969 West 10, East 7 Back: Roman Gabriel, Rams; Lineman: Merlin Olsen, Rams
January 18, 1970 West 16, East 13 Back: Gale Sayers, Bears; Lineman: George Andrie, Cowboys

AFC-NFC Pro Bowls (1971-present)

Date Score Most Valuable Players
January 24, 1971 NFC, 27-6 Back: Mel Renfro, Cowboys; Lineman: Fred Carr, Packers
January 23, 1972 AFC, 26-13 Offense: Jan Stenerud, Chiefs; Defense: Willie Lanier, Chiefs
January 21, 1973 AFC, 33-28 O. J. Simpson, Bills, Running back
January 20, 1974 AFC, 15-13 Garo Yepremian, Dolphins, Placekicker
January 20, 1975 NFC, 17-10 James Harris, Rams, Quarterback
January 26, 1976 NFC, 23-20 Billy Johnson, Oilers, Kick returner
January 17, 1977 AFC, 24-14 Mel Blount, Steelers, Cornerback
January 23, 1978 NFC, 14-13 Walter Payton, Bears, Running back
January 29, 1979 NFC, 13-7 Ahmad Rashad, Vikings, Wide receiver
January 27, 1980 NFC, 37-27 Chuck Muncie, Saints, Running back
February 1, 1981 NFC, 21-7 Eddie Murray, Lions, Placekicker
January 31, 1982 AFC, 16-13 Kellen Winslow, Chargers, Tight end; and Lee Roy Selmon, Buccaneers, Defensive end
February 6, 1983 NFC, 20-19 Dan Fouts, Chargers, Quarterback; and John Jefferson, Packers, Wide receiver
January 29, 1984 NFC, 45-3 Joe Theismann, Redskins, Quarterback
January 27, 1985 AFC, 22-14 Mark Gastineau, Jets, Defensive end
February 2, 1986 NFC, 28-24 Phil Simms, Giants, Quarterback
February 1, 1987 AFC, 10-6 Reggie White, Eagles, Defensive end
February 7, 1988 AFC, 15-6 Bruce Smith, Bills, Defensive end
January 29, 1989 NFC, 34-3 Randall Cunningham, Eagles, Quarterback
February 4, 1990 NFC, 27-21 Jerry Gray, Rams, Cornerback
February 3, 1991 AFC, 23-21 Jim Kelly, Bills, Quarterback
February 2, 1992 NFC, 21-15 Michael Irvin, Cowboys, Wide receiver
February 7, 1993 AFC, 23-20 (OT) Steve Tasker, Bills, Special teams
February 6, 1994 NFC, 17-3 Andre Rison, Falcons, Wide receiver
February 5, 1995 AFC, 41-13 Marshall Faulk, Colts, Running back
February 4, 1996 NFC, 20-13 Jerry Rice, 49ers, Wide receiver
February 2, 1997 AFC, 26-23 (OT) Mark Brunell, Jaguars, Quarterback
February 1, 1998 AFC, 29-24 Warren Moon, Seahawks, Quarterback
February 7, 1999 AFC, 23-10 Ty Law, Patriots, Cornerback; and Keyshawn Johnson, Jets, Wide receiver
February 6, 2000 NFC, 51-31 Randy Moss, Vikings, Wide receiver
February 4, 2001 AFC, 38-17 Rich Gannon, Raiders, Quarterback
February 10, 2002 AFC, 38-30 Rich Gannon, Raiders, Quarterback
February 2, 2003 AFC, 45-20 Ricky Williams, Dolphins, Running back
February 8, 2004 NFC, 55-52 Marc Bulger, Rams, Quarterback
February 13, 2005 AFC, 38-27 Peyton Manning, Colts, Quarterback
February 12, 2006 NFC 23-17 Derrick Brooks, Buccaneers, Linebacker

Playing sites

  • 1939 - Wrigley Field, Los Angeles
  • 1940 - Gilmore Stadium, Los Angeles (both games)
  • Jan., 1942 - Polo Grounds, New York City
  • Dec., 1942 - Shibe Park, Philadelphia
  • 1951-72 - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
  • 1973 - Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas
  • 1974 - Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1975 - Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
  • 1976 - Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1977 - Kingdome, Seattle, Washington
  • 1978 - Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida
  • 1979 - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
  • 1980-present - Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii


AFC NFC Pro Bowl

  • The AFC and NFC have split the series, each winning 18 games.
  • Of interesting note is that in the 36 seasons since the AFL-NFL Merger, the NFC has won both the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl 9 times, while the AFC has won both 8 times. In the years they have split, the AFC has won the Pro Bowl and NFC won the Super Bowl 10 times, while the reverse has occurred 9 times.
  • Buffalo Bills players have won 4 MVP awards, more than any other team. The Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams have won 3, while 10 teams have won 2, and 12 teams have won 1 each. The Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans have never had a player win an MVP award.
  • Quarterbacks have won 12 MVP awards; wide receivers are second with 7.

NFL Pro Bowls (1951-70)

  • The National/Western Conference won 13 of 20 games played against the American/Eastern Conference.
  • Of interesting note is that in the 20 seasons of the format, the Western/National Conference has won both the Pro Bowl and the NFL Championship game 9 times, while the Eastern/American won both 2 times. In the years they have split, the East won the Pro Bowl and West won the NFL title 5 times, while the reverse has occurred 4 times.