The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League. From the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970 up through 2013 and since 2017, it is called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those in the National Football Conference. From 2014 through 2016, the NFL experimented with an unconferenced format, where the teams were selected by two honorary team captains, instead of selecting players from each conference; the players were picked in a televised "schoolyard pick" prior to the game. Unlike most major sports leagues, which hold their all-star games midway through their regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played around the end of the NFL season; the first official Pro Bowl was played in January 1951, three weeks after the 1950 NFL Championship Game. Between 1970 and 2009, the Pro Bowl was held the weekend after the Super Bowl. Since 2010, it has been played the weekend before the Super Bowl. Players from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl do not participate.
For years, the game has suffered from lack of interest due to perceived low quality, with observers and commentators expressing their disfavor with it in its current state. It draws lower TV ratings than regular season NFL games, although the game draws similar ratings to other major all-star games, such as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. However, the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the star players; the Associated Press wrote that players in the 2012 game were "hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight". Between 1980 and 2016, the game was played at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii except for two years. On June 1, 2016, the NFL announced that they reached a multi-year deal to move the game to Orlando, Florida as part of the league's ongoing efforts to make the game more relevant; the first "Pro All-Star Game", featuring the all-stars of the 1938 season, was played on January 15, 1939 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The NFL All-Star Game was played again in Los Angeles in 1940 and in New York and Philadelphia in 1941 and 1942 respectively.
Although planned as an annual contest, the all-star game was discontinued after 1942 because of travel restrictions put in place during World War II. During the first five all-star games, an all-star team would face that year's league champion; the league champion won the first four games before the all-stars were victorious in the final game of this early series. The concept of an all-star game was not revived until June 1950, when the newly christened "Pro Bowl" was approved; the game was sponsored by the Los Angeles Publishers Association. It was decided that the game would feature all-star teams from each of the league's two conferences rather than the league champion versus all-star format, used previously; this was done to avoid confusion with the Chicago College All-Star Game, an annual game which featured the league champion against a collegiate all-star team. The teams would be led by the coach of each of the conference champions. Prior to the Pro Bowl, following the 1949 season, the All-America Football Conference, which contributed three teams to the NFL in a partial merger in 1950, held its own all-star game, the Shamrock Bowl.
The first 21 games of the series were played in Los Angeles. The site of the game was changed annually for each of the next seven years before the game was moved to Aloha Stadium in Halawa, Hawaii for 30 straight seasons from 1980 through 2009; the 2010 Pro Bowl was played at Sun Life Stadium, the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins and host site of Super Bowl XLIV, on January 31, the first time that the Pro Bowl was held before the championship game. With the new rule being that the conference teams do not include players from the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl returned to Hawaii in 2011 but was again held during the week before the Super Bowl, where it remained for three more years; the 2012 game was met with criticism from fans and sports writers for the lack of quality play by the players. On October 24, 2012, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had second thoughts about the Pro Bowl, telling a Sirius XM show that if the players did not play more competitively, he was "not inclined to play it anymore".
During the ensuing off-season, the NFL Players Association lobbied to keep the Pro Bowl, negotiated several rule changes to be implemented for the 2014 game. Among them, the teams will no longer be AFC vs. NFC, instead be selected by captains in a fantasy draft. For the 2014 game, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders were chosen as alumni captains, while their captains were Drew Brees and Robert Quinn, along with Jamaal Charles and J. J. Watt. On April 9, 2014, the NFL announced that the 2015 Pro Bowl would be played the week before the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 25, 2015; the game returned to Hawaii in 2016, the "unconferenced" format was its last. For 2017, the league considered hosting the game at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which if approved would be the first time the game had been hosted outside the United States; the NFL is considering future Pro Bowls in Mexico and Germany. The NFL hopes that by leveraging international markets with the star power of Pro Bowls, international pop
Oregon State Beavers football
The Oregon State Beavers football team represents Oregon State University in NCAA Division I FBS college football. The team first fielded an organized football team in 1893 and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference's North Division. Jonathan Smith has been the head coach since November 29, 2017, their home games are played at Reser Stadium in Oregon. Football at Oregon State University started in 1893 shortly after athletics were authorized at the college. Athletics were banned prior May 1892, but when the strict school president, Benjamin Arnold, President John Bloss reversed the ban. Bloss's son William started the first team, on which he served as both quarterback; the team's first game was an easy 63 -- 0 defeat over Albany College. The university has been in several athletic conferences. Prior to 1902, in-between the Pacific Coast Conference and Pac-12 Conference, OSU played as an independent school. Independent Northwest Intercollegiate Association/Independent Pacific Coast Conference Independent Pac-12 Conference Oregon State has won five conference titles, done through three different conferences, although two of them have links to the current Pac-12 Conference, as the conference claims the history of the PCC as their own, the Athletic Association of Western Universities was the first name for the conference that became the Pac-12 Conference.
† Co-championship Oregon State University has played in 17 postseason bowl games. The Beavers have played in the Mirage Bowl, but this was a regular season game and a "bowl" in name only, not a post-season invitational bowl game; the 17 bowl game total does not include an invitation to play in the Gotham Bowl in 1960, when no opponent could be found for Oregon State. The Beavers are 11–6 in bowl game appearances; the Beavers play their home games at Reser Stadium in Oregon. It was called Parker Stadium when it was constructed in 1953, had a capacity of 25,000. Parker Stadium was renamed Reser Stadium in June 1999. Major renovations from 2005–2016 increased the stadium's capacity to 43,363, the current capacity. Oregon State University's primary rival is the University of Oregon; the two schools enjoy a long-standing rivalry due to the proximity of the two campuses. The University of Oregon is in Eugene, about 40 miles south of Corvallis; the teams first matched up on the gridiron in 1894 and have been playing each other every year since.
The rivalry game between the two schools is called the "Civil War" and is traditionally the last game of each season. They have played each other 121 times which makes it the seventh-oldest college football rivalry game
USC Trojans football
The USC Trojans football program represent University of Southern California in the sport of American football. The Trojans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference. Formed in 1888, the program has over 830 wins and claims 11 consensus Division I Football National Championships. USC has had 13 undefeated seasons including 8 perfect seasons, 39 conference championships. USC has produced 7 Heisman Trophy winners, 81 first-team Consensus All-Americans, including 27 Unanimous selections, 500 NFL draft picks, most all-time by any university, the Trojans have had more players drafted in the first round than any other university, with 80 as of the 2017 draft. USC has had 34 members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, including former players Matt Leinart, O. J. Simpson, Ronnie Lott and former coaches John McKay and Howard Jones; the Trojans boast 12 inductees in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, the 2nd-most of any school, including Junior Seau, Bruce Matthews, Marcus Allen, Ron Yary.
The Trojans have 52 bowl appearances. With a record of 34–18, USC has the highest all-time post-season winning percentage of schools with 25 or more bowl appearances; the Trojans play their home games in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, located across the exposition Park Rose Garden from USC's University Park, Los Angeles campus. The stadium is known as "The Grand Old Lady", having been built 100 years ago. USC first fielded a football team in 1888. Playing its first game on November 14 of that year against the Alliance Athletic Club, USC achieved a 16–0 victory. Frank Suffel and Henry H. Goddard were playing coaches for the first team, put together by quarterback Arthur Carroll, who in turn volunteered to make the pants for the team and became a tailor. USC faced its first collegiate opponent the following year in fall 1889, playing St. Vincent's College to a 40–0 victory. In 1893, USC joined the Intercollegiate Football Association of Southern California, composed of USC, Occidental College, Throop Polytechnic Institute, Chaffey College.
Pomona College declined to do so. An invitation was extended to Los Angeles High School. Before they were named Trojans in 1912, USC athletic teams were called the Methodists, as well as the Wesleyans. During the early years, limitations in travel and the scarcity of major football-playing colleges on the West Coast limited its rivalries to local Southern Californian colleges and universities. During this period USC played regular series against Occidental, Whittier and Loyola; the first USC team to play outside of Southern California went to Stanford University on November 4, 1905, where they were trampled 16–0 by the traditional West Coast powerhouse. While the teams would not meet again until 1918, this was USC's first game against a future Pac-12 conference opponent and the beginning of its oldest rivalry. During this period USC played its first games against other future Pac-12 rivals, including Oregon State, California and Arizona. Between 1911–1913, USC followed the example of California and Stanford and dropped football in favor of rugby union.
The results were disastrous, as USC was soundly defeated by more experienced programs while the school itself experienced financial reverses. After several decades of competition, USC first achieved national prominence under head coach "Gloomy" Gus Henderson in the early 1920s. Another milestone came under Henderson in 1922, when USC joined the Pacific Coast Conference, the forerunner of the modern Pac-12. Success continued under coach Howard Jones from 1925 to 1940, when the Trojans were just one of a few nationally dominant teams, it was during this era that the team achieved renown as the "Thundering Herd", earning its first four national titles. USC achieved intermittent success in the years following Jones' tenure. Jeff Cravath, who coached from 1942–1950, won the Rose Bowl in 1943 and 1945. Jess Hill, who coached from 1951 to 1956, won the Rose Bowl in 1953. From 1957 to 1959, the Trojans were coached by Don Clark. Future Hall of Famer Ron Mix was an All American for the Trojans in 1959; the program entered a new golden age upon the arrival of head coach John McKay.
During this period the Trojans produced two Heisman Trophy winners and won four national championships. McKay's influence continued after he departed for the NFL when an assistant coach, John Robinson, took over as head coach. Under Robinson, USC won another national championship in 1978 and USC produced two more running back Heisman Trophy winners in Charles White and Marcus Allen On September 12, 1970, USC opened the season visiting the University of Alabama under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant and became the first integrated team to play in the state of Alabama; the game, scheduled by Bryant, resulted in a dominating 42–21 win by the Trojans. More all six touchdowns scored by USC team were by black players, two by USC running
Michael Lewis (wide receiver)
Michael Lee Lewis is a former American football wide receiver and return specialist, the team ambassador of the New Orleans Saints. He was signed by the Louisiana Bayou Beast in 1998, he did not play college football. Lewis was a member of the New Orleans Thunder, New Jersey Red Dogs, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans VooDoo. Lewis graduated from Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana in 1990. Prior to his pro football career, Lewis was a Budweiser beer truck driver whose truck route was a short distance from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Lewis never went in part because he became a father at a young age. Lewis waded through the various semi-professional football leagues, pro indoor leagues, the Arena Football League, amassing impressive stats that resulted in him getting invites to various NFL training camps. Lewis was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles during the preseason in 2000, he was cut. Lewis returned to his hometown to deliver beer locally.
However, the New Orleans Saints signed Lewis at the end of the 2000 NFL regular season. The Saints sent Lewis to play for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe in 2001. Lewis was the Saints' feature return specialist from 2002 until September 19, 2005 during a game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, when he injured his MCL and was put on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Lewis returned to play for the Saints on October 29, 2006 during a home game against the Baltimore Ravens. In 2002, Lewis set an NFL record for combined kick-punt return yardage with 2,432 yards total, he is the Saints' all-time career leader in punt returns and punt return yardage. On December 21, 2003, he played a role in the River City Relay as one of the receivers that would lateral a touchdown in a last second attempt to win the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars; the River City Relay won an ESPY, NFL play of the year, an ESPN.com internet poll. In April 2006 Lewis returned to the Saints after recovering from a knee injury.
The Saints released Lewis on June 15, 2007. The local New Orleans newspaper, the Times-Picayune, titled the news, "There's a Tear in My Beer". On September 25, 2007, the San Francisco 49ers signed Lewis to take over punt return duties; the incumbent punt returner, Brandon Williams, was released. Lewis signed a contract with the New Orleans VooDoo on October 10, 2008. Team officials were preparing to make the announcement the following week, but the owner decided to terminate operations on October 13, 2008. Lewis subsequently took a position as a "Team Ambassador" for the Saints. Though no longer an active player, Lewis was awarded a Super Bowl ring after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV in recognition of his continuing role with the team. Lewis was selected for the Saints Hall of Fame in 2015. Receiving Stats Returning Stats New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame 2011 American Football Association Semi Pro Hall of Fame 2004 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week 2002 NFL Pro Bowl Associated Press First Team All-Pro 2002 NFC Special Teams Player of the Week NFL Alumni Special Teams Player of the Year Sports Illustrated All-Pro College & Pro Football Newsweekly First Team All-Pro Pro Football Weekly All-NFL and All-NFC Football Digest First Team All-Pro The Sporting News All-Pro 2000 AFL All-Rookie Team 1998 PIFL All-Star First Team American Football Association Hall of Fame NFL Pro Bowler Michael Lewis Selected for Induction Into Semi-Pro Football Hall Of Fame - “Class Of 2011" San Francisco 49ers bio