2014 Pro Bowl balloting now open

Posted Oct 20, 2013

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Balloting for the 2014 Pro Bowl is now open, and it comes with a couple of pretty major twists.

For the first time ever, the Pro Bowl will be unconferenced, meaning the traditional NFC vs AFC showdown is out the window. In the League's new format, players will be selected regardless of conference in voting by fans, players, and coaches. The top players in voting at each position will be designated as All-Stars, regardless of how many are from the NFC or AFC. Those All-Stars will then be aligned in teams in a fantasy football style draft.

Four leading vote getters - made up of two offensive and two defensive player captains - will join forces with two fantasy football champions to select their squad. The fantasy football champions will have some Pro Football Hall of Fame help in the form of wide receiver Jerry Rice and cornerback Deion Sanders, who will serve as alumni team captains.

In addition to the new format, the game is receiving a new uniform, as Nike introduced their two Elite 51 Pro Bowl uniforms earlier this month.

The Seahawks sent six players to the last Pro Bowl and the sextet put on quite the showing. Quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch, center Max Unger, left tackle Russell Okung, free safety Earl Thomas and return specialist Leon Washington each had an impact in the NFC's 62-35 beat down of the AFC.

Balloting runs through Thursday, December 26 and Pro Bowl players will be announced on NFL Network's Total Access in early January. The 2014 Pro Bowl kicks off on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 4 p.m. PT from Honolulu, Hawaii's Aloha Stadium with live television coverage on NBC.