Because of the way the Pro Bowl squads were chosen, there could be a few stars who play with a chip on their shoulders in Hawaii on Sunday. Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders selected the un-conferenced teams fantasy-football style.
Some really great players had to wait in a holding area to hear their names called. The process seemed a bit awkward and embarrassing for some.
This could create the type of edge that shifts the momentum in this All-Star exhibition. Here's a look at the lineups for both teams.
|2014 Pro Bowl Rosters|
|Team Sanders||Position||Team Rice|
|Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts||QB||Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers|
|Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers||QB||Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles||QB||Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints|
|RB||LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles|
|Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers||RB||Matt Forte, Chicago Bears|
|Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins||RB||DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys|
|A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals||WR||Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears|
|Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys||WR||Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns|
|Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers||WR||Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears|
|DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles||WR||Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals|
|Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns||TE||Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints|
|Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys||TE||Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons|
|Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs||OT||Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns|
|Trent Williams, Washington Redskins||OT||Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys|
|Duane Brown, Houston Texans||OT||Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers|
|Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills||DE||Cameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints|
|Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers||DE||Cameron Wake, Miami Dolphins|
|J.J. Watt, Houston Texans||DE|
|Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs||OLB||Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins (via trade)||OLB||John Abraham, Arizona Cardinals|
|Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens||OLB||Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts (via trade)|
|Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers||ILB||Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals|
|Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville Jaguars||ILB||Derrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Tim Jennings, Chicago Bears||CB||Alterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans|
|Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals||CB||Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns|
|Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers||CB||Brandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs|
|Brent Grimes, Miami Dolphins||CB||Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets|
|T.J. Ward, Cleveland Browns||S||Antrel Rolle, New York Giants|
|Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs||S||Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills|
|Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers||S||Eric Reid, San Francisco 49ers|
|Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens||K||Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots|
|Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings||PR||Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs|
Are you looking to bet on a player to win game MVP honors? Here are three strong candidates who had to feel a bit insulted about where they were selected.
Sanders had the first pick after losing the team-captain pick to Rice. With his choice between Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck and Carolina Panthers stud Cam Newton, Sanders went with Luck.
These two will forever be compared because they were No. 1 overall selections in 2012 and 2011, respectively. Whether they admit it or not, they each want to prove their superiority over the other.
Aside from the sting of not being chosen ahead of Luck as motivation, the game's non-defensive style could make a dual threat like Newton a favorite to go off.
Here's what Kevin Patra of NFL.com said:
Everything about the Pro Bowl screams: "Cam Newton for MVP." It's hard enough for players to tackle Newton when they are trying. In a game in which defenders aren't known to tackle, Cam shouldn't be on the ground much. Ted Ginn Jr. is not one of his top wide receivers in the Pro Bowl, so Newton's stats should improve right off the bat.
Newton will probably be flashing that winning smile on a regular basis in Hawaii.
Is there any man more disrespected than Smith in the NFL? The former No. 1 overall pick was benched by Jim Harbaugh in 2012 while he was injured and shipped to the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason.
He subsequently led the Chiefs to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.
Even after all that, he wasn't even selected in the Pro Bowl draft. Instead, he was appointed to Rice's team after Sanders said: "I'm a go with Nick Foles" when Smith and the Philadelphia Eagles' breakout star were the last two kids left in the sandlot.
Smith just might surprise everyone by putting up huge numbers with a stellar set of weapons for Team Rice.
The Chicago Bears star might be all smiles in this image, but you can bet he didn't like the fact that running backs like the Green Bay Packers' Eddie Lacy and the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarco Murray were selected ahead of him.
Forte is a proud competitor who never seems to get the respect he deserves. Dissing Forte is not a new trend; it's been going on for a while. Back in 2012, Forte was trying to get a well-deserved contract extension, but the NFL Network only voted him the 33rd-best player in the league.
Per Josh Alper of NBC Sports (via the NFL Network broadcast), Forte said:
All you can ask for is respect, and you go out there and you do your best to earn it. Respect isn’t given to anybody. You’ve got to earn it out there. So the way I go about playing the game, preparing for it and the way I play, I feel I have earned the respect.
Forte should be more highly regarded. The numbers don't lie.
He was second in the NFL in rushing with 1,339 yards, and third in total yards from scrimmage with 1,933. Neither Lacy nor Murray were ahead of him in those categories.
Forte may be putting on a show on Sunday in his never-ending quest for the love he deserves.