Rodgers on Wednesday said the Pro Bowl after the 2009 season was more like “real” football, in large part because defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, then of Tennessee, was playing full speed. That forced the players blocking him to increase their effort, and that effect filtered through the rest of the players, at least to a degree.
“I just felt like the intensity level was higher (in 2009),” Rodgers said. “You didn’t see a ton of big hits or anything, but you didn’t see some of the efforts or lack of effort we saw last season. On the flip side, I understand. Drew (Brees of the New Orleans Saints) was playing without a contract, and some of these guys didn’t want to be out there. I understand that. But if that’s the case, then maybe we shouldn’t have a game at that point.”
There are two reasons players like the Pro Bowl: They get expenses paid for what’s mainly a week’s vacation in Hawaii, and they have bonuses in their contracts if they’re chosen.
For the trip, each player receives two free first-class tickets or four tickets in coach for the flight to Hawaii, plus a free room at the Pro Bowl hotel and the option of paying for a second room. Players who bring numerous family members and friends can end up paying a fair amount of money, but they still consider it a good deal.
Speaking of the Pro Bowl, here's an interesting story out of Green Bay on some thoughts/observations on the game by Packers QB Rogers.