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NFL Pro Bowl brings football’s best to Orlando

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The NFL’s biggest superstars will be in Orlando for a week full of events culminating with the 2017 Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium.

New England quarterback Tom Brady, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Dallas rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are just some of the fan favorites who will play at the January 29 Pro Bowl. The 88 best players — 44 from the American Football Conference (AFC) and 44 from the National Football Conference (NFC) were chosen by votes from fans, players and coaches.

This year’s Pro Bowl will return to the traditional AFC vs. NFC format, following three years of a coach’s choice arrangement that mixed players from both conferences.

“Hosting the NFL Pro Bowl is exactly the type of opportunity we had in mind when our community pulled together to invest in the reconstruction of Camping World Stadium,” said Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports. “Orlando is the top tourist destination in the country and we look forward to providing players, staff, families and fans from all levels of football an unforgettable week,”

Pro Bowl Week starts January 24 with AFC and NFC team practices at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World. The venue will also host youth football competitions, a free festival called NFL Pro Bowl Experience and the taping of The Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, which pits the AFC and NFC All-Stars against each other. The Showdown will air at 7 p.m. January 26 on ESPN.

On January 27, Pro Bowl players and NFL cheerleaders will parade down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. Runners will pace through Disney Springs and Epcot for the Pro Bowl 5K run on January 28.

The annual USA Football National Conference will take place during the week leading up to the Pro Bowl. The sport’s national governing body leads high school and youth football administrators and coaches. More than 650 participants from all 50 states attended the 2016 National Conference in Indianapolis, addressing such topics as coach education, player safety and key trends.

The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award winner will be announced during the Pro Bowl. The award honors high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, who has the most wins in NFL history. 

Each of the Pro Bowl players will invite their former youth or high school coach to be a part of the celebrations during the week. Players on the winning Pro Bowl team will receive a grant from the NFL Foundation to support their youth or high school football program. 

Pro Bowl game tickets are still available at www.nfl.com/probowl. The game will be televised live at 8 p.m. January 29 on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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