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Pro Bowl 2012 History And Overview

The 2012 Pro Bowl, the NFL's post-season all-star game, will take place in Honolulu on January 29th. And while we're still getting used to some of the recent changes with the game, some things haven't changed since the beginning.

Officially, the game has been called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl since the 1970 merger, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC).

The first Pro All-Star Game goes all the way back to the 1938 season and was played on January 15, 1939 at Los Angeles's Wrigley Field. While the game was played sporadically after that, it didn't become a fixture until 1951, when the newly rechristened Pro Bowl played at various venues before being held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii for 30 consecutive seasons from 1980 to 2009.

Last season, the game was played at Sun Life Stadium and site of Super Bowl XLIV, on January 31. It was the first time ever that the Pro Bowl was held before the championship game, which also meant that all-stars from the Super Bowl participating Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers could not participate.

The same is true for this year's all-stars from the New England Patriots and New York Giants. However, this year's contest is back in Hawaii.

Because the game is an exhibition and wanting to try and cut down on injuries, there are a few differences between a Pro Bowl game and a normal NFL game. Some of the rules changes include, no motion or shifting by the offense, the offense must have a tight end in all formations, intentional grounding is legal, no blitzing and teams are not allowed to rush a kick of any kind.

Last year, the NFC won 55-41 and Washington Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall was named MVP.

For updates leading up to the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl, keep it with SB Nation's NFL hub.