FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The buzz on the sidelines and in the stands at St. Thomas Aquinas is making today’s very chill Pro Bowl practice more eventful. The excitement around the Pro Bowl is finally building — it’s starting to feel like an event. The hotels were hopping this morning and there’s many more media and fans at practice.
Mixed among the crowd Friday were a good number of players who will participate in Saturday’s “Team USA vs. The World” game at Lockhart Stadium. The USA players had their blue and red jerseys on, while the World players donned their white jerseys with blue accents. A big group of the World team lined the fence following the AFC practice, where Brian Dawkins of the Broncos stopped by to chat and sign some autographs.
All of the players were pretty wide-eyed and amped up to be so close to the Pro Bowlers. I chatted with a group of the World players (most are from Canada, Europe and America Samoa) for awhile, and was also told that Ravens RB Ray Rice addressed the team today. They all agreed being at practice was a motivating experience.
“It was different,” said World player Julian Bailey, who lives in Montreal. “It’s not like you see on TV. It’s a lot more personal. It’s very cool.”
— Frank Tadych