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1st Pro Bowl football game...

Item # 555640

January 16, 1939

THE NEWS, Frederick, Maryland, January 16, 1939

* 1st Pro Bowl football game
* New York Giants
* All-Stars

This 10 page newspaper has a one column headline on page 6: "New York Giants Win Finale From All Stars". Tells of the very 1st pro bowl game in professional football.

Other news of the day throughout. Light browning with minor spine wear, otherwise in good condition.

wikipedia notes: A post season all-star game between the new league champion and a team of professional all-stars was added to the NFL schedule at the end of the 1938 season. On January 15, 1939, at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, California, the New York Giants won the first "Pro All-Star Game," 13-10, defeating a team of players from NFL teams and two future Pacific Coast Professional Football League clubs, the Los Angeles Bulldogs and the Hollywood Stars.

This format continued for the next four seasons, except that the all-star team now consisted solely of NFL players. In January 1942, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the game was moved from Los Angeles to the Polo Grounds in New York City. The last "Pro All-Star Game" was held in December 1942. With the wartime NFL playing a reduced schedule starting in 1943, the series was abandoned.

The NFL revived the game (now dubbed the "Pro Bowl") in January 1951, after the 1950 season. The game was now a contest between conference all-star teams: American vs. National (1951-53) and Eastern vs. Western (1954-70). The rival AFL, meanwhile, staged its own All-Star Game from 1962-70, using the same East vs. West format. The AFL departed from this format once, in the January 1966 game, when the league champion Buffalo Bills played all-stars from the rest of the league.

After the AFL-NFL Merger of 1970, the name of the NFL's all-star game was changed to the "AFC-NFC Pro Bowl". Since the merger, the head coaches of the teams that lost in the AFC and NFC championship games have been selected as the coaches for the respective Pro Bowl squads — a compromise that arose from the decision to discontinue the Playoff Bowl, which had it been retained, would have matched up the two teams that lost the conference title games.

Currently, players are voted into the Pro Bowl by the coaches, the players themselves, and the fans. Each group's ballots count for one third of the votes. The fans vote online at the NFL's official site. There are also replacements that go to the game should any selected player be unable to play due to injuries. Prior to 1995, only the coaches and the players made Pro Bowl selections.

In order to be considered a Pro Bowler for a given year, a player must either have been one of the initial players selected to the team, or a player who accepts an invitation to Hawaii as an alternate; invited alternates who decline to attend are not considered Pro Bowlers. Being a Pro Bowler is considered to be a mark of honor, and players who are accepted into the Pro Bowl are considered to be elite.

Category: The 20th Century