The Pro Bowl will be played tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET from Arizona and will be broadcast on ESPN, and it will be sure to garner a large number of viewers. For the most part, however, people consider it to be a joke. And when guys like Andy Dalton are playing in the Pro Bowl because so many players dropped out of it, it's hard not to view the game as meaningless. With that said, however, it's still the last chance you'll have to watch Colts players in a game until August, so you know you're probably going to end up watching it. Because of that, here's a primer for you of story lines to watch. I know you need something to keep an eye on to keep from turning off the television, so here's a quick primer of a few of the story lines you can be paying attention to in tonight's Pro Bowl as it pertains to the Colts.
Seven Colts Players are Participating in the Pro Bowl
First off, let's note the Colts' players who will be participating in the game. Quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, and punter Pat McAfee are on Team Carter, while linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, cornerback Vontae Davis, safety Mike Adams, and kicker Adam Vinatieri are on Team Irvin. So it's essentially the Colts' offensive players on one team (Team Carter) and the Colts' defensive players on another team (Team Irvin), with the two specialists split. Both Luck and Davis are currently listed as starters (and, of course, McAfee and Vinatieri when on special teams). If for nothing else, you can watch the Pro Bowl to see how these seven players do.
Former Colts Players are Participating in the Pro Bowl
Furthermore, there are a couple of former Colts participating in the Pro Bowl - and none of them are Peyton Manning, who pulled out of the game due to his quad injury. Still, running back Justin Forsett (Ravens), safety Antoine Bethea (49ers), and kicker Cody Parkey (Eagles) make up the former Colts playing in tonight's game. Forsett was with the Colts briefly in 2008, playing in three games. Bethea started 123 games for the Colts from 2006-2013 and was a captain in several of those years before the Colts let him leave in free agency last offseason to sign with the 49ers. Parkey was a member of the Colts in training camp and preseason this year before being traded to the Eagles.
Both Kickers were in Training Camp with the Colts this year
As I just mentioned, Cody Parkey spent training camp with the Colts this year and will now be playing in the Pro Bowl. That means that the two kickers in the game tonight both were in training camp with the Colts in Adam Vinatieri and Cody Parkey. Vinatieri was arguably the league's best kicker this season, followed by the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski. Because the Patriots are in the Super Bowl, however, Gostkowski won't be kicking in the Pro Bowl and therefore Parkey will be taking his place. It's awesome to see both Vinatieri and Parkey have terrific seasons and it'll also awesome to see both kicking in the Pro Bowl tonight several months after watching both of them kick footballs at Anderson University.
T.Y. Hilton versus Vontae Davis
This has been the subject of some trash talk this week, as Davis (playing on Team Irvin) saying that he will shut down his Colts teammate Hilton (playing on Team Carter), though Hilton doesn't buy that. In terms of on-field matchups in the Pro Bowl, this will be as intriguing as it gets for Colts fans watching the game tonight, as the Colts' best receiver and the Colts' best cornerback could face off. There's no guarantee that will happen, especially since Davis is listed as a starter and Hilton isn't, but we can hope - because watching the two teammates face each other would be pretty cool.
Andrew Luck to J.J. Watt?
When team captain J.J. Watt selected quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, he said "we'll take the neck beard with the arm." The two will be headlining Team Carter in the Pro Bowl despite being on rival AFC South teams. They're the game's two biggest young stars, and tonight they'll be playing for the same team. Might they even hook up for a touchdown? Watt caught three passes for three scores in the regular season, and the Pro Bowl is often a time where teams get creative and just have fun with it. Could that mean J.J. Watt on offense? It's a very realistic possibility. And if that indeed happens, we could really see Andrew Luck throw a touchdown pass to J.J. Watt.