NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a favorable reaction to the new format and competitiveness of the annual Pro Bowl. In the game played on Sunday in Honolulu, Team Rice beat Team Sanders 22-21.

“You have to admit it was very competitive,” Goodell told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Monday. “Exciting. Fun. I think the players played much harder … I believe it was a very, very positive step. I salute the players.”

Over the weekend, NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth said Goodell came close to canceling the annual all-star game. Foxworth made suggestions to the format, such as changing the AFC vs. NFC format and turning the game into a draft to help amp the competitive-ness of the game.

The suggestions seem to have worked for now, but the NFL remains concerned about whether the game will be taken seriously by fans.

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