When the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl rosters were initially released, one of the biggest snubs involved Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He was left off the NFC roster in favor of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who was selected as one of the three quarterbacks (Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans' Drew Brees were the other two selected for the NFC).
In the last month, Manning has proved that he is deserving of a Pro Bowl selection by playing some great football and leading the Giants to the Super Bowl. This means he won't be playing in the Pro Bowl, though. A spot at quarterback for the NFC opened up with Manning set to play in the Super Bowl. Stafford was the obvious choice to replace him, right? Not so fast:
Two Giants won’t be making the trip: quarterback Eli Manning and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. They’ll be replaced by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, respectively.
Stafford didn't just miss out on a spot on the initial Pro Bowl roster. He also missed out on being the first or second alternate (Stafford was third in line). As a result, Newton, the first alternate, is headed to Hawaii to replace Manning, and had something come up where Newton couldn't go, Dallas' Tony Romo would have been next in line.
Calvin Johnson, the Lions' lone Pro Bowl selection, announced earlier in the month that he will miss the game because of an injury, so there isn't much incentive to watch the game for Lions fans.