Mark Brown/Getty Images

Pro Bowl, January 2020

Why would you go to the NFL Pro Bowl?

When the game was in Hawaii, the location was the answer. Who wouldn't want to go to Hawaii, with the added bonus of watching some football. Now that the NFL's annual all-star game takes place in Orlando, it's a question I've often heard asked. Now, I have an answer.

This NFL season I took part in a fantasy football league with the NFL Consumer Products department. Those in the league competed for a chance to win a trip to the Pro Bowl. At the fantasy draft, held in Roger Goodell's conference room at the NFL's headquarters, I made my intentions to win clear. Former Lions wide receiver turned "Good Morning Football"  host Nate Burleson was on hand to help everyone draft their teams, and while the 11-year NFL veteran did provide some excellent entertainment and fun facts, I actually blame him for my worst draft pick of the year: Matthew Stafford. (Sorry, Nate!)

Still, my stacked team dominated throughout the season, and I dropped Stafford before Week 2, opting to mostly stream quarterbacks instead. My sincere gratitude goes out to Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who dominated in the fantasy playoffs, beating the Cincinnati Bengals, in overtime in Week 16 to help me claim the Fantasy Super Bowl trophy. Aaron Jones and Tyler Boyd also deserve credit in helping me secure the 'W.'

So, I headed south from New York to Miami for the Pro Bowl.

The experience of attending the Pro Bowl was actually pretty awesome. When else do you get NFL fans from every team in the league to join together in one place without any animosity? No one cares if the AFC or NFC wins the game. No one is booing at their rivals. Everyone is there to have a good time and watch some meaningless football.

I watched a Browns fan, Bengals fan and Steelers fan pose together for a photo. Super fans from teams across the league united to enjoy the game in the same section. Kids were running around everywhere and having a great time. There were no fights or screaming matches like you may see at a typical game.

Instead there was a Flo Rida concert before the game, fan trivia competitions, a ball pit for kids, a vertical jump like NFL players do at the Scouting Combine, and more family friendly activities. Former NFL players like Martavis Bryant were even at the game hanging out with fans and signing autographs. Every now and then the crowd would cheer for a play, and the focus of everyone’s attention would be brought to the field. And this year, there actually were a ton of great plays on offense and defense.

But the Pro Bowl isn't just about what’s happening on-the-field, it's more about celebrating the NFL season and the fans. 

Despite the game meaning nothing toward NFL standings, it was a fun experience. The activities and fan-to-fan interactions alone made it a great day. And, checking out all the fashion-forward NFL gear fans wore to Camping World Stadium was cool to see, too.

At the end of the game, the AFC won 38-33. Ravens quarterback and expected 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson won offensive MVP and Jaguars pass rusher Calais Campbell won defensive MVP. While the Pro Bowl titles were appreciated by Jackson and Campbell, the NFL's official 2019 awards will be announced Saturday at the NFL Honors ceremony.

Follow Rebecca Toback on Twitter @Rebecca_Toback.