Pro Bowl voting now open

Kent Nishimura

As ridiculous as it might be to begin voting for the Pro Bowl not halfway into the season, here we are. And with the rest of the team fans stuffing the ballot for their favorite/deserving players, don't be left behind.

Last season the Raiders had just one Pro Bowler, Marcel Reece. He was an alternate and was added to the roster when the Ravens and Pro Bowl fullback, Vonta Leach, made it to the Super Bowl.

This year, there are a few Raiders who may have earned their right to the Pro Bowl. All the Raiders starters are on the ballot but not all are worthy of a spot on the taem. Among the more deserving Pro Bowl players are defensive end Lamarr Houston, safety Charles Woodson, linebacker Kevin Burnett, and cornerback Tracy Porter with some consideration perhaps for center Stefen Wisniewski, wide receiver Denarius Moore, and fullback Marcel Reece.

For the first time ever, the Pro Bowl will be "unconferenced" which means it will no longer be AFC vs NFC. This also means players on the same team will often be facing their teammates on the opposite team. So, if you thought there was no way they could make this game any less appealing, you were wrong.

The one positive is the players will be chosen by who is best regardless of conference so there is less of a chance more deserving players will be left off the rosters simply by being in a conference top heavy at their position. Kinda like being a safety in the AFC during the last decade with the likes of Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu keeping all other safeties off the roster.

The teams will be realigned through a fantasy football-style draft.

The four leading vote getters - comprised of two offensive and two defensive player captains - will be joined by two NFL.com fantasy football champions to draft players according to the remaining most voted upon players.

The fantasy football champions will have Hall of Fame help. Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will serve as alumni team captains, assisting the Pro Bowl team captains and fantasy football champions in the draft process.

The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be eligible for the Pro Bowl Draft.

You got all that?

Fans can begin voting by heading RIGHT HERE.

Balloting will conclude on Thursday, December 26. The Pro Bowl players will be announced in early January on NFL Network's "Total Access."

The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 26, 2014 and televised live on NBC at 7:00 PM ET from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Fans may purchase game tickets starting next month at NFL.com/probowl.

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