The story of how Troy Aikman tried to leave the Pro Bowl early — with help from Steve Young

The pandemic forced the NFL to cancel plans to hold its annual Pro Bowl this year, but the league’s annual end-of-season all-star game was still top of mind for San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.

Speaking at a Paley Center for Media event — “Changing the Game: The NFL Pro Bowl Goes Virtual” — that brought together executives and personalities from the NFL, EA Sports, ESPN and Verizon to discuss the intersection of football, TV, gaming and interactive entertainment, Young recounted the story of how he and Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame QB Troy Aikman had both been named to the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster.

The two devised a plan to split playing time so that Aikman could leave the game early to attend a family event.

At least until John Madden, who was announcing the game, called attention on national TV to Aikman’s sideline absence.

Young also remembers fondly Hall of Famer Reggie White frequently holding court in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl.

Young said White would frequently spend some of his time in Honolulu baptizing other players in the ocean.

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