*As a 10-year veteran, fullback William Henderson has seen just about everything in the past decade with the Green Bay Packers. He's played in two Super Bowls, won one Super Bowl ring, and played a key role on eight playoff teams, six of them division champions.
Sunday though, Henderson will experience something new, playing in his first Pro Bowl after getting an overdue selection to the NFC's all-star team for his performance during the 2004 season.
Henderson became the first fullback in NFL history to serve as the lead blocker for a 1,000-yard rusher in seven straight seasons this year, as Ahman Green ran for 1,163. The bruiser also caught 34 passes out of the backfield for 239 yards and three touchdowns, and continued his stellar special teams play with 12 tackles on kick coverage.
Henderson will be joined in Hawaii by three Green Bay teammates - Green, Marco Rivera, and Javon Walker. This season marked the first time a pair of Packers running backs were selected to the NFL's annual All-Star Game since 1962 when Tom Moore and Jim Taylor made were chosen.
The fullback has been to Hawaii before, but never for the Pro Bowl. He will be providing exclusive reports to Packers.com in an online diary that will chronicle his week in the tropical paradise.
The Pro Bowl will be held at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium Sunday, February 13.*
Pro Bowl Diary, Part II - February 8, 2005
I got to Hawaii Thursday evening and my family and I started off just relaxing and getting to know the layout of the hotel. There wasn't any fanfare for me coming in because I came in before everybody else. The guys who came in Sunday and Monday - they got the fanfare with the Aloha lei as they came off the plane.
Walking through the airport, I was greeted by some NFL officials, but nothing like the greeting the other guys got.
After that, my family and I got settled in the hotel and I made sure they would have everything they would need when I'm not around later in the week that they'll be comfortable.
Friday, I had a press conference downtown with Coach Mora from the Falcons and one of the Pro Bowl cheerleaders. We had a good time being introduced to the Hawaiian media and it was a nice event.
It was a good chance for Coach Mora and myself to get to know each other a little bit and let me know a little more of what to expect for the week. I think he appreciated the things I said about being a team player and I appreciated the chance to represent the players who will be out here this week.
Sunday, much like most everyone else in America, I went to a Super Bowl party. But my viewing experience was not like any other time I've watched the Super Bowl. This year, I went over to Pearl Harbor to watch the game with the troops and it was spectacular.
Being around real soldiers, real Navy men, who put their lives on the line on a daily basis in order for us to have security in this country - I just felt really honored to be in their presence. It was great to meet them and be able to spend time with them.
As far as the game went, I really thought Philly had a chance. I thought they did a good job and played well, but the Patriots showed again why they're the champions. I thought some of my old teammates - Dorsey Levens and Jeff Thomason - had a good showing, but the Patriots went out and got the job done again.
The Patriots didn't get frazzled by going down early and Philly playing aggressive football. New England just kept putting the pressure on Donovan McNabb and did a great job of playing their game. And in the end, playing their game is what won it for them. It wasn't anything flashy, the Patriots just got the job done.
Marco Rivera and his family got in Sunday night and our families got together for dinner and spent much of the day Monday hanging out at the pool. We've been enjoying the event and he's been kind of breaking me in since I'm a rookie as far as everything goes out here.
As far as sightseeing, you don't really have to go on any expeditions or anything to see the beauty of Hawaii. When you walk out on to your hotel balcony, you see the mountains, the ocean, the tropical paradise that Hawaii is. You don't have to go anywhere to sightsee, it's right outside your window.
I'm looking forward to getting back on the football field when the practices get going here. I've been working out since the season ended, so I haven't let myself get out of shape at all. I've treated this year like every other year - I don't stop working out just because my last game has been played. I continue to work out as if I was about to compete in the Super Bowl, and now the Pro Bowl.
That's been my thing - I've been a Pro Bowl alternate for the past six years, so now I actually get to make the postseason workouts pay off and I think I'll be ready to go when Coach Mora gets us together for the first practice.
I'm going to enjoy the practice atmosphere. I've been told that it's more of a graduated walkthrough - it's not the fast-paced regular season NFL practice - but there is still a lot of attention to detail and some things to learn for Sunday's game.
The great thing about playing with the Falcons' coaching staff is that we'll be using the West Coast Offense, so I won't have to do as much book work as some guys since their offense is similar to the one I've been around my whole career in Green Bay.
This whole experience has been a great time for me and my family, and I'm really looking forward getting to work and playing well Sunday.