NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was vocal in his displeasure with last year's Pro Bowl, disparaging the level of play and openly broaching the possibility the game could be eliminated.

Goodell has a much different opinion Monday, one day after Team Rice edged Team Sanders in a revamped version of the league's all-star game.

"It was real football," Goodell said, according to The Associated Press. "It was something that I give a lot of credit to the players."

The NFL ditched the conference affiliation for teams this year in favor of a fantasy football-like draft with Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders each leading a team. A NFL Network-televised live draft seemed to raise the competitive stakes. The game play was certainly superior to last year's 59-41 slopfest that, as Goodell pointedly remarked at the time, left fans "actively booing in the stands."