The 49ers contingent heading to Honolulu in late January potentially could include the coaching staff. In previous years, the coaching staffs for the Pro Bowls were composed of the losers of the NFC and AFC championship games.
The rules have changed in recent years. The Pro Bowl now is played the week before the Super Bowl. The coaching staffs don't come from the championship game losers but rather the loser of the divisional games that has the best regular season record.
As it stands now, the 49ers would host a divisional game, most likely against the Saints, who would host a wild-card game a week earlier. If the 49ers lose Sunday in St. Louis and the Saints win at home against Carolina - they play simultaneously - the situation would be reversed. Should the Packers lose their division-round game, their coaching staff would go to the Pro Bowl. (I ain't no good at 'rithmetic and book learnin', but I'd say this makes the 49ers and Saints the odds on favorites to coach the NFC this year).
Of course, Jim Harbaugh doesn't want any of his staff or his players going to Hawaii. The teams in the Super Bowl do not send any of their players to the Pro Bowl. Said Harbaugh: "I hope all the guys that did make it aren't making any plans to be there, to be quite honest with you."
-- Matt Barrows