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2013 NFL Pro Bowl: Tony Gonzalez relishes 'proving people wrong'

Falcons' tight end Tony Gonzalez says his 13th Pro Bowl selection is a bit more special than others because it proves that he can still play at a high level despite his age.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons' tight end Tony Gonzalez has been a model of consistency over his entire 16-year NFL career, but as he has gotten older, more people have doubted whether he could keep up his solid play. The 36-year-old has proved those doubters wrong this season, getting voted to his 13th Pro Bowl on Wednesday.

As Gonzalez's career winds down, the tight end says that this year's honor is a bit more special than others (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution):

"Because the older you get the more people start to doubt you," he said. "Just because of human nature. ‘You are getting old, there is no way you can move around like you used to.' I've been hearing that. ‘Oh, he's lost a step, he's not as fast as he used to be.'

"It's nice to go out there and play well and tell them, ‘What do you got to say now?' That's part of the fun is proving people wrong."

On the season, Gonzalez has 88 catches for 889 yards and eight touchdowns. He's second in the NFL in catches and receiving yards for tight ends, and is tied for third in touchdowns for tight ends.

Gonzalez has missed just two games in his 16 seasons and has not had fewer than 656 receiving yards in a season since his second year in the league back in 1998. He holds NFL records for most career receptions, career receiving yards and career touchdowns for a tight end.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.