NFL drops Pro Bowl, opts for skills contests

Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press

The NFL will replace the Pro Bowl with week-long skills competitions and a flag football game, the Associated Press has learned.

The new event will replace the Football All-Star Game started in 1951. It will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature players from the American and National Associations who will display their talents on and off the field during challenges on several days. The 2023 event will take place in Las Vegas and the flag football match will be featured at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, February 5.

Peyton Manning and his company Omaha Productions will help set the lineup and promote content for the event throughout the week. Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection during a successful Hall of Fame career, will provide his insight and will also be on the coaching staff for the flag football game.

« The Pro Bowl is something we’ve been looking at for some time, » NFL manager Peter O’Reilly told The Associated Press. Following last year’s game, we made the decision based on a lot of internal conversations, feedback from general managers and coaches, and getting a lot of feedback from the players. We believe there is a real opportunity to do something completely different and move away from a traditional game of football. We decided the goal was to celebrate 88 of the NFL’s biggest stars in a really positive, fun, and competitive way.

“Very blunt feedback from the guys who have been in the Pro Bowl recently was to stick with a multi-day event. It was extremely positive, both on the part of the players and the clubs.

The Pro Bowl made its debut in January 1951 in Los Angeles and remained there for 21 seasons before the game moved to different cities from 1972 to 1980. Hawaii hosted it from 1980 to 2009, and the game took place at several locations over the next few years, including Miami, Phoenix, Orlando and Las Vegas.

The quality of play in the Pro Bowl has often been criticized. The players, naturally worried about getting injured, see it more as a friendly match than a competition. A flag football match could increase competition while avoiding potential injuries.

The NFL shows a strong interest in flag football. The league has partnered with the International Football Federation to bring flag football to the World Games in July with an eye toward the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The league plans to announce the new format on Monday.

Fan voting will still help determine both teams’ rosters. Tom Brady has the most Pro Bowl invites with 15. Four players have 14, including Manning.

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));


Back to top button