No more Pro Bowl is an improvement for NFL fans and players



The NFL renames the Pro Bowl as the Pro Bowl Games starting 2023.

On September 26, the NFL announced that the Pro Bowl would be replaced by “The Pro Bowl Games”, a weeklong event consisting of various skills competitions, culminating in a flag football game at the end of the week. The Pro Bowl is the NFL’s equivalent to the MLB’s All-Star Game, where players are voted on by fans to compete in the games. The AFC plays the NFC in the final game of football before the Super Bowl, creating a competition in which players, often from rival teams, share the same uniform and teammates.  

The issue with this game, however, is that since it is a meaningless game that has no affect on standings or draft picks, most players put in minimal effort in order to avoid injury. This problem has dramatically increased over the last decade, and fans have called out the NFL for asking players to play in an inconsequential game at the finale of the season.  

The one bright spot of recent Pro Bowls has been the skill showcase, which has garnered more watch time than the actual Pro Bowl. These skill showcases vary from catching and throwing competitions to the fan favorite: dodgeball. The NFL took note of the ratings, and in conjunction with both players in the NFL and coaches, made the decision to switch to a week of only skill showcases and cut the Pro Bowl game entirely.  

This decision is a win for all parties involved. The new length of the Pro Bowl Games allows for the NFL to sell more ad time, creating more revenue. Fans now get to watch a more entertaining culminating game as well, with celebrities such as Peyton Manning coaching the game. As for the players, they will be able to utilize skills different from their usual arsenal of moves for the flag football game and will be able to put in more effort without the risk and worry of injury. The expansion of the skill showcase into a weeklong event also allows for both “football and non-football skills in challenges over several days”. While no events have been officially announced, it is safe to expect that most competitions from the previous showcase will be included, with perhaps additions of Madden tournaments or other non-athletic based competitions. The 2023 Pro Bowl Games will be hosted at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, with the flag football game being played on February 5.