The NFL’s annual gathering of its largest stars has turn out to be an afterthought on the calendar. Even the gamers chosen for it, by and enormous, are hesitant to go to the Professional Bowl, even if it’s sometimes held in an expensive spot, like Hawaii, Florida, or Las Vegas. Understandably, in an age the place gamers are doing fewer and fewer padded issues except for precise video games, gamers do not feel like taking further hits in an All Star Sport.
The fly within the ointment in casting off the Professional Bowl is that it nonetheless attracts respectable tv rankings, regardless of the on-field farce the standard of play has turn out to be. To that finish, the NFL introduced on Monday that they are going to be drastically altering the format of the Professional Bowl weekend. As first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com:
NFL is changing the Professional Bowl with a multi-day expertise competitors and flag football recreation that can be performed in Las Vegas the Sunday earlier than the Tremendous Bowl.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2022
Make no mistake, regardless of the sport turning into a punchline, that is the top of an period for a tentpole occasion on the NFL calendar since 1951. Listed here are the necessary issues it is advisable know:
The occasion can be a weeklong factor and will probably be known as the “Professional Bowl Video games”
The occasion will characteristic AFC and NFC gamers showcasing their football and non-football expertise in several challenges over a number of days. (With the point out of “non-football expertise,” I am picturing a cross between the QB Problem and Battle of the Community Stars!) The 2023 Video games can be held in Las Vegas, and the flag football recreation at Allegiant Stadium is Feb. 5. NFL govt Peter O’Reilly mentioned that this construction was one thing they concocted primarily based on feedback from players:
“The suggestions very immediately from guys who had been within the Professional Bowl lately was to maintain the assemble of the week, be sure to’re having that multiday factor. It was overwhelmingly optimistic each from gamers in addition to from golf equipment.”
Peyton Manning will play a giant position!
We love that! When Peyton Manning was an energetic participant, we have been programmed to hate him as a result of he tore our hearts out, however now that he’s retired, he’s enjoyable! He’s like pizza — all the pieces is extra enjoyable with pizza concerned! For this occasion, Manning’s Omaha Productions firm can have a giant say within the content material, and they’re going to promote the occasion all through the week. Manning will also have role within the occasions themselves, offering his perspective as an announcer and his recreation day enter as a member of the teaching employees for the flag football recreation:
“The Professional Bowl has all the time been a time to step again and have a good time the sport of football with teammates, followers and household,” Manning instructed the AP. “I am grateful I can proceed to be a part of the week as all of us at Omaha Productions work with the NFL to reimagine The Professional Bowl Video games. Making Sunday’s recreation a flag football recreation is nice to see. Youth football has been extraordinarily necessary to me, and figuring out NFL FLAG will assist develop this sport, I hope girls and boys can see themselves taking part in the identical recreation as the very best gamers on the earth.”
That is one other victory within the evolution of flag football
Flag football has turn out to be a suburban staple, with many cities now sanctioning sort out football till children are in center college. The thought course of behind NFL gamers partaking in flag football is that they’ll enhance the completion stage whereas reducing the probabilities for bodily hurt and mind trauma. The NFL’s curiosity in flag football is important, as they’re partnered with the Worldwide Federation of American Soccer to carry flag football to July’s World Video games, and doubtlessly the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles:
“You faucet into all of the stuff that feels nice about Professional Bowl week, the abilities, the helmets off, the engagement after which culminate that, preserving the AFC-NFC assemble, in one thing that is actually necessary, which is flag football and that chance to have the very best athletes within the NFL on the market taking part in this recreation that’s a lot about the way forward for our sport,” mentioned O’Reilly, the league’s govt vice chairman, membership enterprise and league occasions. “It has been an evolution, however popping out of Las Vegas final 12 months, we actually centered on how will we reinvent and have a good time our all-stars even higher.”
The followers will nonetheless have the ability to have enter on the AFC and NFC rosters through on-line voting. Sadly, for Texan followers, the drought for Texans chosen to attend the annual occasion will most likely final for at the least one other season or two, perhaps longer.
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