In theory, the Pro Bowl should be an enticing spectacle for NFL fans because the best players gather in one location to test their skills against each other.
However, it does not generate much fanfare compared to the All-Star offerings of American sporting leagues like Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.
Several reasons led to that reality, the first being that some of the top players, especially those playing in the upcoming Super Bowl, skip the festivities.
Second, those who attend the Pro Bowl take it easy during the game to prevent injuries.
Third, it’s not an attractive program for football fans, especially when you consider that only 6.7 million viewers tuned in during its latest edition.
Given that it was the lowest Pro Bowl audience since 2006, the league has announced some changes to its format.
I'm told the NFL is replacing the Pro Bowl with the "Pro Bowl Games" – a week of skills competitions for AFC-NFC players culminating with a flag football game at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 5. Peyton Manning's @OmahaProd will be involved. Peyton will also coach in the flag game.
— Rob Maaddi (@RobMaaddi) September 26, 2022
The Associated Press’ NFL lead writer Rob Maaddi shared, “I’m told the NFL is replacing the Pro Bowl with the “Pro Bowl Games” – a week of skills competitions for AFC-NFC players culminating with a flag football game at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 5. Peyton Manning‘s @OmahaProd will be involved. Peyton will also coach in the flag game.”
Will The Changes Work?
It remains to be seen if the revisions will raise the Pro Bowl’s stock.
However, having Manning involved does help, especially since his “Manningcast” with brother Eli is making waves.
Having the players compete in flag football is also a fantastic way to let them compete while minimizing the game’s physical nature.
The Pro Bowl was introduced in 1951 and was played in Los Angeles until 1971.
It moved to various cities from 1972 to 1979 before settling in Hawaii from 1980 to 2009.
After which, cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Miami have played host to the Pro Bowl.
The league also had an online Pro Bowl during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic wherein select NFL players competed in a game of Madden NFL.