Time to scrap the Pro Bowl?

It’s time to take the Pro Bowl back to the drawing board


Kirk Cousins is “tackled” by several defenders in the 2022 Pro Bowl

Caden Plummer, Editorial Staff

It’s time for a change. 

Always held the Sunday before the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl is supposed to be a showcase of some of the most talented NFL players in the league. All but two teams have wrapped up playing for the year. 

However in recent years the Pro Bowl has turned from a showcase of talent to a game that is less physical and less competitive than a game of backyard football after Thanksgiving dinner. The reasoning behind this is the fact that no players want to get hurt in playing an essentially meaningless game. The games are almost unbearable to watch as a fan of football, and many fans are calling for change.

One of the options the NFL has is to make it a game of flag football so that contact is limited and injuries will be highly unlikely. While flag football wouldn’t allow the defense to display tackling skills, they aren’t showing their ability to tackle with the format that is in place now. A game of flag football could end up being something really fun to watch as there would likely be creative trick plays involved. To help incentivize the players to play to win, each team would have a charity that they are playing for. The charity of the team that wins will receive two million dollars while the losing team’s charity would only receive one million dollars. This would be a great way to help out the community, while making the Pro Bowl also more fun to watch. 

Many fans have ideas to improve the Pro Bowl but one of the more unlikely yet intriguing options is, instead of a game full of super stars, it’s the two worst teams in the NFL. This game between the two worst teams would be played for the number one pick in the draft, which is a pretty big deal for teams who are making an attempt to rebuild. This idea is very unlikely because the NFL players and owners would be against adding another game three weeks after the end of the regular season for two non playoff teams. 

And, circling back to the risk of injury, many of the top players on each team would not play because of the fear of getting injured in a game that affects them very little. While this would definitely be a fun option that the fans would like, this option is almost completely out of the picture and would likely be impossible to integrate into the season. 

The most likely option out of the three (other than events staying as they are) is the idea of taking away the game and expanding upon the skills competitions that are already being played. This year there were five skills events; Precision Passing, Fastest Man, Thread the Needle, Best Catch, and Elite Pro Bowl Dodgeball. These games and contests are fun to watch and could very well be expanded. Additions such as a 1vs1 between the top wide receivers and cornerbacks would be very entertaining, given the fact that most of the matchups would be between guys that had been trash talking each other all year. 

Regardless of what the NFL chooses to do with the Pro Bowl, they need to make some tweaks to it. Fans are getting tired of watching players play patty cake in the Pro Bowl and are begging for some competitiveness in the game. Whether it be changing to a flag football game, expanding upon the current skills challenges, or even changing it from the super stars to the two worst teams, it’s time for a change to the Pro Bowl.