On Monday it was announced by the NFL that it has a decision to replace its annual Pro Bowl exhibition match between All-Stars with a week-long skills competition and a flag football game commencing in Las Vegas the upcoming year.
The present event is being called “The Pro Bowl Games” and will replace the long-established tackle football game with competitions between the AFC and NFC reaching a climax in a 5th February game of flag football at the home of the Las Vegas Raiders.
In 2023, in Las Vegas “The Pro Bowl Games” would be launched declared the league. A new format that highlights flag football will be featuring the skills of the player pertaining to a celebration of the week-long event. The Pro Bowl players will conclude the week with a flag football game at Allegiant Stadium and on 5th February 2023, Sunday will air on ESPN and ABC.
Introducing the 2023 Pro Bowl Games presented by Verizon. 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2022
As per The Associated Press, NFL executive Peter O’Reilly said, “The Pro Bowl is something that we’ve been looking at for a while, really continuing to evolve. Coming out of last year’s game, we really made the decision based on a lot of internal conversations, getting feedback from GMs and coaches, getting a lot of feedback from players. We think there’s a real opportunity to do something wholly different here and move away from the traditional tackle football game. We decided the goal is to celebrate 88 of the biggest stars in the NFL in a really positive, fun, yet competitive way.”
“The feedback very directly from guys who had been in the Pro Bowl recently was to keep the construct of the week, make sure you’re having that multiday element. It was overwhelmingly positive both from players as well as from clubs.” The NFL will work with various partners to program “The Pro Bowl Games.” Throughout the week Peyton Manning and Omaha Productions will help shape the program. Additionally, he will be part of the coaching staff for the flag football game.
“You tap into all the stuff that feels great about Pro Bowl week, the skills, the helmets off, the engagement and then culminate that, keeping the AFC-NFC construct, in something that’s really important, which is flag football and that opportunity to have the best athletes in the NFL out there playing this game that is so much about the future of our sport,” O’Reilly said who is the executive vice president of the league, club business and league events. “It’s been an evolution, but coming out of Las Vegas last year, we really focused on how do we reinvent and celebrate our all-stars even better.” [H/T ESPN]
The votes of the fan would help to shape the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters. In January 1951, the Pro Bowl debuted in Los Angeles and for 21 seasons it was there. From1972 to 1980 the game moved to different cities prior to Hawaii hosting it from 1980 to 2009. Since then it has been played in numerous venues across the country.