NFL to Completely Overhaul Pro Bowl, Gives Event a New Name

by Suzanne Halliburton
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NFL’s annual Pro Bowl is junking its single-game concept. Instead, the players who earn an invitation will participate in a week of events.

This is all according to the Associated Press, which reported the changes Monday morning. The AP says players will compete in a week-long series of skills that culminates in a flag football game. So, in other words, drop the pads and grab a stopwatch.

“The Pro Bowl is something that we’ve been looking at for a while, (is) really continuing to evolve,” NFL executive Peter O’Reilly told the AP. “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.”

Peyton Manning Will Coach and Plan Events

The traditional Pro Bowl is well established. It’s been around since 1951. The NFL even will tweak the name of the Pro Bowl. The new event will be The Pro Bowl Games. It gives the event an Olympic feel, although players will show off their football skills. Maybe there will be 40-yard dashes and the bench press.

And players who qualify will get a nice venue. The Pro Bowl Games are set for Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The flag football game is set for Feb. 5. Then, the NFL world moves onto the Super Bowl. The biggest game of the year is Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Az. outside Phoenix.

The AP reports that former NFL great Peyton Manning and his production company will promote the event and create programming for it. Manning qualified for 14 Pro Bowls. He’ll also serve as a coach for the flag football game.