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Pro Bowl No More: NFL To Replace Pro Bowl With ‘Pro Bowl Games,’ According To Report

After years of declining viewership and a general lack of interest from players, coaches and media, the NFL is reportedly doing away with the Pro Bowl after more than 71 years in existence.

In its place will be the “Pro Bowl Games” the Associated Press’ Rob Maaddi reported early Monday morning.

According to Maaddi, the Pro Bowl will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature AFC and NFC players showcasing their football and non-football skills in challenges over several days. The 2023 Games will be held in Las Vegas again, and the flag football game at Allegiant Stadium is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 5.

The league previously experimented with skills competitions, but is now reportedly turning to the skills competition full time after the Pro Bowl game was essentially a flag football game for the last decade or so with players going through the motions in a meaningless game.

“The Pro Bowl is something that we’ve been looking at for a while, really continuing to evolve,” NFL executive Peter O’Reilly told The Associated Press, via ESPN.com. “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 multi-day element. It was overwhelmingly positive both from players as well as from clubs.”

The NFL’s turn towards flag football for the Pro Bowl isn’t anything new, as the league has had a major interest in flag football. The league recently partnered with the International Federation of American Football to bring flag football to The World Games in July with an eye on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

While the format is reportedly changing from what fans, players and media members have been accustomed to for more than 71 years, fan voting will still help determine the AFC and NFC team rosters.

According to Maaddi, former NFL quarterback and Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions company will reportedly help shape programming and promote the event’s content throughout the week. Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowl pick during his Hall of Fame career, second-most all-time, will reportedly provide his perspective and will also be a part of the coaching staff for the flag game.

The NFL is expected to make a full announcement regarding the changes sometime Monday.

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