The NFL is willing to do anything during the Pro Bowl to help ratings. Seriously, anything. After three seasons of a “draft” Pro Bowl, the league is reverting back to the standard AFC vs NFC format. Former Steelers RB Jerome Bettis and Ravens LB Ray Lewis will lead the AFC teams. TE Tony Gonzalez and DB Charles Woodson will lead the NFC teams in a slap to the Chiefs and Raiders, where Gonzalez and Woodson spent 12 and 11 seasons, respectively.
Per a recent press release, the NFL has added a “Pro Bowl Skills Showdown” on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN. The aim? “Pitting AFC and NFC All-Stars against each other in unique competitions,” in a show produced by the same folks that brought you American Ninja Warrior and Hell’s Kitchen.
Teams will consist of a mix of every position group and the competitions include:
- Power Relay Challenge: Four team members will compete in a timed relay race.
- Precision Passing: Two players on each team will battle it out, trying to hit moving targets of varying size and distance.
Best Hands: Quarterback and wide receiver duos from each team will show off their skills, connecting on as many pass attempts as possible before time runs out.
- Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball: Pro Bowlers will compete in a game of dodgeball.
That’s right- the NFL has brought Dodgeball to the Pro Bowl. What could possibly go wrong?
In all honesty, the relay race and dodgeball game have a chance to offer some viral content, especially if the race includes: 1) the fastest players; 2) the largest players.
But you know what would really make the Pro Bowl awesome?
How about letting the producers of Hell’s Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior run shows where football players compete on Hell’s Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior? I’d watch that in a heartbeat.
Fan voting for the Pro Bowl ends on Tuesday, December 13th so make sure to get in your votes here. Players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 16th, and the final teams will be announced on Tuesday, December 20th.