October 13, 2022

See the New NFL Pro Bowl Makeover


Goodbye, Pro Bowl. Hello, Pro Bowl Games.

The NFL announced this week they’re replacing their postseason all-star game with a week-long skills competition and a flag football game, featuring AFC and NFC players. This season’s event will be held in Las Vegas, culminating with the flag football game on Feb. 5—a week before the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

"We think there's a real opportunity to do something wholly different here and move away from the traditional tackle football game,” NFL executive Peter O’Reilly said in an interview with the Associated Press. "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 is set to coach the flag football game, while giving his perspective on activities, and his Omaha Productions company will help shape programming and promote the events.

Pro Bowl first debuted in 1951 and continued as a tackle football game since then, however, recent interest among fans and players has seemingly waned. In fact, last year’s Pro Bowl saw its lowest ratings since 2006 with 6.7 million viewers. 

"We've received invaluable feedback from players, teams and fans about reimagining the Pro Bowl, and as a result, we're thrilled to use The Pro Bowl Games as a platform to spotlight Flag football as an integral part of the sport's future while also introducing fun, new forms of competition and entertainment that will bring our players, their families and fans closer than ever before," said O'Reilly. 

The Pro Bowl move to flag football is just the latest in the NFL’s initiative to bring awareness around the non-contact sport. Last week, the NFL and International Federation of American Football announced a second team of Global Flag Football Ambassadors to support the game worldwide, including Jalen Hurts, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Eli Manning. They’ll join a team of notable ambassadors, including Russell Wilson, Cooper Kupp, Dak Prescott, and Katie Sowers. 

“I’m honored to be part of the Global Flag Football Ambassadors team,” said two-time Super Bowl Champion Eli Manning. “I think it’s important that football continues to provide an inclusive and exciting entry point, but what flag football is showing is that it’s also so much more than that. It’s a team sport that people can continue playing into adulthood at the elite level, and we have some incredibly talented athletes participating. The growth both here in the U.S. and worldwide is exceptional.”