The third edition of the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown will be aired on Thursday night, but we look at what events could be added to make it better.
On Thursday night, the broadcast of the NFL’s third-annual Pro Bowl Skills Showdown will take place. The event was instituted at the 2017 Pro Bowl in the interest of adding another element to the league’s All-Star showcase beyond just the much-maligned game itself. And, in the two years that it’s been in session, the results have been fun.
What’s more, the NFL has also proven that the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown can evolve. For the 2019 edition, there will be some new events and wrinkles taking shape. For starters, there is the 40-yard splash, an event where players will fill a water tank and then hit a target with a football to dunk an opposing player. This should be a pleasure for fans to watch.
On top of that, we’ll also get to see two new things added to familiar events. In the Best Hands competition, quarterbacks and wide receivers will have to complete both specific throws to areas and specific types of catches to complete the challenge. Moreover, in the Precision Passing event, there will be non-quarterbacks entering the fray for some good entertainment value.
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Having said that, the NFL shouldn’t stop there and should pour more life into the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown moving forward. With that in mind, let’s look at four events that the NFL should look to add moving forward to the All-Star event.
4. Football Pong
Most people are familiar with the idea of beer pong, where you set up 6-10 cups filled with a liquid and you try to toss ping pong balls the length of a table into the cups, removing each made cup until one team has hit them all. Moreover, some establishments have a super-sized version of this game played with large trash cans and volleyballs.
What about trying this with footballs? Sure, you could have something out there that is a bit nicer than large trash cans, but it would be highly entertaining and a test of accuracy to see players try and eliminate all the targets. Moreover, there’s a competitive element already built in, making this a fun inclusion to the festivities of the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown.
3. Deep Passing
The Precision Passing challenge that we see in the current Pro Bowl Skills Showdown undoubtedly has an element that measures accuracy on longer throws. However, why not get the wide receivers/tight ends involved in this a little bit more while also testing the arm strength of quarterbacks?
Everyone loves the deep ball, so why not find a way to see which quarterbacks are the most accurate throwing way down field and completing said throws. This would be interesting given the lack of familiarity between a lot of the players on the Pro Bowl roster, but seeing deep throws down the field and who is just purely best at that would be good television.
2. Capture the Flag
There’s no doubt that the most popular event in the current Pro Bowl Skills Showdown is dodgeball. Put simply, it’s a great deal of fun to see high-level athletes playing a schoolyard game such as that and how they handle themselves. Thus, why wouldn’t the NFL look to add more challenges of that ilk with something like Capture The Flag.
It would be wildly entertaining to see these massive athletes put their speed and quickness on display to try and not get tagged and to use a course of sorts to maneuver their way to and from their bases with flags. Perhaps there are other schoolyard games that would also make sense, but for my money, this would be the most entertaining and, of course, the one where you’re least likely to get hurt in the process.
Whether it’s with catches, kicks or throws, there needs to be a trick shot element added to the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown. These are the best football players in the world and they are able to do things that not many others can. Let them put that on display by challenging their peers to try and do some of those same things.
Again, it doesn’t matter what facet of the game that the NFL would implement H-O-R-S-E, I guarantee that it would be a hit. Whether it’d be no look passes or catches or off-footed kicks or anything else you think of, this would be a hit and, honestly, it’s a shame the league hasn’t recognized this already and made it a part of the proceedings.