NFL Pro Bowl
AFC wide receiver Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills competes in the Best Catch football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

2023 Pro Bowl Mania: Hit Sticks, Group Pics and More

The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl festivities came to a close Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada. This season’s elite players gathered to take part in a very new format.

Quite different from previous years’ traditions of an actual padded football game, the NFL introduced a revamped format. The league put together a variety of skills events, including a 7-on-7 flag football game coached by retired quarterback brothers, Eli and Peyton Manning.

The change serves as an alternative to keep players safer while continuing to honor their outstanding performances on the playing field. This year offers a new experience for not only the players but the fans attending and watching at home.

From Jalen Ramsey lighting up Tyreek Hill to Swae Lee’s on-field concert, this year had many viral moments.

Skills Competitions

This year, challenges were presented to the pro-bowlers in the form of mini-games.

First, they held a full-field relay race between six AFC players and six NFC players called the “Gridiron Gauntlet,” Next, an offensive and defensive lineman strength and speed competition named “Move the Chains”.

Fans were even brought into the mix with two fan-selected winners from Thursday’s Skills competition competing for the title of “Best Catch.”

On Thursday, the players played in perhaps the most exciting event, a dodgeball game. The former gym class game sparked buzz from around the league when New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley, showed off his inner ninja skills.

Competing with a Smile

Even with the skills events being fun and games, the players showed off their NFL athleticism. Fans saw flashes of precision throws and difficult catches, all while having fun. Buffalo Bills receiver Stefon Diggs made a perfect snag for a touchdown and then treated his team to a paparazzi photoshoot in the endzone.

Some players even forgot pads weren’t involved. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey accidentally leveled Miami Dolphins receiver, Tyreek Hill, following a lateral pass from Hill’s AFC teammate, and Raiders star receiver, Davante Adams.

Fan Love & More

The 2023 Pro Bowl also brought the fan experience to the forefront.

It showcased the love players have for their supporters. Some of the experiences included fan interviews and pictures with players.

The event wasn’t limited to just the average fan. Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Pete Davidson and more showed up and showed love as they enjoyed the festivities.

It’s all a part of the NFL’s initiative to produce a product that’s suitable for the fans and the players

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