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Five Events Needed in the 2018 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown

By Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography (14548-Bubble Soccer-9043.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Can someone remind me why the NFL ever got rid of the skills competition at the Pro Bowl? For several years, if you wanted to satisfy your football fix on the off-week between the Conference Championships and Super Bowl, we actually had to watch the game that went on at the Pro Bowl. Personally, I loved the quarterback challenge and even somewhat enjoyed watching Larry Allen make 225 lbs look far too light.

Finally, the NFL did the right thing and brought back the competition in 2017, dubbing it the Skills Showdown. Philip Rivers put on a show in the accuracy contest, while Odell Beckham enraged Giants fans even more by winning the drone-drop challenge, proving he can catch. Of course, the real star of the show was dodgeball.

I think I speak for many when I say hopefully the skills showdown is here to stay. But the NFL shouldn’t just stop here. The 2018 edition would be even better with a few choice additions! Here are the five events I want to see, and my take on who would win.

If you’ve got a different take on who would dominate these events, let me know in the comments. Seriously. I will debate this.

1. Pugil Stick Sparring

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Remember American Gladiators? Remember when they fought using those sticks with the pads on each end? Ya, well apparently they’re called Pugil Sticks. Moving beyond the name, I want a single-elimination knockout style tournament. Put them on small platforms 20 feet above the ocean and let them go at it.

If you want to get really entertaining, make it a royal rumble and have them all trying to take each others heads off at once. You know what, if the whole day turned into American Gladiators I wouldn’t be upset. Sorry, what was that about player safety?

Who would win: Give me J.J. Watt over Bobby Wagner in the finals.

2. Three-Legged Race Relay

Hang-on one second. I have stipulations. Each pairing has to weigh at least 450 lbs. Try to tell me you wouldn’t be amused watching Ndamukong Suh drag T.Y. Hilton 25 yards.

Who would win: It would have to be two guys who are on the same page. So not Brock Osweiler and DeAndre Hopkins. I’ll go with the Titans’ massive, ball-sharing backfield duo of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray.

3. Bubble Soccer

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here. To be honest, I don’t really care to keep score or even have a soccer ball for that matter, just let me watch the collision between Gerald McCoy and Taylor Lewan over and over again.

Who would win: The Dallas offensive line.

4. Full-Equipment Capture the Flag

Need I say anymore? Just imagine Johnny Hekker sneaking behind enemy lines to steal the flag – because no one took the punter seriously – only for Brian Orakpo to come out of nowhere and light him up to return the flag to the AFC base.

Who would win: Tyreek Hill, because geezus, you try catching that guy. 

5. Watch Your Step

Apparently that’s the “technical” name of what I’m trying to describe. But I’d rather use the Mario Kart Balloon Battle to describe it. Each player – again in full equipment – gets three balloons tied around his waste. The last man standing wins it for his respective conference. Different ways to pop the balloons include: a forceful tackle, your cleat, footballs that will be spread around the course, and just about any other way you can think of.

Who would win: The evasive and accurate Russell Wilson.

Tags : Pro BowlSkills Showdown
Tyler "Ty" Worer

The author Tyler "Ty" Worer