Sports

The NFL Pro Bowl will be hosted in Madden this season


The Verge’s resident Ravens fan, Taylor Lyles, forced me to use this screenshotLast month, the National Football League announced it would cancel the 2021 Pro Bowl game — news that went largely unnoticed, since very few football fans care about it.


But today, first reported by CNBC , the NFL announced it will resurrect the Pro Bowl as a weeklong digital event with players competing in EA’s Madden NFL 21 instead.


Still, it’s a fun, inevitable solution to what has often been the NFL’s least necessary tradition.


Naturally, the NFL fills that empty space with their equivalent of an all-star game, though football being a sport with high injury rates, players tend to compete in the Pro Bowl at half speed and soft contact out of respect to each other.


(After all, the results of the game are essentially meaningless, unless you believe that an AFC / NFC rivalry is real.)


The result is often a kind of odd, low-stakes celebration that draws an audience smaller than your average Thursday night game — though hearing Ryan Tannehill fanboy out to fellow QB Deshaun Watson might make the whole thing worth it.






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