The 2021 NFL Pro Bowl is going to look a lot different this time around.
The NFL somehow managed to get a complete season done, even with the country still dealing with the out of control COVID-19 pandemic. Super Bowl LV is set and will be a historic one because Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing host to the defending champs, Kansas City Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes, when they face off in Tampa, Florida, at Raymond James Stadium. This marks the first time in league history that a Super Bowl team will be playing in its own home stadium.
The Pro Bowl, which is usually the NFL’s equivalent to the NBA’s All-Star Game, just not as popular, was supposed to be played in Las Vegas at the Raider’s new stadium on January 31 but was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So, like every other major event that has taken place during the pandemic, the NFL has decided to go virtual with the Pro Bowl and teamed up with Madden NFL 21 to make it happen with the Pro Bowl 2021: The Madden NFL 21 Edition presented by Verizon.
Tuesday (Jan.26), EA announced exactly who would be participating in the virtual competition that viewers can catch on the NFL YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as EA Madden NFL Twitch channel. Broken up into their respective conferences, the AFC led by Deshaun Watson will also feature Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, Snoop Dogg, and retired NFL receiver now analyst Keyshawn Johnson.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will lead the NFC’s virtual team comprised of retired rusher Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams and NASCAR superstar Bubba Wallace.
When viewers tune in on January 31, at 5 pm EST, they will see the star-studded teams take control of the NFL’s 2021 Pro Bowl teams in the virtual world of Madden NFL 21 from the safety of their homes. According to the press release, a new competitor will be tapping in to play each quarter. An event of this magnitude can’t go down without hosts, right? That’s why Charissa Thompson will join NFL Hall of Famer, Emmy winner, and NFL on Fox analyst Michael Strahan to handle hosting duties.
That’s not the only big news either, for those who have not purchased Madden NFL 21, you will be able to play the game for free from Jan. 28-31 on all platforms, including Stadia, Google’s game streaming platform.
If this works exceptionally well, we definitely can see the NFL keeping this idea going forward. So who are you putting your money on? We are definitely riding with Snoop’s squad cause he’s a seasoned Madden player.
Photo: EA / Pro Bowl: The Madden NFL 21 Edition