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Pro Bowl Skills Showdown set for Thursday, should be good fun

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Unlike the Pro Bowl itself

The 2018 Pro Bowl Skills Showdown will air on Thursday evening, and it will surely be better than the Pro Bowl itself. The league has struggled to get people interested in the Pro Bowl, an exhibition game that’s doomed to fail because nobody actually wants players to go full-speed, because nobody wants injury. And half-hearted football isn’t particularly fun the watch.

A few years back, they did a skills challenge at the Pro Bowl. I don’t remember a ton of it, I just remember watching Ed Reed throw footballs through tire swings for some reason. Either way, they brought it back in the form of the Skills Showdown a year ago, and it should be an entertaining watch.

The events include dodgeball between the two teams, and my personal favorite: the drone drop. A football is dropped from progressively higher and higher heights straight down, and players have to try and catch it. The angle and wind are such that it’s way more difficult than it sounds.

There will also be a relay race, including two players having to do a 40-yard dash with a deployed parachut. There will be a kicking challenge that involves hitting marked targets inside the uprights, competitions for best hands that include different kinds of catches by rule — diving, one-handed, etc — an finally, a precision passing competition.

The whole thing gets underway on ESPN at 6 p.m. PT. Below is all you need to know to watch it on Thursday.

Time, TV, and streaming info

  • Time: 6 p.m. PT
  • Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
  • TV: ESPN

Streaming: WatchESPN