Several readers have asked us via e-mail whether the NFL has ditched the Skills Competition typically held in conjunction with the Pro Bowl.
Frankly, we hadn’t noticed because we don’t pay much attention to the Pro Bowl.
Since some of you apparently pay some attention to the Pro Bowl, we had to look into it.
As it turns out, the Skills Competition was last held in 2007.  According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, a “[c]ombination of factors led us to discontinue, including logistics such as the field we conducted it on at the players’ hotel no longer exists.”  (Aiello explained that the hotel has taken the field back for other uses.)
The league last conducted a rookie flag football game on the beach in Hawaii in 1999.  That was the year Patriots running back Robert Andrews Edwards shredded his knee so badly that, at one point, amputation of his foot was a possibility.


  1. Thank you very much for finding this out. Appreciate all the hard work you put in. The skills competition was better than the game and now they took that away. Damn

  2. his name was Robert Edwards, not Andrews. When you screw up somebody’s name, you lose all journalistic credibility.

  3. Going off memory – wasn’t it Robert Edwards? Robert Andrews doesn’t sound right. Edwards was the RB from Ga who would come back and win Comeback Player of Year fro the Phins – correct me if I am wr-wr-wr-wrong.

  4. his name was Robert Edwards, not Andrews. When you screw up somebody’s name, you lose all journalistic credibility.
    Florio is not a journalist; he’s a blogger. Maybe he’s lost some bloggerlistic credibility.

  5. Wait. They had to cancel this entire televised event because some hotel shut down? Hawaii doesn’t have anything else within 20 miles that could have replaced the old place?
    Uh…time to move the pro bowl permanently. Unless, of course, this whole hotel thing was an excuse to shut down a competition they had other reasons to discontinue.

  6. That Edwards injury was a killer.
    He had a great rookie season, he would have been the featured back through those early Super Bowls.
    No disrespect to Antwain Smith, but he wasn’t exactly a Pro Bowler during his Patriots run.

  7. Why is everyone so against teh Pro Bowl? What else are you going to do in a February Sunday afternoon? Watch College or Pro Basketball zzzzzz. I LOVE the Pro bowl. I don’t know why everyone always complains about it. You get to see your favorite players, playing your favorite game in a more laid back setting. When you watch your team play on Sundays you usually get all worked up, and are crushed if they lose. This is a more relaxed environment to see the players. It’s like going to a concert, there is no win or lose, just a few hours of good entertainment.

  8. Edwards could have been a great one. Remember, he started out as a CB at Georgia. Great, great athlete before the injury.

  9. “misterj says:
    February 8th, 2009 at 12:40 pm
    Who the hell cares? He’s so terrible he hosed up his career playing flag football.”
    Umm, point of order there, asshole….he WASN’T terrible. He actually was a very talented back with a bright future….you know, until the little incident mentioned above where, because of the decision to have rookies play football on sand, he blew out his knee so badly his LEG (not just his foot) almost had to be removed below the knee.
    A devastating injury that takes 3 years to come back from will tend to diminish the skills of most players.

  10. Agree with those piling on the idiota who tried to demean Edwards, but only ended up making himself look worse.

  11. pro bowl events:
    1.touchdown dances – t.o., ocho, portis
    2.cheerleader mud wrestling
    3.cheerleader jello wrestling
    5.who can run the fastest 40 time on HGH
    6.mascot royal rumble

  12. Skills competition was one of the only fun parts of the Pro-bowl. The actual game is kinda boaring and pointless. At least with skills competitions it gives players bragging rights and you get to see players outside their helmets, which is good for P.R. for the NFL.
    The only problem with the skills competition was they would only get a few upper level guys to do it and some of the events are somewhat dated.
    Personally I would rather see the guys on the Pro Bowl roster participate in skills competitions than see the actual game. If they did this it would give players a little incentive to go and participate without fearing injury.

  13. … Some of us really enjoyed the game. If you lived in Hawaii, like I do, and it was the ONLY game, it doesn’t matter who plays or that they do it at 80%. The game is just one of a dozen events that are all now cancelled. Total Bummer for us islanders.
    No, it’s not the Super Bowl, but It’s a great week, with great events and then they play a game that 50,000 fans have gone to every year
    (except the strike year)
    I’ve been to every one – first 10 as a fan, and the last 20 I’ve worked the events during the week and always work the game.
    FYI: The “football field” that used to do the Skills Competition was a vacant lot between two hotels that was sold and now is being constructed as a modified Disney Resort – they will bring tourists in by the Disney Ocean Liners and they will stay at the resort, many using the time share route.
    As for why they came… the players love it at the Ihilani resort and coming to Hawaii with their families. Even the players that have come for years, like Peyton Manning all hope they come back.
    So do I.
    JS in Hawaii —

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