The NFL announced yesterday (although I’m writing this the day that it was announced, that’s how you stay relevant) that it is going to hold a skills competition the weekend leading up to the Pro Bowl. FINALLY! It’s honestly egregious that it took the NFL this long to realize that this is what puts asses in the seats. Nobody in their right mind cares about the Pro Bowl. I’ve never once said, “oh hey man, can’t wait to watch a scrimmage of the best players in the NFL (excluding players from teams in the Super Bowl) not try to hurt each other for sixty minutes!”
As a matter of fact, nobody cares about any sport’s All-Star game. The only sport that made the game important was baseball, and even they finally realized their stupid home field advantage rule was stupid. All-Star games are typically so bad that they’re the worst part of All-Star game weekend. You know the saying: “come for the skills challenge, desperately try and scalp your tickets for the All-Star game.” If I could invent a channel that only ran All-Star Game skills challenges in a Nick Gas type of fashion, I would.* However, I don’t have the technology nor the resources.
Overall this was a great move by the NFL for two reasons.
- People always say the NFL is a copycat league. Well now, it literally is a copycat league. The NFL just copied an idea that other American sports leagues have done now for literally decades.
- The NFL included dodgeball in its skill competition.
That’s right, dodgeball. A game that has almost no applicable skill to football is the headliner of the weekend, and I love it. The game will be Pro Bowl style, AFC vs. NFC, and played with small nerf footballs. I imagine it will be standard regulation dodgeball rules, but the league hasn’t announced the regulations under which this game will be played.
But, assuming that it is played with standard rules, let’s hold the first ever NFL Dodgeball Fantasy Draft. Each team will feature the following: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB, P,K and FLEX. If you don’t understand those abbreviations, then stop reading this article right now…nerd. Anyway, let’s get to it.
QB: Ryan Tannehill – When he came out of Texas A&M, the experts were all clamoring that he had the intangibles to make him an elite dual threat QB. While he’s proved them all wrong, I think those same intangibles would translate very easily to the game of Dodgeball.
RB: Legarette Blount – Every team needs an enforcer, someone who if they snap is going to end up breaking somebody’s neck. Legarette Blount has been that guy his entire life.
WR: Antonio Brown – Dude is an electric factory, and has the hands guy that every good dodgeball team needs. He can make a play late in the game to cause a 2-1 switch with a catch.
TE: Gronk – Duh.
OL: Nick Mangold – A league favorite and a clubhouse guy. Plus his sister is an Olympic powerlifter, so that’s pretty cool.
DL: Vince Wilfork – Bill Belichek once said that Wilfork was the best athlete on the Pats. Sneaky quick for a big guy, he’ll be the guy everyone counts on to do a fun belly dance when he does something right.
LB: Von Miller – I don’t hate Von Miller, but after his Madden commercial I’ve really wanted someone to step up and break his glasses. This seems like the only opportunity anyone may ever get.
DB: Adam “Pacman” Jones – Scariest guy in the league. I guarantee he’ll be the last one in because everyone else is so afraid to throw at him.
K: Justin Tucker – Someone has to sing the National Anthem before the game.
P: Marquette King – King has taken the league by storm this year, and by that I mean he’s a punter that people actually pay attention to. Plus, I think he was a wideout at some point in his life. Maybe.
FLEX: Terrelle Pryor Sr. – The ultimate athlete. Former Ohio St. QB turned WR, he can make every play you need him to on the dodgeball court. Plus, I really wanted to get a Brown on the team.
QB: Russell Wilson – Same reason I picked Miller for the AFC, someone needs to drill this guy with a Nerf football.
RB: David Johnson – Best running back in football this year (yeah, I said it @EzekielElliot). He probably won’t win MVP because the Cards suck so bad, but he can at least be MVP of this game.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. – OBJ was made for flashy skills challenges. This is right up his alley.
TE: Jimmy Graham – Played basketball in college and honestly, I’m running out of ideas.
OL: Michael Oher – Capture the casual football fan by having the guy that “The Blind Side” was made after.
DL: Jason Pierre Paul – How funny would it be to see this guy try to catch a Nerf football?
LB: Clay Matthews – His performance in Pitch Perfect 2 really impressed me. This game needs showmen, he provides that “it” factor.
DB: Tyrann Mathieu – He’s a psycho competitor and brings back the “honey badger don’t care!” jokes that I know we all miss.
K: Roberto Aguayo – The Bucs used their second round pick on this kid, so he has to be good at something, right?
P: Johnny Hekker – Leads the league in punting average this year *backwards hat tip to Jeff Fisher* and almost pooped his pants on live TV when the Rams played the Seahawks. Let’s see if we can actually make him shit himself in this game.
FLEX: Colin Kaepernick – Probably the most versatile athlete on this team. He can run, kind of throw, and if nothing else has proven that he can take a knee this year. Could be useful for dodging high throws.
Referee: Sean Payton – If anyone knows anything about targeting players on purpose, it’s this guy.
Prediction: Colin Kaepernick and Roberto Aguayo are up 2-1 vs. Pacman Jones. Kaep throws, but is picked off by Jones who catches the ball. Terelle Pryor comes back in and drills Aguayo in the lower leg, giving the Browns their first and only victory of 2016. Victory, AFC!
All in all, I think this idea has potential for the NFL to win back some “cool” points. That is, until a scandalous debate ensues about whether the balls were under-nerfed.
*This is now a trademarked idea of Tommy Hollywood. Any attempt to recreate this idea will be punished with the full force of the law.