Troy Aikman Claims He Invented The Modern NFL Pro Bowl Format 30 Years Ago

Troy Aikman claims he invented NFL Pro Bowl

Getty Image / Kevin Sabitus

The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl marks the first year of a completely new format. It is moving from a typical tackle football game to a series of skills competitions and a flag football game.

NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman believes he deserves credit for inventing the modern NFL Pro Bowl format 30 years ago.

The Pro Bowl has never been popular with the players. When it was held annually in Hawaii some players looked forward to a vacation in Hawaii but would also complain about how expensive it was to bring a large family on vacation to Hawaii, and rightfully so, it is.

Troy Aikman Claims He Invented Modern Pro Bowl Format

In a recent article in the Dallas Morning News, Troy Aikman shared a story about the 1993 NFL Pro Bowl. Aikman left the game and stadium early and was photographed leaving which blew up and he had to meet with the NFL commissioner to explain himself.

It was at that meeting that Troy claims he pitched the modern iteration of the NFL’s Pro Bowl.

Troy Aikman on the Pro Bowl: “In 93 at the Pro Bowl, I left early, I left in the third quarter. And I got a picture of me leaving the stadium and it did not go over real well on Park Avenue in New York. And I got summoned to New York to talk with Mr. Paul Tagliabue.”

“I was telling him, I said Commissioner with all due respect, nobody wants to play in this football game. I said they want to go to Hawaii for a week, but no one wants to play in the Pro Bowl.”

“I said here’s what I suggest… I said How about we just do like Battle of the Network Stars, only we make a made-for-television type of event and he was not happy about that suggestion either. And it took what 30 years or however long it’s taken to get to this point, but I kind of take credit for that, quite honestly.”

“Now, will it be any good? I don’t know, but it’s got to be better than what the game was. But with that being said, the ratings on the Pro Bowl, I don’t watch it, but apparently the ratings on the Pro Bowl lead that time slot every year, which is incredible.”

It is pretty remarkable when one of the NFL’s lead analysts, Troy Aikman, admits he doesn’t even watch the Pro Bowl. I see that as the ultimate indictment of how irrelevant the Pro Bowl is.

For those who didn’t catch any of the early Pro Bowl skills competition action, here are some Instagram clips that might pique your interest.

Best Of NFL Pro Bowl Skills Competitions

A long drive competition!

‘Best Catch’ competition in Las Vegas:

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Cass Anderson avatar
Cass Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of BroBible. He covers an array of topics including NFL, Pop Culture, Fishing News, and the Outdoors.