Russell Wilson gave Roger Goodell idea for NFL’s flag football Pro Bowl

The NFL “reimagined” the Pro Bowl this year and renamed it the “Pro Bowl Games” to include skills competitions and three flag football games instead of the traditional “tackle” game that had morphed into being a two-hand touch game.

The league got Peyton Manning (AFC) and Eli Manning (NFC) involved to make the games more entertaining — and it worked, as the Pro Bowl drew solid television ratings and players seemed to enjoy themselves.

Peyton and Eli can’t get all of the credit, though.

In fact, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell revealed during his state of the league address on Wednesday that it was Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson who originally pitched the idea of a flag football game.

“I think it was Russell Wilson who called me the Tuesday afterward and said, ‘Let’s play a flag game,’” Goodell said. “When I was there on Thursday, the players were wonderful. They loved it. They were embracing it. They thought this was a great forum.”

Goodell also said they have “a lot to build on,” and he doesn’t foresee the league going back to the old format for the all-star game.

“This is the future for us. Flag is such an important initiative for us with boys, girls, men and women,” Goodell said. “There’s just an opportunity here for us to grow our game globally with flag football.”

Wilson has been elected to nine Pro Bowls in his career, most recently in 2021. He’ll aim for a bounce-back season with the Broncos in 2023 to get his first-ever flag football invite to the 2024 Pro Bowl.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire