Deion Sanders, Deshaun Watson Among Big Names Taking Part In NFL's Virtual Pro Bowl Festivities

Illustration for article titled Deion Sanders, Deshaun Watson Among Big Names Taking Part In NFL's Virtual Pro Bowl Festivities
Photo: Carmen Mandato (Getty Images)

As the world waits with bated breath for Patrick Mahomes to erase Tom Brady from the face of the planet, the NFL has blessed us all with a few more details pertaining to its forthcoming Pro Bowl festivities.

Much like almost everything else outside of Houston or Atlanta—the two cities who’ve spent months dueling for the mantle of COVID Capitol of the World—the Pro Bowl is going virtual this year. We previously reported that the league will be joining forces with the competitive entertainment series Verzuz to bless fans with four consecutive nights of battles featuring career highlights, and now comes the news of who will be participating.

According to NFL.com, the NFL Pro Bowl Verzuz will be hosted by Deion Sanders and the NFL Network’s MJ Acosta-Ruiz, with stars Deshaun Watson, Jamal Adams, Budda Baker, DeAndre Hopkins, Jalen Ramsey, Cameron Jordan, Myles Garrett and more scheduled to partake in the nightly festivities.

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“The NFL Pro Bowl Verzuz line-up has some serious star power,” Verzuz’s official Instagram account boasted.

“These guys are icons just like the artists,” Timbaland said in a statement. “Let’s give them their flowers. Verzuz partnering with the NFL made sense for us with culture, sports and music being so aligned.”

And with no physical Pro Bowl game being played this year due to COVID-19 concerns, the actual Pro Bowl itself will also look dramatically different, albeit a bit familiar. That’s because instead of hitting the field, players will be hitting their controllers.

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From ESPN:

Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Jamal Adams and Derrick Henry will be among the real-life participants controlling the AFC and NFC in the virtual Pro Bowl using Madden NFL 21 on Sunday.

Watson, Henry, Snoop Dogg and Keyshawn Johnson will represent the AFC. Murray, Adams, Bubba Wallace and Marshawn Lynch will represent the NFC.

Each player will play for one five-minute quarter — exact head-to-head matchups have not been determined — while playing from his home using the official AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters.

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“We’ll be taking the Pro Bowl to the virtual world of Madden this weekend and I can’t wait to do it big with football fans in my favorite game,” Snoop said in a statement. “I’m a Madden NFL star. So Kyler and Marshawn better watch out, my team is comin’ in to win that championship title for the AFC.”

Well, alrighty then.

Popular streamers Ninja, FaZe Swagg, AustinShow and AMP will also host watch parties on their streaming channels for the Madden Pro Bowl game.

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For those interested, ESPN and ABC will air a Pro Bowl celebration that includes interviews with players and highlights from the NFL Pro Bowl Verzuz on Sunday at 3 p.m. EST. Afterward, you can catch the game itself on the EA Madden NFL Twitch channel or the NFL’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages at 5 p.m. EST. But if you’d rather watch on television, you are more than welcome to do so at 8 p.m. EST on the NFL Network.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

Neon Deion has been giving himself his flowers since he could walk. He’s probably the best shutdown corner in the history of the game but sadly, he’s also a shit human being with an ego bigger than all of the football fields he’s ever covered.