The Pro Bowl Featured A Contest Using Drones That’s As Fascinating As It Is Bizarre

It's called the ‘Drone Drop’, just have to see it

Few all-star events get less respect for than the NFL’s Pro Bowl. The high-impact nature of the game doesn’t lend itself well to games without consequence (see also: every single pre-season game). The players don’t take it seriously, and for a long time, it took place the week after the Super Bowl, when everyone had already suffered football hype overload.

But the league wised up a little in recent years, sticking the game in the off-week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl. Further, it realized that given the poor quality of play, the focus couldn’t just be the game itself, so they started experimenting with some pretty out-there gimmicks to get people to tune in or, at the very least, care.

NFL dodgeball, anyone?


It might not be traditional, but the Pro Bowl has traditionally been a drag, so the deviation is welcome and virtually all upside.

But the biggest, weirdest addition to the slate of Pro Bowl activities was certainly the “Drone Drop.” Some of the best receivers in the game competed by catching balls dropped by drones at progressively higher altitudes.

If it sounds crazy enough to work…it did. Sort of.

The moment of impact is exciting, as it tests the last-second reflexes of the game’s best and brightest, such as Odell Beckham and Patrick Peterson.

But the scale of distance from the drones to the ground requires the camera to pan back so far that the receiver’s a dot and the balls basically invisible.

Case in point:


Still, this is a weird, fun exercise that’s certainly worth improving upon. If they can figure out to make the entire user experience as fun as the last two-tenths of a second, we might, maybe, consider tuning into a Pro Bowl event.


Julian Meehan

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