Super Bowl LVIII is the main event in Las Vegas this weekend but there are plenty of things happening adjacent to the Big Game as the day draws near. One of those things, apparently, is a ping-pong tournament hosted by Proctor & Gamble featuring NFL players. Last year's inaugural tournament was won by Trent Taylor, at the time the Cincinnati Bengals' punt returner and now a member of the Chicago Bears. This year brought Taylor back to defend his title against peers such as Trevor Lawrence, Saquon Barkley, Jamaal Williams, and Will Levis.
We got some video of this year's event and it turns out that there is no skill requirement to be part of this. This is clear within 10 seconds of the below video, match between Levis and Lawrence. The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback is just there to have a good time. Levis... Levis is there to win.
The gusto he hit that spike with says it all. This is a man who has sunk many, many, many hours into ping-pong over the years. The muscle memory and quick-twitch reflexes are all there. He's even got a towel hanging from the back for sweaty hands. A pro's pro.
This is a great idea and should be replicated at the Pro Bowl and any other NFL events where it's appropriate. We all want to see NFL players do things off the field that demonstrate their insane combination of athletic traits. But most of those things contain too much risk of injury. As fun as it is to see Myles Garrett dunking all over everybody it's very rare we get to see it because all that jumping up and down can come with a price.
But ping-pong? Very little risk of injury, extremely high competitiveness level, and it shows off the incomprehensible hand-eye coordination required to be a professional athlete. The best of all worlds. More ping-pong for everybody!