On Sunday, February 4th, the 52nd edition of the most popular event on the American sporting calendar will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
The questions if: How many more Super Bowls will we watch after that one?
Because concerns over CTE and other ailments suffered by football players paint a grim picture for the future of football. It's doubtful that the game will be played — at least in its current state — 52 more times.
As for what specific event will replace the Super Bowl? It could be a contest we haven’t even seen yet: a sport of the future, if you will. To that end, we’ve rounded up four up-and-coming competitions that could eventually fill the hole that football leaves behind. Because if one thing's for certain, it's that our collective desire to watch humans (or robots?) best each other with devastating feats of strength and athleticism will never go away.
At almost 15 feet tall, 18 feet wide and 8,000 pounds, the Prosthesis is the world’s first exo-bionic racing mech. In layma's words: it's a giant mechanical racig spider. Created by an innovation firm called Furrion from aerospace-grade steel, the Prosthesis exoskeleton is operated by a human, and will eventually be able to career about at speeds of up to 20 MPH. Once Furrion creates a second large-scale mech to compete against the Prosthesis and secures pilots for both of ‘em, it plans to begin the X1 Mech Racing League.
Flying Car Racing
Set to take place in the deserts of Australia over the next few years, the F1-inspired Airspeeder World Championship will pit race-engineered quadcopters called Mark 1 Airspeeders against one another. Created by a startup called Alauda, the MK1s top out at 150 MPH and can reach a max altitude of 2.2 miles. We’ll definitely be tuning in when this series does get underway.
Already airing on ESPN and Sky Sports, the Drone Racing League offers contracts of up to $100,000 to qualified quadcopter pilots. Reaching speeds north of 90 MPH, the races take place in mazes that the pilots have the opportunity to test-fly ahead of time. Also, the DRL is always looking for new pilots. See if you can hack it here.
Giant Robot Boxing
Earlier this year, America’s MegaBots Inc. and Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries squared off in what was basically a supersized bout of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Using a 16-foot-tall bot and 12-foot-tall droid as combatants, the two teams duked it out in an abandoned steel mill in Japan over the course of several days. The bot battle was popular on the web, and was likely the first of many more to come.