In the wake of a podcast episode from brothers Jason and Travis Kelce, the buzz surrounding a potential reboot of the Backyard Sports franchise has people buzzing. Both spoke fondly about playing the various iterations of the games when they were kids. Jason in particular seemed interested in trying to reboot the franchise with more of a technological update. If we were to include current athletes in these games, who would make the cut?
We’ll give you our ideas on this hypothetical exercise…
If this franchise is indeed purchased by a Kelce, it makes a whole lot of sense to see one of them in the game. With all due respect to Jason, it’d be a whole lot more fun playing with one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the NFL compared to a Pro Bowl center. Kelce would be a threat on every play to score a touchdown. Additionally, an updated version of the game could enable his gigantic personality to shine even more than it normally does. He’d be a perfect fit for this franchise.
Utilizing a guy that mashes home runs and steals tons of bases seems like a perfect fit. Acuna would CRUSH it as a Major Leaguer in a Backyard Baseball update. All of the tools — from speed and power to a cannon for an arm — are present here. When further factoring in the charisma Acuna brings to the table, you’re looking at an ideal addition to your team.
You can make a case that McDavid is the most dynamic young player in all of hockey. He’s not only fast and graceful with the puck, but he’s also clinical when scoring goals and assisting teammates. In a Backyard Hockey situation featuring NHL players, McDavid would likely be the top pick in all drafts. He’s this generation’s version of Sidney Crosby. In other words, he’ll be scoring boatloads of goals in this game.
A kid version of Josh Allen on Backyard Football would be a blast to play with. He’d launch the ball farther than anyone, he’d probably be the biggest kid on the field, and he’d be nearly as fast as your running back or wide receiver. Considering he’s a superstar in the NFL, having him represented in this iteration makes a ton of sense. He’ll light it up on all of the fields made available in the game.
Embiid is as skilled as anyone in the NBA despite being a 7-footer. Imagine a young version of Embiid where he’s launching threes, dunking everything in sight, and blocking shots for fun. This is what you’d get in Backyard Basketball. For as much of a nightmare matchup as Embiid is in real life, he’ll be equally lethal on the hardwood during these fun games. Even better, you’d get to avoid all of the injuries plaguing Embiid in real life.
As it pertains to Backyard Soccer, any professional player in the game will have to come with some flair. Possessing fancy footwork would be ideal, as would having a unique look or hairstyle. Brazilian legend Neymar checks all of these boxes. He’s a ton of fun to watch in real life, and being able to play with a little version of Neymar certainly will be just as satisfying. Get ready to score plenty of goals!
Imagine playing with a more mobile version of Embiid, and you’ll get Giannis. The Greek Freak would be unbelievable in a Backyard Basketball format. You wouldn’t be able to dribble past him, considering a young Antetokounmpo would steal the ball from less coordinated players. If you did get in the paint, he’d protect the rim like a prime Bill Russell. Offensively, good luck trying to slow him down in transition.
The real-life version of Pablo Sanchez — the face of the Backyard Baseball game — is none other than Mookie Betts. You’ve all grown up with someone who’s naturally good at everything they do. As life will imitate art, the digital version of a young Betts would be the best baseball player on the diamond. You can play him anywhere, and he’d hit for both power and average. Plus, he brings some real swag to the table.
Arguably the most dominant athlete of any sport over the last century, you can’t have a game featuring soccer without the appearance of Lionel Messi. You’d see a small, quick, whirling dervish of an athlete dominating the pitch with an array of moves, fakes, and goal-scoring chances. From a soccer standpoint, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option.
Mahomes is the PERFECT Backyard Football player. He’s the guy who will sling the rock all over the field, especially when it comes to throwing bombs downfield for huge chunk plays. There might not be a ‘cooler’ athlete than Mahomes, and it would be relatively shocking if the digital version of Mahomes as a little athlete wasn’t featured prominently on the front cover of this reboot.