One Thing the NFL Did NOT Forget to Mention

While Honolulu welcomes the Pro Bowl back to Hawaii, the NFL is looking into other locations and bigger monetary gains.

Giant NFL Football

You know, while I was watching things unfold around here last week, I couldn’t help but focus my mind on how the media kept talking more and more about the Pro Bowl leaving Hawaii for another location.

Pro Bowl MascotsPro Bowl Mascots

The fascination and attraction is still very strong here. People here love to interact with these stars that they otherwise would never see, except on television. We’re isolated and can’t just travel across state lines to attend the next game. This is the only pro football game that Hawaii gets to experience live.

Pro Bowl CheerleadersPro Bowl Cheerleaders

What Will the NFL Lose?

Is it an idle threat or are they really going to pull this venue out from under us? I heard a comment on one of the news channels that people loved it because it gave them the chance to visit Hawaii and enjoy the game.

For both the participants and the fans, I can’t help but think that pulling out of Hawaii may change the face of this happy and fun event to one of mere obligation for all involved and a little bit of extra spending money.  That’s if you can get them to go at all.

There was also talk about having the Pro Bowl on the weekend before the Superbowl. My knee-jerk reaction to that idea was an instantaneous one: “Are you nuts?!?”

Can you imagine the pandemonium in a city expected to host these two large media events back to back? The stress of back-to-back events like that would be huge! Where would people stay? Would there be enough hotel room space to support such a venture? Of course, on the flip side of that, would there be enough people who even show up to fill those rooms?

Another comment flying around was that players in the Superbowl are not going to play in the Pro Bowl for fear of injury. Good point.

What Will We Lose?

Football MascotsLet’s think about this. While we do pay out a handsome amount of cash to host this event, we receive a lot in return. NFL Charities does a lot of charitable giving in conjunction with the Pro Bowl. They give handsomely every year to youth-related programs and/or projects — to the tune of roughly $100,000.

This year, NFL Charities gave $1 million to assist with the construction of a new youth center in Nanakuli.  Whoa!  Thank you for the generous gift!  That is a much needed and much appreciated donation!  Or, was that guilt money?

Somehow, the Pro Bowl seems to be losing its charitable nature. Some other comment flying around stated that the NFL is looking to capitalize more than they do, i.e. “the bottom line is the bottom line.” I understand that, but I have an ugly feeling that the NFL may actually end up losing revenue. How do you entice players and their families to give up a large chunk of their time to go to one of the other states in the middle of winter?  Why would they want to make that trip to a place they may visit often already anyway?

ProBowl MascotsThey’ve been talking about Florida a lot. Florida is a great place but if you think Honolulu’s humidity is bad, wait until you try Florida’s!

Of course I have no idea what it’s like to endure a Florida winter. It may be that the heat and humidity are more tolerable in the winter time. Of course there’s always Disney World.

I don’t think you’ll find too many big red Cardinals dancing the hula in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter. Even the mascots were enjoying themselves.

If this was an idle threat on the NFL’s part, I think everyone heard it loud and clear! Not only was the Pro Bowl one of the hot topics all week long, it was a focus of several businesses and it attracted more media attention than usual. At least it felt that way.

PBTent

Even to get most of these pictures I had to creep behind the sound people and buck the media cameras to get closer. I’m sure I ticked some people off but so be it.

The way it stands now, I have one more year to try to get better pictures but that may be the end of it. The Pro Bowl is scheduled to be held in Hawaii in 2009 but it is unclear where it will go after that.

Pro Bowl Cheerleaders

Just before posting this I saw that a site posted some commentary written by someone who attended the game! “Alright,” I thought, “now I can get some real scoops!” Well, since everything I had heard from locals and on the news was positive and people were having fun, and since everyone seemed happy, either to be here or to have the NFL stars here, I couldn’t help but think that maybe this guy should have stayed home and rested.

I fully understand his feelings and I respect them. But, if that is how people are going to respond to the Pro Bowl in other places on the mainland, I would be even more concerned about this idea of changing the venue for this event! Maybe he was bored with us and our refusal to turn Kalakaua Avenue into a college frat party. I just think that we recognize these visitors as professionals who have come to share their time and talent with us, and we treat them as such.

My feeling is that people should urge the NFL to keep the Pro Bowl here — to give us, and to give themselves, their staff and the players something to cheer about! We love you guys and we like it when you come down the hang out with us for a while! You guys worked hard all season and we want you to have just a little down time to recover!  “Before you roll those dice, Baby think twice!”

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jason - GorillaSushi // Feb 13, 2008 at 2:12 am

    Really great pics! It’s always nice when elbowing and shoving pays off in the end 🙂 (it never pays off for me)

  • 2 Evelyn // Feb 13, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Thank you, Jason, I’m glad you like the photos. I was hoping for a few more, and better, shots, but I guess I should be grateful for what I got. The media is used to it, I’m sure… or they soon will be! 😉 Oh well, you liked them and that’s all that matters!

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