Several NFL Players Voice Support For Hawaii As Pro Bowl Location
The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the NFL are "tight-lipped about the status of negotiations to keep the Pro Bowl in Honolulu as the game gets closer to Sunday’s kick-off," but some players and fans said that they "don’t want to see the game leave Hawaii," according to Mark Abramson of PACIFIC BUSINESS NEWS. NFL officials said that they are "keeping their options open when it comes to the Pro Bowl’s venue." NFL Manager of Football Information Jon Zimmer said, "At this point we have explored other sites." Zimmer "declined to name the other sites, but some media outlets have reported that the league is considering having the Pro Bowl at the same stadium as the Super Bowl the week before the big game, like it did a few years ago in Miami." Packers WR Greg Jennings said Tuesday, "I would most definitely prefer it to be here. We would definitely love to continue it over here." Cowboys DE DeMarcus Ware agreed, saying, "I would love to have it stay here, it has more of an all-star feel." Vikings DE Jared Allen said that "playing the game in Miami before the Super Bowl just doesn’t compare to playing in Hawaii." He "called that experience leading up to the Super Bowl kind of 'chaotic'" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/25). Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall said, "It takes away from the game when it's somewhere else. ... This is what the Pro Bowl is about -- paradise. So it would (stink) definitely if we no longer come out here." The AP's Jaymes Song noted some players "went as far as saying they wouldn't participate if the Pro Bowl was moved." Allen said, "That's a lot of the players' attitude, I think" (AP, 1/25).
LIVE-TWEETING: The NFL announced that fans will "get a little more access to the top players in the NFL, who will now be able to tweet during the Pro Bowl." The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Rebecca Ford noted the league is relaxing its "infamously strict rules on social media, and allowing players to tweet during the game." Not only are players "allowed to Tweet, but the NFL is encouraging them to do so by setting up a computer on each sideline where players can use Twitter." Tweeting is "voluntary and only one player can tweet at a time." Players can also use their phones to tweet "before the game and at halftime." Players will be using #ProBowl in their tweets (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/25).
CHANGES NEEDED? ESPN.com's Scoop Jackson writes the Pro Bowl is "not football." Jackson: "Not that it has to be a full representation of what we see every fall weekend in the NFL, but it shouldn't be this far away from the game's core. It shouldn't be this far removed from how every other game is played." The execs and "suits that make up commissioner Roger Goodell's front office staff surely have to know ... that the Pro Bowl is the most meaningless all-star game in sports." Somehow, the NFL "has to do something to get to a new iteration of this scheduled football celebration," and "soon." Jackson writes, "Change the location. Change the time and timing. Change the ancillary events, the activities and extracurriculars. Change the rules. Change the purpose, if that's what it takes. Because at this point, it serves none" (ESPN.com, 1/26).