Local Connection: Pro Bowl

By Rick Blangiardi

Let's talk about football. The pro bowl has turned into a curious phenomenon. A game we fight to host, but one which seems not to be the prize it once was.

A game that gets good tv ratings, but which, this year at least, wasn't exactly the most exciting football you ever watched.

A game that brings us visitors, but not as many as the Honolulu Marathon or any of several golf tournaments. The four million we pay for it is probably worth it for the tv exposure alone.

And statistics prove we do get it back several fold in visitor spending.

But it would do more for Hawaii and the NFL if the players played harder. The most frequently suggested solution is to move it after the Superbowl, so more star players might possibly play.

But, based on history, I'm not sure if that's the best solution. Many people believe that money is the best solution; after all, these are professional athletes.

Currently, losing players each get twenty thousand, winning players forty. A prominent ESPN commentator suggests, winning players get $200,000, losers nothing.

If he's right, then maybe pro football has become a little more like wall street where money talks, everything else walks.

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