You have to hope that the efforts of the NFL players in this year's Pro Bowl will be enough to convince the league that the game should continue to be played, and should continue to be played in Hawaii. Fans seemed to have a great time, Aloha Stadium was nearly filled to capacity, and the TV viewing audience was within one or two percentage points of last year. A long term deal- say 5-10 years- would encourage more sponsors to get involved in the game as part of their annual marketing plans, knowing it would be around year after year.
And then there are the players. Not only did the players put on a better show this year in terms of the quality the game, but they also made themselves available in numerous places and at numerous functions in a true effort to give something back to our community. The players love coming here, with their families, friends, and sometimes even splurging to bring along some teammates. As for moving the game elsewhere, fugged-about-it. Honolulu is now the true and accepted home of the game. Play it in the Super Bowl city? Oh boy, late-January in New Jersey, site of next year's Super Bowl game; if that's a possibility, the NFL might see the greatest flurry of last-minute so-called "injuries" in history of this game, or any game.
So we wait until April, when the NFL will announce its schedule for 2013 and hopefully, coronate Honolulu as the once and future home for this NFL showcase. The block party in Waikiki, the charity functions, the activities for players and families, the game itself- no, it doesn't and won't get any better than this. Sure, it always comes down to money at some level, but let's hope no one punts the Pro Bowl away. Think about it