Tuesday, February 2, 1999
Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and eight of his Super Bowl teammates are scheduled to arrive in Honolulu today for this Sunday's Pro Bowl.
Elway expected to
Although the 38-year-old was in Hawaii last year to discuss his future with owner Pat Bowlen and head coach Mike Shanahan, he opted to skip the NFL all-star game. At this point, he's still on the list to play this weekend.
"I have seen the itinerary and John Elway is on it," American Football Conference spokesman Andrew Fink said yesterday. "We had a pretty good idea last year that John wasn't going to play in the game. This year, we believe he'll be here."
The Broncos already lost tight end Shannon Sharpe, who was injured in the first quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl. But after Tennessee Oilers tackle Bruce Matthews pulled out yesterday with a knee injury, Denver had its 10th player selected in guard Mark Schlereth. Tennessee tight end Frank Wycheck replaced Sharpe.
This is Elway's eighth Pro Bowl selection in 16 years. He said yesterday he would wait until March or April to announce whether he will retire or go for a third consecutive Super Bowl victory.
"That three-peat does sound interesting," Elway said at yesterday's victory parade in Denver. "We'll talk about it later."
And Elway isn't the only Pro Bowl player hinting at retirement. Green Bay Packers defensive end Reggie White -- who is making a 13th Pro Bowl appearance that is one shy of Merlin Olsen's mark -- already has said this was his last game. But that could change.
White had 16 quarterback sacks and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but yesterday on Fox he said he was intrigued about returning to Green Bay and perhaps playing for new head coach Ray Rhodes.
"When Ray got the job, if anyone else had gotten the job, I wouldn't have been intrigued," White told Fox. "I've really been praying about it and thinking about it. Right now, I'm retired."
FALCONS ON THE ROAD: Atlanta has six players due to arrive in Honolulu today, including quarterback Chris Chandler and running back Jamal Anderson.
Like the Broncos, the Falcon players were involved in a parade yesterday and asked if they could arrive a day later than their fellow Pro Bowl teammates.
Even though safety Eugene Robinson was arrested for soliciting an undercover police officer for sex Saturday night, he is also expected to play Sunday.
"All of Atlanta's players are on the list," Fink said.
ELAM A LITTLE LOW: Former Hawaii place-kicker Jason Elam was glad his two errant field-goal attempts for Denver in Sunday's Super Bowl didn't have an impact on the game, but was still upset to miss from 38 and 48 yards out.
"You don't ever want to miss two field goals in the Super Bowl, but the main thing is, we won," said Elam, who is due to arrive today for his second Pro Bowl appearance. "As a kicker, you don't ever want to miss, especially in a big game like the Super Bowl. But I still feel like I had a good year."
Elam came into the game a perfect four-for-four in postseason play. During the regular season, Elam was 23 of 27, including an NFL record-tying 63-yarder against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
PICTURE DAY MOVED: Because of today's late arrivals from Denver and Atlanta, the National Football League opted to move photo/media day to Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
In the past, that event would have been held today. Fans seeking autographs often attend this session, but they'll have to wait until the weekend to have all the players present on the same field.
"We had to move it because so many players from Denver and Atlanta wouldn't have been in the team picture," Fink said.
The first practice sessions were still held this morning at the Ihilani Hotel facilities. They were closed to the general public.
The first practice fans can attend is an AFC session at Aloha Stadium Thursday at 8 a.m. The NFC practices at Aloha Stadium on Friday at 9 a.m.
FIRST-TIMERS: There are 25 first-time Pro Bowl players in this year's game with 17 competing in the AFC and eight for the NFC.
The only two rookies are Charles Woodson of the Oakland Raiders and Randy Moss for the Minnesota Vikings. The player waiting the longest for his first appearance is 11-year veteran tackle Tony Jones of the Denver Broncos.
By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin