PRO BOWL 2008
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY BRYANT FUKUTOMI /
Tony Romo of Dallas, Peyton Manning of Indianapolis, Tony Gonzalez of Kansas City and Adrian Peterson of Minnesota, clockwise, are just four of the stars playing in today's Pro Bowl.
Galaxy of Stars
The best of the NFL clash in all-star game
In most places around the country, the Pro Bowl draws a shrug and a "So what?"
Pro Bowl 2008
When: Today, 11: 30 a.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
TV: KHON, Ch. 3
Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM
In Hawaii, it's one of the biggest events of the year, as tourists build vacations around the NFL all-star game and local football fans get their only face-to-face fix of the year with the pro game -- and with the league's stars, no less.
Today's game marks the 29th consecutive Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium, and the 29th consecutive sellout. TV ratings won't be very good, but it's still exposure for Hawaii's sunny skies in the dead of winter around the mainland.
But the 2009 game could be the last one in Hawaii.
For the past two years, the NFL's leadership has tossed around the idea of moving the game.
As recently as last Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke of wanting to change "the platform," which would mean moving the Pro Bowl out of Hawaii. Goodell did say the 50th State could be part of a rotation of cities to host the game in the future.
On the field today, the AFC is favored, despite the absence of injured New England Patriots stars, quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss. It doesn't hurt when you can turn to Peyton Manning and Chad Johnson as "backups."
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants have just one representative, defensive end Osi Umenyiora. The Dallas Cowboys have 13 players scheduled to play today.
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu has the closest Hawaii tie this year. His father, Mosi Tatupu, was a Punahou star who played in the 1986 Pro Bowl as a member of the Patriots.