An Honest
Day’s Word

By Joe Edwards

Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Pro Bowl left its mark,
and money, here

THIS and that to chew on over lunch:

Hawaii's biggest, glitziest sporting event, the Pro Bowl, has left town, but its effects in the islands will be felt for a long time.

I won't bore you with the usual ya-yas about the event's economic impact, although $100 million is no gift horse to look in the mouth.

Nor will I trot out the usual line about mainlanders freezing their behinds off in Buffalo while watching beautiful Hawaii on TV.

Those are great, but at the end of the day, how do they really affect the average woman or man on the street?

Hard to quantify, exactly.

But here's an aspect of the Pro Bowl that oftentimes is overlooked. Two years ago, before the Pro Bowl Host Committee was formed, the NFL donated $25,000 to local charities.

This year, through cooperation between NFL Charities and the host committee, that figure reached $200,000.

For example: Kapiolani Children's Hospital got $50,000.

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association got $32,000, primarily earmarked for junior varsity football programs.

Aloha United Way got $20,000 for its weed and seed program, which will refurbish the field at Palama Settlement.

Oahu Pop Warner football got $15,000.

The Kauai County Parks and Recreation Department got $5,000.

Groups such as the Children's Advocacy Center, Child and Family Services, Parents and Children Together, Hawaii Alliance for Arts Education and Hawaii Special Olympics all got $5,000 as well.

The host committee has helped make the Pro Bowl a truly first-class, weeklong event.

City Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann, who also serves as chair of the host committee, assures me that the NFL will increase its charitable donations in the future. In fact, he's working with the league on that already.

The host committee has done wonders, not only to convince the NFL to keep bringing the game back to Hawaii, but to leave plenty of its aloha when it packs up and goes back to New York.


So, the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, John Swofford, wants the nine schools in his league to boycott playing Auburn in any sport.

This in response to the Tigers' decision not to play Florida State in a nationally televised football game Sept. 2.

It promised to be an interesting matchup when Terry Bowden was Auburn's football coach, going up against his legendary dad, Bobby, who coaches the Seminoles, and all.

New Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, however, doesn't want to play Florida State quite that soon after taking over a program that is still kind of reeling from son Bowden's resignation/firing (take your pick). So Auburn is buying its way out of that deal.

"We don't care if the ACC never thinks about playing Auburn again," Auburn trustee Lowell Barron said earlier this week. "They're only a big thing in their own mind."

Hmmm. Doesn't this all sound familiar? Too bad Hawaii opens its football season Sept. 4 against Southern California. The Rainbows could have taken Auburn's place on FSU's schedule.

Sure, they'd get whupped, but the June Jones era could get off to a rousing start on national TV, they'd come back with a whole mess of cash in their pockets and UH president Ken Mortimer could maybe swap angry tales with Swofford.

"Death to the Mountain West Conference!"

"Darn those Auburn Tigers!"

"Lord have mercy on me. Woe, woe is me."

Joe Edwards is sports editor of the Star-Bulletin.

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