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DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Sunday's Pro Bowl will be the fourth in the past six seasons for Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning.
Manning back again
There's a current Pro Bowl player who was at the first NFL all-star game played in Hawaii 24 years ago at Aloha Stadium.
No, not some old kicker.
OK, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning wasn't a player in the 1980 game. But he remembers tagging along with his father, Archie Manning.
"He and (Roger) Staubach were the quarterbacks. I was the 4-year-old kid you see running around," Manning said. "Now he's out here with me. It's kind of fun to bring him out 25 years later."
Manning remembers causing a panic, as he became a missing toddler for several hours.
"My mom was convinced I was at the bottom of the ocean. I was with Walter Payton down at the beach," Manning said. "My dad and Walter were good friends. It was a fun way to grow up."
This is Manning's fourth Pro Bowl in six seasons. He said he's beginning to develop good timing with receivers from other AFC teams like Hines Ward (third Pro Bowl) and Tony Gonzalez (fifth Pro Bowl).
"Obviously it's not a problem with (Colts teammate) Marvin (Harrison)," Manning said. "You're dealing with athletes here, so it doesn't take as long as if you're doing it with a rookie free agent."
My old school: Titans quarterback Steve McNair was excited to hear that several Hawaii high school football players are considering accepting scholarships at his alma mater, Alcorn State.
McNair said it's important for young players to remember they don't need to go to a huge school with a big-name football program to pursue their dreams.
"Everybody has their own choice to make. To go to those (big) schools is great. But in the same sense it's not where you go. It's what you do when you get there. And that was my motto when I went to Alcorn," McNair said. "It's a small school, but if I'm good enough, the NFL, the scouts, they will find me."
Spent: The three New England Patriots made it through a 45-minute practice at Aloha Stadium yesterday without any problems, despite a whirlwind of celebration after Sunday's Super Bowl win.
"I'm fine," cornerback Ty Law said. "But I have to admit, if I had to play a game right now I can't say I'd be ready."
Happy to be here: It's easy to spot the first-time Pro Bowl players. They're the ones with the biggest grins and the most time for interviews and autographs.
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney was all smiles.
"I'm enjoying my time. I could get used to this," Freeney said.
He said his favorite parts of Sunday's Super Bowl were the scoreless first and third quarters.
"As a defensive guy I love guys out there playing hard and hitting," Freeney said. "That's what I'm about, so I enjoyed it."
Short yardage: Hawaii high school and intermediate school athletes are invited to a clinic featuring former NFL players including Al Noga and Pio Sagapolutele today, tomorrow and Saturday at Central Oahu Regional Park. Call 561-8647 for information. There is a $99 registration fee. ... Zanzabar Night Club hosts the "Honolulu After Pro Bowl Party," presented by 21 Magazine. The party starts at 8 p.m. Sunday. Pro Bowl players and models from 21 Magazine are expected to attend.
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