HONOLULU – It’s Game Day. But will the exercise between the NFC and AFC squads at Aloha Stadium this afternoon be more Pro Bowl or “Clown Show”?
The Star Advertiser devoted more coverage to the future of the Pro Bowl than today’s game in its Sunday edition. The top half of the front page contains a story about whether the players in today’s game will perform well enough – and specifically with enough effort – to insure the future of the game under this headline: Pulling the Plug?
The NFL has made it obvious that a repeat of the effort given by the players last year will not be tolerated, and the punishment could be as harsh as discontinuing the annual Pro Bowl perk of spending a week in Paradise.
“I think they want to see the game of football stay the game of football, and not turn into a clown show,” Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch told the paper. “I played in (the 2012 Pro Bowl). There were some suspect plays.”
In Sports, there’s a four-page section devoted to the game, but it also includes two columns that address the need for better effort today under the headlines “Time to Deliver” and “Hawaii save Pro Bowl once; will player return the favor?”
But the fact remains that the NFL’s Pro Bowl is the highest-watched All-Star sports game of the four major sports.
“This is a big deal, believe me,” Seahawks center Max Unger, who was born and raised on the Big Island, said before Friday’s open-to-the-public practice at the stadium. “There’s no NFL team here, so for a lot of these fans this is as close as they’ll get to the NFL.”
Kickoff for today’s game is scheduled for 4pm PT with television coverage on NBC.