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NFL considers suspending the 2013 Pro Bowl

By Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:39 a.m. HST, Apr 26, 2012


NEW YORK >> Two people familiar with discussions say the Pro Bowl could be suspended next year.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has expressed concerns about the quality of play, and the league is holding talks with the players' union about the future of the all-star game. The people were speaking on condition of anonymity because the NFL has not made the discussions public. They tell The Associated Press that among the options being discussed is suspending the game next January.

Responding to an ESPN report that Goodell is "strongly considering" suspending the game for the upcoming season, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The AP: "No determination has been made yet."

(Hawaii Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney said talks continued today with the NFL about holding next year’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

“We want the game in Hawaii,” McCartney said this morning. “We’re negotiating in good faith.”

McCartney said suspending the Pro Bowl next year “has always been a possibility.”

But he said the state would want to continue a partnership with the NFL even if the Pro Bowl is suspended or eliminated.

“There’s no question Hawaii wants to continue its partnership with the NFL in different ways.”

McCartney declined to provide details about how the partnership might continue or on the status of the negotiations.)

The AFC’s 59-41 win in Honolulu in January often resembled touch football. The game still gets solid TV ratings — although viewership dropped 8.1 percent in January, the Pro Bowl still was the highest-rated sports program of the weekend.

But it’s also costly, particularly when played in Hawaii. And with so many defections — there were 20 replacements for non-participating players in 2012, including Pro Bowlers from the Giants and Patriots who were otherwise occupied with the Super Bowl — is the game still considered something special by the players?

Newly elected NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth tweeted Thursday: “The Pro Bowl is an important tradition we are in talks with the league to improve and preserve the game for our players and fans”

Hawaii started hosting the game in 1980 and it was held there annually until 2010, when it was moved to Miami and played the week before the Super Bowl there. Before moving it that year, the NFL expressed the need for a more modern stadium in Hawaii to host the Pro Bowl.

The game returned to Hawaii in 2011, but the site for next year’s game is up in the air, given the discussions between the league and the union.

“We have had lots of talks with the players about the Pro Bowl,” NFL counsel Jeff Pash said last week. “When should it be played? Where? And certainly the quality of the game.

“We understand what contributes to the low quality of the game. It does not mean very much either financially or competitively. Players are reluctant to participate in a way that they could be injured. It’s not going to ever look like a playoff game, but it needs to improve so fans don’t say, ‘I feel bad watching it.”’

———

Star-Advertiser reporter Dave Reardon contributed to this story.






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4cents wrote:
end of a good long run, thanks for messing it up neil.
on April 26,2012 | 08:36AM
allie wrote:
Neil is irrelevant to the discussions
on April 26,2012 | 12:10PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Another example of Abercrombie's foot-in-mouth disease costing the State of Hawaii.
on April 26,2012 | 02:06PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Well now, remember he said we could make more money from one weekend of civil unions than the Pro Bowl. Wonder where that financial analysis stands?
on April 26,2012 | 02:57PM
frontman wrote:
Smartest thing the NFL has said in years. End the farce of a football demonstration NOW.
on April 26,2012 | 04:03PM
dlum003 wrote:
I attended the Pro Bowl from 1980 to 1990. I stopped going because it became more about drunken partying and assinine behavior than honoring the league and its top players. It used to be a fun family event and with guys like Walter Payton, Dennis Harrah, Steve Atwater, and Lawrence Taylor playing in it, nobody eased up. CANCEL IT, it is a shameful display on the field and in the stands.
on April 26,2012 | 08:42AM
lee1957 wrote:
Is that you Neil?
on April 26,2012 | 06:37PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Yes. Hawaii fans deserve better than half azzed football.
on April 26,2012 | 09:02AM
lee1957 wrote:
Most of the okoles in the seats come from the mainland.
on April 26,2012 | 06:38PM
st1d wrote:
the winning conference of the pro bowl should host the next super bowl. that would make the game meaningful.
on April 26,2012 | 09:21AM
57nawahine wrote:
They should move it back to after the Super Bowl like before!
on April 26,2012 | 09:28AM
hilopango wrote:
Totally agree! The Pro Bowl was a much better game when it was played AFTER the Super Bowl!
on April 26,2012 | 03:14PM
Ewasohappy wrote:
Absolutely!
on April 26,2012 | 07:51PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
The reason to move the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl was to set it up for failure (hoping fans would lose interest in a less appealing game) so they can use that as an excuse to end it (or at least move it out of Hawaii). It's all politics.
on April 26,2012 | 04:53PM
blackkitty wrote:
They should rename the "Pro Bowl" the GLBT Bowl ... just a lot of touching and feeling and grabbing and hugging going on.
on April 26,2012 | 10:00AM
allie wrote:
yup
on April 26,2012 | 12:07PM
false wrote:
The game needs to mean something. Don't use All Stars. Make it winner of a AFC and NFC worst team gets 1st draft pick and pay players double their per game salary to play.
on April 26,2012 | 10:08AM
8082062424 wrote:
what did our idiot of a governor say. Civil unions would bring in more money in a weekend then the pro bowl dose . Thank god his time almost up
on April 26,2012 | 10:50AM
8082062424 wrote:
well governor what happen to your comment about that civil unions would bring in more money in one weekend then the pro bowl dose
on April 26,2012 | 10:52AM
LizKauai wrote:
The beauty of the ProBowl for me was the interaction among the players and their families and the community. The QB Challenge on Kauai, the golf tournaments and the opportunities for the kids of all ages to work out with the NFL players or hear them speak... those had to be beneficial to all concerned- and promoted the game and the state.
on April 26,2012 | 10:57AM
bullturd wrote:
I say Aloha & Good Riddince. The straw that broke the elephants back was when the pro bowl was schedule before the Super Bowl. The whole idea behind the Pro-Bowl was to be pick the Best of the Best of the players to show their skills and talents. Now the Pro Bowl is a big farce. Neil was right, why should we pay the NFL/ Roger Goodell that have Billion$$ of dollars to pay Hawaii for the Pro-Bowl to come here and play. I saw the first two Pro-Bowl games when they first came here to play. Terry Bradshaw was the representave from the Pttsburgh Steelers. Those guys played their hearts out. What an exciting game that was.prior to that first game here, the Pro-Bowl was going down the tubes with very poor attendance on the mainland.. They came here, we here in Hawaii rejuvinated the Pro-Bowl and attendance, and this is the payback? I say again, Aloha & Good Riddince.
on April 26,2012 | 11:19AM
Holomua wrote:
They need to do it for charity. Each conference represents a single charitable organization, and the winning team presents that charity with a donation. That at least gives the players a reason to try harder, especially if they believe in the organization they represent. It also gives fans another reason to cheer for a side. Internally, each conference should agree to play the game "light" in the beginning, and then turn up the heat in the second half. In other words, Aaron Rodgers would have started playing in the 4th quarter in an attempt to win the game. This way there's a reduced chance of injury and it's still "fun" for the players at least in the first half.
on April 26,2012 | 11:20AM
Mana wrote:
Aloha Stadium is an embarrassment on national TV anyway. Zip-tying colorful graphics does little to hide the aesthetics of the stadium, even if the field is nice.
on April 26,2012 | 11:31AM
allie wrote:
Even practice summer games are more interesting
on April 26,2012 | 12:09PM
false wrote:
It's called pre season games!
on April 26,2012 | 12:16PM
Dragonman wrote:
The players don't want to get hurt in a meaningless game and I would feel the same way if I were plyaing in the Pro bowl. Why risk a serious injury in an exhibition game. The game should be suspended, but the all pro players should be rewarded with a cash bonus and trip to Hawaii. While in Hawaii they could visit various childrens hospitals, help to raise money for charities, and compete in various skill competitive events held at Aloha stadium. After the competition the fans could be allowed down onto the field to mingle with the players and get autographs from their favorite players. You would need rules in place for safety, like only so many fans allowed on the field at a time, you could even charge the fans who want to get onto the field and donate the money to charities. Need to think outside the box, and you to ask the players if they would like to participate in such an event. Just my humble opinion.
on April 26,2012 | 12:51PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
It is a sad fact of the economy when you see a lot of empty seats at the Pro Bowl. ESPN tried to avoid showing the empty seats during the airing but they could not hide the fact that there were lots of empty seats. Yes, it does bring in tourists to Hawaii but does the cost to Hawaii taxpayers justify the numbers? Just look at the number of empty seats. Does it really bring in that many tourists?
on April 26,2012 | 02:44PM
Tony96822 wrote:
Like the College Hula Bowl, the Pro Bowl is a boring thing of the past and talking to the top rated players they could't care less about an exhibition game after the season when the need some rest. The healthy ones just come here to play for some free cash at the expense of Hawaii. Do the P/L on it and we lose money. Pretty stupid thinking on the HTA's part. Let it go. You think the DOE, county workers ever smell that money. Only the hotels which are owned by outside businesses see and taste it. That said, they should try and lure a pre-season game here which could sellout because players are trying to make the cut and lot are going head to head. Less booze partying in Waikiki and more serious top notched football where players could do stuff like visit schools, talk to young prep kids about making it, etc. Love to see an exhibition game with the Packers and the 49'ers. That's where the HTA, HVB and tourisms should be thinking. And drop the old looking Aloha shirts. Upgrade to some real solid sleeking looking stuff that can be sold during and long after the game is over. Work a deal with ESPN Prime Time, they love Hawaii. Wake up all you old blame everybody else people.
on April 26,2012 | 03:18PM
Dtab wrote:
good going neil, next time i'm voting for bulaiaia!!!!!!
on April 26,2012 | 03:27PM
Toneyuki wrote:
It needs to be after the Super bowl. It makes NO sense having it before.
on April 26,2012 | 03:27PM
WalkoffBalk wrote:
You're a real gambler, if you bet on Pro Bowl games.
on April 26,2012 | 08:52PM
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