Should the Pro Bowl stay put in Hawaii?

That’s what many fans and game officials have been asking since the NFL all-star game came to the islands two seasons ago. Poor player performance and laziness on the field left fans yawning (and booing) in the stands at Aloha Stadium and at home on the couch. Word on the street was that if players didn’t prove themselves at this year’s 33rd Pro Bowl, officials would call it a game – ending the the event all together.

While the football world awaits the fate of this all-star game – based on this year’s player performance and effort, it’s the players themselves that say the game should stay. A few made the most of their on-camera time during interviews to explain their reasonings why the Pro Bowl is a nice reward for top-notch players who don’t make it to the Super Bowl. Houston’s J.J. Watt even showed a television camera his bloody left pinkie, joking that it’s proof they’re playing hard.

The Pro Bowl should definitely stay in Hawaii. While it may be a week of fun in the sun for professional players, it’s also a time for family. Events surrounding the all-star event include everyone in the fam bam – from the grandparents to the little ones. The huge Waikiki block party of food and entertainment has become a much-anticipated way to spend the Saturday night before the big game. Ohana Day at the stadium is also a chance for the little ones to meet the pros and get a few football pointers from some of the biggest names in sports.

Of course, there are also the more obvious reasons why Pro Bowl should stay here. It’s great for Hawaii’s economy. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, last year’s contest attracted 15,000 tourists to the islands and contributed $25 million to the state’s economy.

Looking on the bright side of things, though, perhaps we can consider the rain and rainbows at this Sunday’s game more a blessing than a burden and good signs of the Pro Bowl possibly continuing in paradise.

Photo Courtesy: Hawaii Tourism Authority/Kirk Lee Aeder

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