The ASSOCIATED PRESS breaks the news today that the NFL Pro Bowl is moving to Miami for next season, and that the game will now be played the week before the Super Bowl, which also happens to be in Miami in 2010.
(Hawaii Stadium extortion = South Beach Bottle service. Thanks Roge!)
I’m sure the move will get a glorious reaction from everyone in the NFL, considering the dilapidated state of Aloha Stadium, the lack of upscale nightlife in Honolulu and the tedious travel time.
(Ahhh, the wonderment that is South Beach. I’ll see you in a month’s time!)
But, don’t count on the NFL not ever returning to Hawaii. It’s clear that this move was designed for one thing: Force the state of Hawaii to build a completely new stadium for the Pro Bowl.
It’s absurd to think that Hawaii would actually do such a thing, especially in this economic climate. But considering that a future new stadium would also house the Univ. of Hawaii football team, it might just happen. And of course, the construction would be a huge boon to UH recruiting efforts.
Hawaiian officials have long touted that the game should not be moved because it is sold out every season and has a huge economic impact on Honolulu and the state. But that also happens to be the precise case the NFL is making behind close doors in lobbying for a new facility.
(Tasty, leopard-printed optical illusion awaits NFL players in 2010)
Meanwhile, the players must be absolutely ecstatic. At least the single ones. You can bet the vast majority of NFL all-stars will much prefer the nightlife and *amenities* of South Beach over sleepy Waikiki. (In case you’re wondering, I’ve lived in South Beach and visited Oahu many, many times, so I know of what I speak.)
That also means there will likely be less players faking injuries to avoid the game, making for a more competitive, watchable contest (even factoring in Nikki Beached-players). Also, players involved in the Super Bowl and Conference Championship games will be held out, allowing for a wider variety of participants.
(Big Ben: Stay off!)
So from a viewing standpoint, the move is a good one. Of course, if Hawaii gets moving on a new stadium or dramatic improves to crumbling Aloha Stadium, you can expect Honolulu to at least land the game on a rotating basis.
Now for me personally, I will probably be living in South Beach at the time of the game, so that means I’ll be eschewing the night clubs at all cost that week. If only I was a jock sniffer!