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2011 NFL Pro Bowl: Hawaii Ostensibly A Player's Paradise

The 2011 NFL Pro Bowl is tonight at 6 PM CST, and NFL.com reminds us that it's back in Hawaii after a year in Super Bowl territory. While the Pro Bowl is certainly in need of some tinkering, last year's plan wasn't received with open player arms—and this was with the game in Miami, which is as near a Hawaiian atmosphere as the continental US can manage. With Super Bowl XLVI and XLVIII in noted winter paradises Indianapolis and New Jersey, last year's was the right time to experiment, and this year's the right time to pull back. Nobody they interviewed—not Ray Lewis, not Tony Gonzalez, not Peyton Manning or Adrian Peterson or Arian Foster or Mike Vick—had anything negative to say about Hawaii and Aloha Stadium.

Unfortunately for the players, Hawaii has something negative to say about Aloha Stadium. With the state in debt and paying $4 million to host the Pro Bowl for two years, and Aloha Stadium's maintenance deferred to pay for infrastructure expenses, it looks like the players might have to foot their own bill if they don't want to spend next January in Indiana.