Governor Abercrombie Statement on the NFL’s Decision to Return Pro Bowl to Hawaii

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today responded to the NFL’s decision to return the Pro Bowl to Hawaii.

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The Governor stated:

“We have kept in close contact with NFL officials, and I am very pleased that the Pro Bowl is returning to Hawaii in 2014. Like thousands of fans, I thoroughly enjoyed the last Pro Bowl game held in January at our Aloha Stadium. Opportunities to reach national and international audiences such as this will help maintain our state’s positive economic momentum, particularly in the visitor industry.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Hawaii Tourism Authority and our partners in working collaboratively with the NFL to ensure the continuation of this valuable Hawaii-NFL partnership and the game’s fourth decade in Hawaii.

“The NFL has recognized that the Pro Bowl is at home in the islands.”

 

Venue Change for East Hawai’i Pro Bowl Youth Clinic

The venue for the East Hawai’i Pro Bowl Youth Clinic on Jan. 23 has changed from Kea’au High School to Wong Stadium in Hilo. The release below reflects this venue change. For more information, please contact Betty at 961-8343 or Char at 961-8503.

Participants in last year's Pro Bowl Youth Clinic at Kealakehe High Schoolenjoyed lessons and drills with NFL Players and Cheerleaders.

Participants in last year’s Pro Bowl Youth Clinic at Kealakehe High School
enjoyed lessons and drills with NFL Players and Cheerleaders.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, NFL Football Players and NFL Cheerleaders will be holding Youth Clinics for Hawai’i Island intermediate and high school students at Kealakehe High School from 3:00–5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at Wong Stadium from 3:00–5:30 p.m. Players and cheerleaders will also visit a local school for an assembly before the clinics. The NFL Pro Bowl Youth Clinics, now in its 11th year, is focused on motivating our youth to realize their dreams and to maximize their potential.

In the past years, players and cheerleaders from the NFL teams have come to Hawai’i Island, to present our children with inspirational messages and positive skills training. The 2-hour clinic will feature a variety of hands-on skills and techniques for both boys and girls.

“Seeing the smiles, the excitement, and the joy on the faces of the kids – its quite an honor to be part of such a positive and inspirational event”, said Mayor Billy Kenoi, Pro Bowl ‘Ohana Committee Member. “I cannot thank the NFL, Nat Moore, the Pro Bowl ‘Ohana Committee, and our volunteers enough for making this event possible. Each year we involve more students on Hawai’i Island – we now get to involve over 700 of our youth Island wide. Our kids will remember this for the rest of their lives!”

All youth participants will also receive an NFL Pro Bowl t-shirt that will be autographed by each player and an NFL Pro Bowl sling backpack. The public and youth not signed up for the program are welcome to attend the event. Youth participants are selected by their respective school, however, every year there are open slots that need to be filled. Youth who are accompanied by a parent may be able to participate if there are any open slots prior to the beginning of the clinic on a first come, first served basis. For more information, please contact Betty at 961-8343 or Char at 961-8503.

 

Jesse Sapolu Left His Heart in San Francisco – Comes to the Big Island for a Book Signing

Last week on Tuesday, December 4th, former San Francisco 49er’s star Jesse Sapolu spent the day on the Big Island and ended the evening with a public book signing and auction to benefit the Hawaii Island United Way at Cronies Bar & Grill in downtown Hilo, Hawaii.

Jesse Sapolu signs a book for me!

Jesse Sapolu signs a book for me!

More then 100 folks turned out for the event and it was a huge success.

Jesse spent more then 2 hours signing books for fans.

Jesse spent more then 2 hours signing books for fans.

His book is entitled “I Gave My Heart to San Francisco” and in the book he talks about growing up in Hawaii amongst other things.  Check out this video created by Camille Keawekane-Stafford:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/WsU_IujhXDw]

You can just see how happy fans were to meet the future Hall of Famer as the guy is the only player from Hawaii to have FOUR Superbowl rings!

Fans are stoked to meet the four time super bowl champion!

Fans are stoked to meet the four time super bowl champion!

I asked Jesse if he could answer a few questions and answers I had for him and this is what he told me:

Q: What was your favorite NFL team growing up?

A: Los Angeles Rams

Q: What inspired you to write a book?

A: My son Roman had a teammate die last year just playing recreational basketball at Oregon St, they found out he had an enlarged heart. I’ve been asked for a while to share my story but sitting there at my friend Jr Seau’s funeral made me realize how very fragile and short life is and if my story can save a life of a kid with an enlarged heart by getting early treatment then I owe it to them to share it.

Q: What are your favorite food(s)?

A: All Polynesian foods especially poke and bbq turkey tails (lol)

Q: Why did you choose the number 61?

A: It was available and it was my birth year.

Q: Who do you think will win the Superbowl this year?

A: 49ers versus Texans, Niners win it all

Q:  What would you like to say to kids here on the Big Island in General?

A: Believe in yourself, don’t be afraid to dream then work on a plan to accomplish it.

I felt very honored and humbled to meet the legend himself as well as his lovely wife Lisa that he met on a flight when she was working.  They are currently doing more book signings to benefit the United Way and you can see the schedule of his tour on his website.

Jesse and wife

You can check out Jesse’s website if you weren’t able to make the book signing if you are interested in purchasing a book: http://www.jessesapolu.com

Video of The Very First Pro Bowl… 40 Years Ago

This is the Very First Pro Bowl Ever between the AFC and NFC.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8pjtQ0XcRo]

In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). Since the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in 1970, it has been officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football Conference (NFC).

Unlike most other sports leagues, which hold their all-star games during (roughly) the halfway point of their respective regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played at the end of the NFL season. The first “Pro All-Star Game,” featuring the all-stars of the 1938 season (as well as three players from the Los Angeles Bulldogs, who were not members of the league at the time), was played on January 15, 1939 at Los Angeles’s Wrigley Field. The NFL All-Star Game would then be played in Los Angeles until 1940 and then in New York and Philadelphia in 1941 and 1942 respectively, after which the game was suspended due to World War II. The concept of an all-star game would not be revived until 1951, when the newly rechristened Pro Bowl played at various venues before being held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii for 30 consecutive seasons from 1980 to 2009. The 2010 Pro Bowl was played at Sun Life Stadium, the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins and host site of Super Bowl XLIV, on January 31, the first time ever that the Pro Bowl was held before the championship game, with the conference teams not including players from the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl.

NFL Players Coming to the Big Island for Youth Clinics – 2011 NFL Pro Bowl Youth Clinics

Media Release:

On Tuesday, January 25th 2011 NFL Football Players and NFL Cheerleaders will be holding Youth Clinics for Hawaii Island students at Kealakehe High School from 3:00–5:30 PM and Wednesday, January 26th 2011, at Keaau High School from 3:00–5:30 PM.  Players and cheerleaders will also be visiting local schools for assemblies before the clinics. The NFL Pro Bowl Youth Clinics, now in its ninth year, is focused on motivating our youth to realize their dreams and to maximize their potential.

In the past years, players and cheerleaders from the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks have come to the Big Island, to present our children with inspirational messages and positive skills training.  The 2-hour clinic will feature a variety of hands-on skills and techniques for both boys and girls.

“Seeing the smiles, the excitement, and the joy on the faces of the kids – its quite an honor to be part of such a positive and inspirational event”, said Mayor Billy Kenoi, Pro Bowl Ohana Committee Member, “I cannot thank the NFL, Nat Moore, the Pro Bowl Ohana Committee, and our volunteers enough for making this event possible – each year we involve more students on Hawaii Island – we now get to involve over 700 of our youth Island wide – our kids will remember this for the rest of their lives!”

All youth participants will also receive an NFL Pro Bowl T-shirt that will be autographed by each player and an NFL Pro Bowl sling backpack.  The public and youth not signed up for the program are welcome to attend the event.  Youth participants are selected by their respective school, however, every year there are open slots that need to be filled.  Youth who are accompanied by a parent may be able to participate if there are any open slots prior to the beginning of the clinic on a first come, first served basis.

For more information, please contact Alicia Omelau at 430-8241.