Five Non-Football Things We Learned This Weekend at the 2016 Pro Bowl

Five non-football takeaways from Saturday and Sunday at the 2016 Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The 12s presence is strong at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium where fans have gathered to see the game's best players, including five Seahawks, in the 2016 Pro Bowl.

HONOLULU, Hawaii—Pro Bowl week came to an end with Sunday's game, but as has been the case all week, a lot more is going on than just the game. So for the last time this week, here are some of the non-football things that stood out from our time in Hawaii on Saturday and Sunday.

1. The Pro Bowl gameday experience is cool… The traffic is not.

If you ever attend a Pro Bowl in Hawaii, get to the game early. The traffic getting here can be tough. However, if you're early, you should have plenty to do. Walk around the parking lot and you're almost guaranteed to find a tailgate full of fans of your team, whoever you root for. One tailgate even had a Seahawks 12 Flag, Raiders and Broncos flags sharing one pole. Same with jerseys—you'd be hard pressed to find a team not represented here. 

Fans here are into the game, even if it doesn't mean much other than a good time, and the pregame presentation was nice, from a children's choir singing the state song, "Hawaii Ponoi" to a pregame music performance to a somber moment of silence for the 12 Marines who died in a helicopter crash here earlier this month, which was followed by an impressive rendition of the National Anthem by U.S. Marine Captain Skye Martin.

2. Practice this week was very loose and light.

Following a less-than-rigorous practice earlier in the week, Bobby Wagner joked, "Man, that's probably the hardest practice I've ever been in. Nah, this is chill, man."

If anything practice only got lighter as the week went on, but players still had plenty of fun with it, as is evident in the video below of a mic'd up Michael Bennett.

3. Visit Haleiwa if you're near the North Shore.

After driving by the exit to Haleiwa on the way to practice the first couple of days we were here, we finally stopped there for lunch and a dip in the ocean on Saturday. As I mentioned Saturday, the North Shore has a very different vibe than the busy life near Waikiki and Honolulu, and is definitely worth a visit if you're on Oahu. Plenty of good restaurants, shops (if, say, you left your board shorts at the hotel) and nice beaches.

4. Earl Thomas' Twitter game was on point Sunday.

Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas elected to sit out this year's Pro Bowl to take advantage of a full offseason to recover, but that doesn't mean he wasn't watching his teammates play. Thomas was not only watching, he had plenty to say about the game on Twitter. Here's a sampling:

On Derek Carr testing Richard Sherman deep:

And on Sherman drawing a questionable pass interference call:

After Bennett's first offside call of the game:

After Bennett was flagged for being offside a second time:

But, as Thomas noted, there's a give and take when it comes to Bennett's aggressive play:

5. There's Kalua pork everywhere here.

… And by no way should that be taken as a complaint. It delicious, and everywhere in Hawaii. Including the press box. Which reminds me, gotta run. 

Game photos from the 2016 Pro Bowl between Team Rice, featuring wideout Tyler Lockett and linebacker Bobby Wagner, and Team Irvin, with quarterback Russell Wilson, defensive end Michael Bennett, and cornerback Richard Sherman at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium.

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