The Jets' all-star nouveau riche, meaning the four first-time Pro Bowlers, were doing all right for themselves. Leon Washington said he and fiancée Charity were the Taboo card-game leaders at the team hotel — "As far as couples, we run things out here," Leon said. And Thomas Jones needed no guidance to set up a hot-ticket pool party.
But if any of the neophytes needed tour guidance, Alan Faneca was ready to help.
"I can definitely point a new guy in a direction," Faneca said, "and tell him where we're heading, that's for sure."
Faneca has made his eighth consecutive trip to the island of Oahu, so he can easily tell them about any small, out-of-the-way spots near the relatively isolated Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina, or the best beaches, restaurants and other attractions from there all the way around the grand panorama back to Honolulu and Waikiki 30 miles away.
That's one of the reasons the old redhead is a little forlorn about next year's double move of the Pro Bowl — from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before, and from Hawaii to the SB venue, which next year is Miami.
"I think it's disappointing, you know?" Faneca said. "I realize trying to get it the week before the Super Bowl and do something when nothing is going on. I understand that reasoning. But as far as what it means to the people of Hawaii, the economy of Hawaii, to the fans of the guys that come out here and make it a family vacation, it is a little disappointing, because there's really so much that Hawaii offers."
Another disappointment this post-season for the Jets' left guard is one of those classic switches, going from one team to another, only to see his old team (Pittsburgh) win the Super Bowl while his new one misses the playoffs. At least Faneca did win a Super Bowl with the Steelers three years before.
"It's tough, but you're excited for those guys," he said. "And I knew so many guys on both sides of the ball there, the coaching staff and guys that played in Arizona. I knew a lot of guys on that field."
In fact, Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt and O-line coach Russ Grimm were Faneca's OC and O-line coach respectively with the Steelers. But still, he said, the decision of whom to root for last Sunday wasn't too hard.
"I was kind of caught between," Faneca said. "But once they started playing, I was pulling for Pittsburgh."
But this week he's pulling for the AFC, and this year he's a big Jets fan. And he's rooting on Hawaii to get the Pro Bowl in 2010 or '11, right when he'll be hitting his peak with perhaps his 10th or 11th all-star berth.
The Game Plan
This is the last of my bloggy profiles on the six Jets who will be playing in Sunday's 30th and last (for a while) Hawaii Pro Bowl. If you missed any of the previous five Radar entries, you can find them here:
I'll provide a streamlined game blog from Aloha Stadium on Sunday and a postgame locker room blog Sunday. And we will attempt to bring you a postgame "Jets Two-Minute Drive" radio interview with some of our Jets all-stars on our Monday PB followup.