The Super Bowl may be more than a week away, but the weekend before NFL fans get to see some of the best players who didn’t make the championship when they hit the field in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Earlier this week, a group of soldiers and their families got a preview of the all-star game when they got front row seats at practice, reports The Associated Press.
The practice was held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which is located just a short distance from Pearl Harbor. Despite persistent rain, thousands of military families showed up to see their favorite stars, ranging from Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald to this year’s rushing leader Adrian Peterson. For Fitzgerald, the opportunity to meet with the country’s soldiers was one he cherished.
“It’s an honor to be out here and to be able to meet all the servicemen and women – it makes it special,” Fitzgerald told the AP. “It’s important that we come out and play well this year.”
Sports and the military have a long-standing relationship. Many teams throughout the four major leagues hold events for soldiers, most notably the San Diego Padres, who hosted the MLB’s first-ever military appreciation day back in the 1990s.