UH defense has its share of fun
THIS is what it must have felt like to be LT. This must have been what he was talking about in those old days on that NFL films clip when he let loose with that famous quote about crazed dogs and having crazed-dog fun.
This must be what it was like at the fall of Rome when those crazed dogs the Huns and the Vandals and the Visigoths ravaged and pillaged so completely they had to invent a new term for it: "Sack."
This must be why Mark Gastineau once danced.
"It's unbelievable," Hawaii linebacker Tyson Kafentzis would say.
This feeling. This is why little boys laugh when they leap off the couch.
That's what these guys are playing like. Like they have no fear, feel no pain and wouldn't care a bit if they did. Like they can get blasted in the back by their buddies and laugh. It's all great as long as everybody's hitting, they're all arriving, all in it together, everybody flying to get a piece of that pile.
This is what it must have felt like to be LT.
"It's just ... playing ... it feels like frickin' Pop Warner or something, man," Kafentzis said. "I haven't had this much fun since then."
That's what it feels like to play Hawaii defense, these days, out there, flying around, scattering bodies, the way UH did last night against Louisiana Tech. How to describe it?
"There's no words that can express how this feels," defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis said.
"They were bringing the house up to the last minute of the game," Tech coach Jack Bicknell said.
Well, not really, he said a second later. It just seemed that way.
Bodies flying, colliding, crashing in huge pileups, hair flailing, legs thrashing, arms everywhere. Probably spittle, too.
"We're running all over the place," Alama-Francis said. "I mean you've got everybody coming in on plays down the field. Everybody's in the play. And that's what makes this a good defense because everybody wants to make the tackle. And the more the merrier, Coach says. He wants everybody on the tackle. He wants 12 guys on the tackle."
"Every week, Coach Glanville is like: 'Run to the ball, hit, hit, hit!' " safety Jacob Patek said. "And that's what we try to do."
It's contagious. It's infectious. That's what this defense is. A Black Plague.
Patek had stitches in his lip, afterward. He looked like Rocky had punched him in the face.
"I came off the field I was just spittin'. I didn't know if I busted my nose or my lip was cut. My whole face was on fire," Patek said.
That will happen. These guys are hitting so hard they're hurting themselves.
"That's how you play," Kafentzis said. "You've got to play reckless or you can't play at all. So I mean, they're going to get hurt or we're going to get hurt, we're going 100 mph no matter what, and that's kind of what we signed up for. So we wouldn't have it any other way."
Afterward, Patek tried to crack a smile.
"It's starting to hurt, a little bit, you know, the numbness is cutting off," he said. "Other than that, I'll be all right."
He plays defense. He's a Visigoth. He'll be just fine.