Hawaii is better than this
SIGH. Let's get this over with. Here it is: 27,529 -- the number of people who attended last week's UH football game -- is terrible. OK? Just terrible. Do I think there will be a few more than that tonight? Yes, I do. But breaking 30,000 -- if it happens -- is nothing to be excited about either, and the fact that that's become the big benchmark now, well, that's even worse.
We keep saying, "If more people don't show up next week," and then when they don't, the next week we say it again. And again. Well, guess what? Let's face it. It was next week two weeks ago. This isn't good.
And you can't compare Hawaii to the rest of the schools in the WAC. You just can't. These are a bunch of former Big West, Big Sky, Sun Belt schools -- of course for them 27,000 would be a big deal. A lot of them are where Hawaii was in the late '70s, when Dick Tomey started to build this thing. Even Boise -- while dominating in the standings -- is still building momentum, when it comes to this stuff. Jim Sweeney was a hall-of-fame coach, but there have never been more Fresno State fans than there are today. For all these schools, the WAC was a step up.
As it was for UH ... in 1979. The rest of the current-day WAC lineup is hoping to build its attendance base to the level Hawaii's was at 20 years ago.
Now UH is back on their level? Maybe it's true. If so, that's sad. Oh, well. At least untold billions are watching on pay-per-view.
» Thank goodness that is over with. Let's go on to something more positive. How the heck is it that UH has won seven straight? Well, playing Utah State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech certainly helps. But also, could it be "the Zen concept of winning?"
"There has to be love for one another," Hawaii defensive line coach Jeff Reinebold said this week, trying to explain it.
"Coach Vermeil said it: 'Trust is a byproduct of love.' Or, 'Love is a byproduct of trust.' "
I think they're interchangeable.
Or this: "It's maturity," receiver Ryan Grice-Mullins said.
And Tomey, not talking about UH in particular, but saying something applicable this week: "The idea that people can't compete at their best, each week, is crazy. I think the best teams play their hearts out, every single week."
» Another great Tomey quote: "Mouse Davis is on June's staff, and he's the father of the run-and-shoot and June's kind of the grandson of the run-and-shoot," he said at his press conference this week, "and they are all there together on the same staff."
And Craig Stutzmann is the great-great-great-great-great-grandnephew of the run-and-shoot.
(Why Stutzmann? I don't know. It just felt right.)