Bowled over by Hawaii’s holiday game
NOW this is a bowl game. Isn't it? Doesn't this one just feel a little different? No, this one isn't just another home game with a trip to the water park and an Xbox under the tree.
This is a real bowl game. This one feels different, this time.
Maybe it's the quality of opponent (and the quality of the opponent's conference).
Maybe it's that the Aloha Stadium swap meet actually will take the day off.
Maybe it's everything. But maybe most of all it's that this is the Hawaii team this Sheraton Hawaii Bowl was created for.
This team. This is the reason this bowl exists.
(Well, that and the fact that ESPN needed programming for its Christmas time slot. But you know what I mean.)
» OK, I don't want to hear any more about Hawaii not getting any national recognition. This season, Hawaii has received an unbelievable amount of national recognition. It's been incredible. It's been unprecedented. It's been so crazy that Colt Brennan won a national quarterback award -- and yes, I realize there are now about 15 national quarterback awards, but still yet -- and it was no big deal. That's how much recognition UH has managed this year.
The height of it was when Brennan was saying that UH didn't get much recognition ... and he was saying it on national television.
» I went out to the stadium the other day to see the reaction of Arizona State players when they realized they were surrounded by a giant swap meet. Too late. They'd already become acclimated. In fact, a couple of them took short strolls down the aisle after practice to check out the selection. Board shorts for $7.99? Really?
» BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl? How is Hawaii not in the Las Vegas Bowl? This is a natural. This has to happen. Come on, somebody, make this happen!
» Does Dan Hawkins give Dirk Koetter a call?
» Does Chris Petersen give Koetter a call?
» Is there cell-phone reception in Tahiti?
» I continue to get a kick out of the story of Steve Chinen, the rascal Army chaplain stationed in Iraq who is "in trouble" for using his televised holiday greeting to wish the UH football team good luck against Oregon State rather than saying hi to his wife and daughter. (Now that's a fan.)
But I told Steve, eh, no worry. I've seen these "holiday greetings" from Nebraska servicemen and they ALL do what he did. Yes, EVERY one of them goes like this: "Hi, I'm lieutenant So-and-so in Afghanistan and I just want to say Go Big Red! Go Huskers! We're No. 1! And -- oh, try wait, what? My family? Oh, yeah, I also love my family. Sure. Of course I do. Go! Big! Red!"
But when just one "bad boy" does it, it's hilarious.
» And here is Steve's latest on the 657th's plans for the upcoming Hawaii Bowl: "Da boys (and a few gals) are gearing up for the 0400 kickoff (Iraqi time). We'll be meeting at the motor pool (where vehicles get repaired). They got a big-screen TV there." I don't know if the Hawaii Bowl is good for the whole state, but early on Christmas morning, far from home, it's definitely good for a little corner of Camp Anaconda in Iraq.
» And here we are, waiting for the latest installment of "How Gueye's Knee Turns." Thank goodness the 'Bows had a break last night in the grueling Rainbow Classic schedule. Ahmet Gueye isn't supposed to practice back to back, but he has to play three straight games? He had a great block to help preserve a win against San Francisco on Wednesday night -- but came down awkwardly on that knee and was hobbling again.
Who else saw the season flash before their eyes?
Yikes. This year is going to be an adventure. As Gueye's knee turns.
» It really is a delightful slice of innocence that Michelle Wie actually thought there was a chance Stanford might not accept her. It's cute.
But the whole "no one really believed me" thing? Come on, who is surprised? What was she going to do, go out on the tour full time, play LPGA golf? No, this is genius, a classic Wie move. She gets to keep her kid card, gets to continue to cherry pick all the best events, do the "cool, fun" stuff. Doesn't have the pressure of having to have a "job." Basically, she gets to continue to do what she does best, which is whatever she wants to do. It's a great life, and you have to feel glad that somebody's living it.
And yes, she should go to college. I don't know what it will do to her golf game, long term, but as a person, long term, it's probably the best thing she could do.
And so now it's time once again to go to the funniest line I could find on the situation by some random anonymous Internet genius: "If her schooling follows her golf career, she'll begin her first semester by trying for her Masters degree." Ba-dum-pum!