Brennan plays this game like it’s his last
Jason Rivers cut across the middle, and Colt Brennan hit him, and then Rivers was running, cutting upfield, vertical, gone. Just running away from everyone, the perfect ending. Cue credits. Cue music. And then there was one single thought, watching Brennan celebrate with his linemen, watching Rivers run into the night:
And then Brennan did a wonderful thing. He ran to the sidelines, to the people, to the stands. He was having a senior-walk kind of moment, celebrating with the mob, Lambeau Leap style. It was something Craig Stutzmann would do.
(Forget Lambeau Leap. That's played out. Brennan has invented something even better. The Halawa Hurl. Hooaaah!)
It was a senior moment. It was a guy who knew how special this was, how perfect this was. It was a guy savoring what he knew might never happen again.
"This team had a love for each other, the ability to have fun with each other," he said afterward. "It's really sad to see that it's over."
He was talking about this 2006 season.
There was so much emotion last night for this Hawaii team, this record-breaking Hawaii Bowl, this 41-24 win. Leonard Peters was out on the field with June Jones, at the end of it, urging the offense on. Tala Esera danced and spun and twirled his dreads in the night sky. Rivers played like a man possessed. Jerry Glanville was out on the field, pumping his fist.
"It was fun to watch them play that hard," Glanville would say.
And Brennan. Brennan, most of all. Brennan has always been excitable, emotional. This is a man who throws up at the drop of a hat. But this was different. You could feel it. This was a guy who was -- well, he usually leaves his guts on the field. But this was more. This was different. You could feel it.
He was sky high. He was losing his mind. He seemed to be almost floating, after big plays.
"The coolest part about it is that it's Christmas Eve, it's at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl" -- (that's how good this guy is at this point, he even remembers to get in the sponsor) -- "I can't imagine it being any sweeter than this right now," the record-setting quarterback said.
And the longer the game went, the bigger the night got, the more the emotion built, the way he celebrated and the way he played, the more -- well, frankly, the more he said some of the things that he said -- when Rivers caught that last ball and broke away ...
There was one, single, underlying thought through all of it. He's gone.
So is he? Does Brennan go pro?
He played like a guy who knew time was fleeting. He threw himself into it, his whole soul. "You wish you could cherish the moment, get time back," he said. He sounds like a senior to me.
He said last night his plan had always been to not think about it until after the bowl game, and to him the bowl game wasn't over, not last night, not yet. He wants to hold on to this, to savor the moment, to stay in the moment.
So let's give him that moment. Rivers is running, he's breaking away. He's running, running. Still running.