Announcement was surprisingly dramatic
AFTER having delayed it twice, after having all but organized an "exploratory committee" -- who does this guy think he is, Barack Obama? -- there was no way Colt Brennan could have made yesterday's announcement exciting.
And then ...
It started off tediously, ridiculously. A TV truck traffic jam. People everywhere, checking watches, calling cell phones, anxiously looking for their first sight of Colt, the record-setting Hawaii QB.
"We're all getting a buzz in the audio!" someone said.
Sorry. The same thing happens when I go through airport security. Metal plate.
"Reardon's head is in the way!" someone said.
The minutes dragged. More delay.
It was false drama, of course, over the top. We all knew he was going, declaring early for the NFL Draft. He's a pro.
All the postponements had only sucked away the excitement, to the point where I could all but not care less.
There was no way this would be interesting.
"Colt does have to leave in about 20 minutes," UH sports information director Lois Manin said.
See? Not a good sign.
And then ...
And then he started talking, saying Hawaii and coach June Jones "gave me an opportunity when no one else would." Yeah, yeah, yeah. Standard.
More regular about-to-leave stuff.
And then ...
And then he was talking, and what was he saying? Wow! The guy was almost crying!
And then, it's official -- he's coming back.
Cheers and whistles, from the players. "Ayug," Colt said, the way tough guys say it, when they shrug away just-fallen tears.
And then, he was staying, that smile so wide. The emotion so real. So choked up he needed a second.
"Ayug," he said, clearing the galas, soldiering on. Brightening. Coming alive.
It was exciting, suddenly. In that split second, all those cameras, live coverage, made perfect sense.
It was as if he'd bolted from the pocket, young Colt running free.
"I'm excited," he said, "I can't wait."
You could feel it, in that moment, the way he choked up, the grin on his face. It was all behind him and he was just running now.
It felt the way it feels when he dodges one tackler, then another, then lets that ball fly. You could see that's how he was feeling. He was flying.
"We had so much fun last year," he would say. "I didn't want that to end."
Yes, this was a heart decision, not a head one. This probably wasn't the sanest thing to do. Jones said he thought Brennan would have been the first quarterback taken. You don't mess around with that, but he did.
That's what he does, how he plays. Dodging one tackler, then another, then letting it fly.
"I know that plenty of people will think I'm crazy and whatnot," he said.
Yeah. Right here -- No. 1.
This was not the sanest thing to do.
But this wasn't about the NFL Draft, that's not what it came down to, not really, not in the end.
Oh, he thought about that, agonized over it, was all but gone. It was that close.
"It's just been exhausting. It's been crazy," he said.
All this NFL stuff snuck up on him. Next year he'll know it's coming. He hopes it's coming again.
Tom Brady, Tony Romo show you can make it no matter where you're drafted (or not drafted), he said. He'll take that risk.
But in the end it wasn't about the NFL. In the end this announcement was actually exciting because it turned out it was about so much more.
"I like the person I'm becoming," at UH, he said.
And, then, he was running. And then it was exciting. He was beaming. He was breaking away.
Colt Brennan, college quarterback.
"He's gotta go to class now," Jones said. "He's got to pass at least six credits so he can play."