Brennan stays behind with the rest of us
On the day of the draft, when Brady Quinn dropped like a rock and Kevin Kolb came out of nowhere to be a high pick and some guy from Stanford whose name we don't even know became an instant millionaire, there was nary an agent whispering sweet nothings in Colt Brennan's ear.
No, instead it was aunties and kiddies and all manner of folk in a line that stretched as far as the eye could see. And he gave something to all of them, a smile, a word. He signed everything put before him in his long, flowing swoop. The best part was that he could somehow sense when he should stop signing for a second, and look up at the lens and smile. It was anticipation. It was special. Only the great ones have it. It was something you just can't coach.
Hawaii now has its own Arnold Palmer in pads.
That's what it looked like, last night. It was a barrage Barack Obama would hope to have on his luckiest day.
People were taking pictures of Colt getting his picture taken with other people. That's how nuts it was, at last night's UH football "Ohana Festival" spring scrimmage at the stadium.
There were RainBowTique tags everywhere. Who knows how much of what Brennan was signing was brand-new stuff.
Talk about good for the whole state.
"It was crazy," Brennan said last night.
The rest of them could turn professional, yesterday. Last night, Colt Brennan was bigger than them all.
Brennan said something powerful, the day he announced he was coming back. He said something profound. He said he liked the person he was becoming in Hawaii. All these months, it stuck with me. This week, I asked him exactly what he meant.
"I think for me, I came here in kind of such crisis in my life, at a time when I was in such crisis, and just trying to grow up and become a man, and mature and everything," he said after practice that day. "I came here kind of as still a kid, I was still growing up.
"And now I feel kind of like I've had a couple years where I've been kind of in the spotlight, and really have grown up a lot. And as I've been growing up, I just like the person -- kind of the morals and the values that Hawaii has, that's good about it, I kind of like those. I'm really just enjoying the person I'm becoming out here in Hawaii. Not just only as a football player, but as a person as well."
The kind of person who can handle the kind of attention he got last night from the people in the line that stretched forever. The kind of person who instinctively looks up at each camera, and puts his heart into the look on his face.
The kind of guy who draws this kind of attention, because they can feel this about him. Even from the back of the line.
He talked about not jumping into yesterday's draft, that day, because he liked the person he was starting to be.
Last night, he said of that long line, "If that's happening, you know you're doing something right."