A celebrity superfan like Will Ferrell could do wonders for UH
UH needs a celebrity superfan. Everyone's getting them now. It's great. We are living in the golden age of celebrity superfans for college teams.
Before, it was always pro basketball. Jack Nicholson was always courtside for the Lakers, and then it was Woody Allen and Spike Lee with the Knicks. It became a trend, a fad, the place to be seen. Even the kid from "Malcom in the Middle" started showing up at Clippers games. Soon, it seemed like almost every NBA franchise had some D-list celebrity it could stick in the front row. (Even Sacramento.)
But now it's college football. Regis Philbin with Notre Dame. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) at Rutgers. Even "Larry the Cable Guy" is getting into the act.
But the biggest celebrity superfan of them all is Will Ferrell with USC. He is the king. The greatest moment in the history of celebrity superfans was Will Ferrell in a pre-Rose Bowl televised debate with Texas superfan Matthew McConaughey, saying, "What? What? I can't hear you," holding two Heisman trophies in his ears.
UH needs to get in on this kind of buzz.
What about the Rock? No, he's Miami, since he played there.
Michelle Wie? No. She's going to Stanford, she says.
Who could UH get?
Of course, many remember when UH's celebrity superfan was Gov. John Burns. (We do know that Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona goes to the games -- he once testified that a drunk almost fell on him.)
Jim Nabors sings songs.
And Hawaii does have veteran actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. He even helped UH football players come back from injury with his knowledge of massage. But although he's been in about a million movies, he'd probably be the first one to tell you he isn't a celebrity. At least not until his upcoming Genghis Khan epic hits it big.
The greatest UH celebrity superfan ever would have been Don Ho (I think Evan Dobelle was actually working on this).
But the best part about Ferrell is that, like Tagawa, he's not some bandwagon hanger-on wannabe who shows up to stand on the sidelines to be seen. No, he's in there. You can find video all over the Internet, Will Ferrell "training" Trojans for the NFL Draft, crashing team meetings during two-a-days in full "Ricky Bobby" gear, splashing in the pool against Pete Carroll in a "Swim with Mike" charity showdown challenge. How did this happen?
"Pete Carroll ran into him at a Lakers game, they struck up an acquaintance and Pete invited him to come out," USC sports information director Tim Tessalone says.
Since then, "What don't you know about Will and USC?" Tessalone says.
It's been a dream relationship for both sides ever since.
It's been a bonanza for the school, but you can see how sweet it is for Ferrell, a USC grad. He used to work in the sports information office.
So there's the answer.
We'll just wait for Markus Owens to become America's next great breakout comedy star.