It all comes down to soap dispenser being half full or half empty
Readers take shots at Simpson
The response to my column regarding Colt Brennan's recent comments has been fast and, mostly, furious. One letter-to-the-editor writer even threatened to cancel his subscription because he said my Colt columns reminded him of what he saw on "The View."
(That letter writer? Donald Trump.)
Many readers expressed disappointment that I hadn't cleaned up or ignored anything Colt had said that might not have come out well, while others emphasized that I should have pointed out that Herman Frazier had blown it yet again. But all of these letters shared a universal underlying theme: I was an idiot.
Like Colt, I realize that when you come out and say something, you might take some cracks. So today the readers get their due. I take my lickings with good humor. And the occasional comeback.
DEAR Sports Columnist (You Big Jerk):
» "I think you have really missed the point with Colt Brennan's comments about the athletic facilities. When Oliver Twist asked for more gruel, you would have told him to grow up and stop complaining. This mature young man took on an important issue in the only way available to him. He should be praised not ridiculed."
COMMENT: Charles Dickens. Never let it be said I don't have the most literate readership in the state.
» Fact: Colt Brennan turned down a HUGE amount of money to, in some small way, repay ... Fact: The WAC and UH both benefit from a player ... Fact: Colt spoke out not for himself but for the players who ...
"So your take from all of this is he is whining. Instead of seeing the glass as half full you choose the lower, negative road. You choose to focus on the parking ticket issue rather than the state of the facilities. I suspect that you believe Colt should be thankful he can play here and should suck it up and be quiet or incur the wrath of the AD.
"So as a writer for a daily newspaper, how much notoriety does your column bring to the UH sports programs? Please publish a list of your awards so we can all see examples of your excellence and the contributions they have made to the young men and women who wear the UH logo on their uniforms. Anyone can toss dirt on another. It takes neither talent nor intelligence. ... As you have expressed criticism in your column how much of your salary did you donate?"
COMMENT: Well, considering that UH president David McClain said Friday on Bobby Curran's radio show that upper campus recently gave $2 million to the athletic department, let me check my tax return and get back to you.
» "Come on, how can not supplying showers with adequate soap NOT be Frazier's fault? That's ridiculous. It is a sanitation/health issue. How much could soap cost not to be put in the budget. The janitors simply need a priority checklist, check off stuff they're running low on and refill. How hard can that be? As far as the parking, it is and always have been expensive. Always an issue, but there should be some sort of discount if it's non-peak hours or for practice."
COMMENT: Again, some new counter points have come to light. But even if it's not Herman Frazier's fault, EVERYTHING will be Herman Frazier's fault. That's where he's put himself. Let's face it, people have complained about facilities before. The reason it blew up this time is as much about Frazier's unpopularity as it is about Colt's popularity.
» "I know how run down the entire campus is. I've talked to several people who work in the athletics complex and they all say the facilities are terrible. Try using the restrooms down there and you'll see how bad it is. Far worse than restrooms elsewhere on UH. OK, I confess. I have nothing better to do but check out toilets in various buildings across campus. FYI: I highly recommend Sakamaki-4th floor. Always clean and quite secluded ... But I digress. ..."
COMMENT: OK, good to know. Sakamaki. Fourth floor, you say?
» "Your opinion on Colt Brennan's remarks regarding the sad state of the UH athletic department, however, is a huge disappointment. It took a huge amount of guts and leadership to do what he did. He knew that it would lead to a large amount of backlash and negative publicity but only did it only after much thought because he felt it would be better for the program in the long run. ..."
COMMENT: Wait, let me check. You are saying that Colt spoke out knowing what he said might be unpopular with some people and that he might take some shots for saying it, but he said it anyway because he thought it was the right thing to do? Hmm, you're right, that is commendable. Hmm, if only there was someone else who also possessed those same qualities you seem to so admire ...
» "The 400th anniversary of the founding of the United States at Jamestown is shaping up to be a non-event. Indeed, the only reason Americans are now even beginning to hear about it is because Britain's Queen Elizabeth has come over for the celebration."
COMMENT: I just want to point out that not every e-mail I've gotten in the past four days is ripping me.
» "Yes, he was asking about getting favoritism on parking. Yes, perhaps that may be a little selfish. Yes, he probably shouldn't have mentioned the soap since the main gist of his message was the poor facilities. But the next day, the soap dispensers were repaired weren't they? Yes, it portrays a negative image about UH to the rest of the mainland. I think that is a good thing. So what. Colt is still young and he'll eventually learn what he should and shouldn't say if he hasn't already. At least he was speaking from a very large heart. ... I didn't agree with the way you chose to 'nitpick' the certain items in his statement and blow it out of proportion the way you did, when you knew the main message was about the poor facilities. ... Perhaps this may create more donors/boosters. ... Kalani I think deep down inside you're trying to 'check' Colt because you are envious of Colt's new position of popularity and POWER! Why else would you choose to focus on the tangents of Colt's real intent."
COMMENT: You're right, you're on to my real intention: POWER! Bwahahahahahahaha! Bwaaaahahahahahahaha! Bwahahahahahaha!
» "Who is the retired Colonel that is interpreting and enforcing the absurd (parking) rules? By the same token Mr. Frazier could find a way to entertain those who issue tickets at another part of campus during practice hours."
COMMENT: So you're saying the athletic director should be out there distracting the ticket writers like, "Hey, look over there!"?
» "You shot the messenger and lost the message on the need for baller parking."
COMMENT: Well, nobody anywhere gets "baller parking," except, apparently, Ohio State, but we know how many NCAA problems the Buckeyes have had in recent years. You want to talk about the need for "baller parking"? Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller was recently cited by police (charges since dropped) after he allegedly freaked out at a woman who took a space near the stadium that he'd wanted. He's accused of berating her and throwing a plastic cup at her car. So I guess in retrospect, going to the media isn't so bad.
» "At least you, sportswriter, (unlike Sportsline.com's Dennis Dodd), don't take young gun to the toilets in response to Braddah Brennan's (young-voiced), yet real comments in your critique on what he said."
COMMENT: I think that's a compliment. I think. But I think in my columns I was expressing a hope that Colt's comments wouldn't turn into a "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong" situation, which, unfortunately, that Sportsline.com story may have already turned out to be.
» "Why chew on Colt he's the best thing that ever happen to the University of Hawaii and everything he says is true.....the football team is the Universities cash cow and according to your views starving it is ok....do what the rest of Hawaii supporters and politician do talk a lot of %$#&, turn the other cheek and pray things get better....he was just trying to get the ball rolling the state needs to get rid of the bureaucracy and get down to business...."
COMMENT: Colt as Ralph Nader. I like it.
» "COLT IS THE BEST THING THAT'S HAPPENED TO UH IN A LONG TIME. YOU WONDER WHY YOU CANT RECRUIT KAHUKU KIDS. SOAP MAY NOT MEAN MUCH TO SCHOOLS THAT HAVE IT, BUT TO SCHOOLS THAT NEVER HAVE IT MEANS A WHOLE LOT. COLT IS THE ONLY ONE USING HIS STATUS TO BRING CHANGE. MY HAOLE COUSIN IS TRYING TO KEEP THE ISLAND BALLERS HOME. KALANI RELAX, POINT YOUR PEN ELSE WHERE AND HELP DA BRADAH OUT....."
COMMENT: OK, NO WORRY, THIS IS THE LAST ONE.
» (Referring to a line in the May 8 column) "I can see Herman Frazier putting his arm around Mr. Brennan, then saying, 'Colt, you're doing more for UH than I am, God bless you son.' "
COMMENT: The only thing better than that e-mail is that the guy signed it "Maverick."