Hawaii has a way to go to reach the top of hate-mail rankings
THE topic came up this week: Hate mail. Someone said, "You must get hate mail."
Ha ha ha ha ha. Me? No.
OK, occasionally. And there have been some good ones, too. But I think as the Internet gets bigger and bigger, people are starting to just go to their chat rooms or message boards and complain amongst themselves, which is fine.
But perhaps the best hate mail to a sportswriter of all time did involve Hawaii, if indirectly. Lance Griffin of the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle tells the story:
"Oh, just write anything remotely critical of Alabama football in Alabama and a steady stream of e-mails, letters and calls come your way accusing you of being an Auburn graduate," he says.
Well, there he was in 2002 -- when Pisa had about a billion tackles and UH barely lost to 'Bama in a Dick Tomey-era-like thriller -- and he had to write something on the way home about the Dennis Franchione situation. Coach Fran and Texas A&M were eyeing each other, and, well, you know how it turned out. But to Alabama fans it was unthinkable that a coach would want to go anywhere else.
Griffin, however, was not a fan and he saw the writing on the wall. He wrote a column saying the Crimson Tide administration would have to step up if it wanted to keep the coach, "that coaches will no longer stay at Alabama just because it's Alabama. And I ended the column with the line 'Remember, Aloha also means goodbye.' "
But apparently a BIG mistake.
"The next morning," Griffin says, "the first message on my voice mail was the voice of an elderly lady who simply said, 'I WISH WE COULD SAY ALOHA TO YOU!!!' Then she hung up."
Attention e-mailers: This is how it is done. Best comeback of all time.
I asked Lance if I could share that with you in the paper and he said, "I love telling that story."
You think he loves telling that story?
Probably not half as much as the woman loves telling it.
» Reading Cindy Luis' story yesterday about the UH Board of Regents meeting is a perfect illustration of why the BOR has bought into Herman Frazier. It all sounds so good, the proposed facilities upgrades. It really does, just wonderful stuff. But of course with Frazier it isn't about how the plans sound, but when (there was more than one "the budget should be balanced by next year" pronouncement before it actually happened) or even if (the schedule) they become reality. But the latest dreams about athletic facilities do sound good. Sounds like wonderful stuff.
» Portland Oregonian columnist John Canzano has ranked new PSU coach Jerry Glanville as the 15th most influential sports figure in Oregon, before Glanville has even coached a game. "You either have it or you don't. ... And now that Jerry Glanville has it, he's going to regularly bop you over the head with it," Canzano wrote. He loves Glanville even more than I did, which I didn't know was possible. But it isn't even close.
» I'm reading "The Bronx is Burning" ... and also occasionally catching the show of the same name. I can't decide which is better. Though I would have liked to have seen Steinbrenner played by the back of Larry David's head ("Costanza!").