Actually, some hits are OK at UH football camp
THIS camp we've seen Hawaii defensive backs Tyson Kafentzis and Dane Porlas almost decapitate themselves because they decided it was better to alter course at the last second and run into each other than to hit star receiver Davone Bess. We heard Keenan Jones joke that he'd be kicked off the team for taking a sideline shot at a scrambling Colt Brennan.
UH is known for its emphasis on minimizing injuries through minimizing contact. For the most part, no hitting allowed, you see.
Ah, but there were some hits, this camp. We heard big pops. We saw guys flattened. Some poor guy's helmet even flew off, once. These were hits. Genuine hits. And nobody seemed to get into too much trouble afterward. What's up?
Well, here comes one of sports' unwritten rules: There are some guys you can hit. As long as it's not a habit. As long as it's not malicious. As long as it's just an occasional accident.
Oh, officially, no. Of course not.
But I confirmed my suspicions with a few players. Don't even look at Colt the wrong way. But should some unsuspecting freshman end up on the wrong end of intersecting trajectories?
Well, katoosh. But then everyone picks himself up, and the offender will be reminded not to hit.
And then a coach will say quietly, "Eh, good hit."
"That's exactly how it is," one of the offenders said.
Nothing wrong with that.
» KFVE has country's most comprehensive local television package for college sports.
KFVE also gets the last pick, televising what is left over after ESPN first takes what it wants.
And to add to the indignity of losing games to ESPN, when it's ESPN Regional doing the cherry picking, KFVE has the option of buying back games it had (in theory) already paid for. So if you get irritated when mainland announcers mispronounce UH names, you can probably multiply that by 10 to imagine how KHNL/KFVE general manager John Fink feels.
"So when you're watching the game at home, do not bother me and call me up because I had NOTHING to do with these guys," Fink said yesterday at the Honolulu Quarterback Club, to big laughs. "Of course we'd rather send our guys, but we have no choice."
» Which brings us to the other day at UH football practice, when I noticed a suspicious looking character up on the hill, his eyes hidden by shades, hat tucked down low, taking notes on everything the team did.
"Hey, Kalani," he said.
Oh. It was Jim Donovan.
» The Michael Vick situation illustrates the age-old question: What would you do if you had a million dollars? For many of us the answer would be: probably something stupid.
Or, rather, the same stupid stuff we've always done. But on a much grander scale.
» Where can you get one of those old-style 'Bows jerseys Jesse Sapolu is wearing in that commercial? (You know it's probably not his old one -- too nice.)
» One more reason to look forward to the annual award-winning Star-Bulletin UH football preview magazine: one of the ads. UH assistants Greg McMackin, Ron and Cal Lee, Mel deLaura and Rich Miano cuddling kittens and puppies in an ad for the Hawaiian Humane Society. Plus, you know, stuff about football, too.