It all goes according to the script
"I haven't seen a beating like that since someone stuck a banana in my pants and turned that monkey loose."
-- Randy Quaid, "Vegas Vacation"
SOMETHING cool happened, at the end of this game. They applauded. The people above the Northern Colorado locker room stood up, and applauded. Long, like at the end of a great show. Hawaii fans, known for booing in recent seasons, were classy. It was special. They wanted Northern Colorado to know they appreciated what the Bears had just done.
It could have been 80. It could have been anything. Really, you name it, it was possible. That's what happens when your opponent is two steps slower and has trouble holding onto the ball.
The good news is that this looked exactly like it was supposed to. That this was no Michigan-Appalachian State. The good news is that this was every bit as ridiculous as we'd all imagined. That's all we could ask for, and that's what we got.
"They did exactly what we thought they were going to do," Colt Brennan said, "and we were able to do what we do."
Perfect. There's no way to put it better than that.
Hawaii was unstoppable on offense, as expected. The defense, a brick wall. Brennan set or tied several records for completions, touchdowns, yards and bad hair. (Actually, I loved the hair. I love how he continues to go with bad hair as a sign of humility. It's very "Kung Fu.")
"I know the Big Island is supposed to be bigger, but my head isn't round," Brennan said of the semi-accurate archipelago dyed into his head.
"That's what I like about Colt," Ryan Grice-Mullins said. That's what they all like about him. "He's out there having fun."
Still, we already knew that. The only question that was answered last night was this one: Would the game's title sponsor stand at the 50-yard-line shaking hands with Herman Frazier while Frazier received a rousing "ovation"? (Answer: No. New chancellor Virginia Henshaw did the honors instead in one of her first major public appearances.)
The starters were brutally efficient. It could have been as bad as they wanted it to be.
The real fun began in the second half, with Mike Washington's 80-yard punt return for a touchdown. This meant something. If anyone had worked long and hard for a moment like that, it was him. Then, Tyler Graunke bounding into the huddle for the first time, so amped, so full of adrenaline, he was shaking his head back and forth so hard you thought he might hurt his neck. The starters savored those moments.
"We want them to get in," Grice-Mullins would say.
"We're all brothers," Timo Paepule said. No, this game gave us no deeper revelations, nothing we didn't already know. But it was fun for the whole family at the very least.