It’s time to get off the sidelines and on with real life
THERE is a lei around my neck. Cake frosting on my lips. Kisses on my cheek. I'm sure you know what this means.
Uh, no. But good guess. No, it means that today, as you read this, is my last day. Tomorrow is my last column as the Star-Bulletin's sports columnist.
It's been a good six and a half years.
Kalani, did they finally fire you?
Uh, no. But good guess.
No, as many of you know, my wife is from the mainland and we're moving closer to her family. We're moving to the mainland for all the reasons families move to the mainland. It's tough to make it work in Hawaii; it's worth it, but that doesn't make it any less tough. We're moving because the dollar goes further. We're moving because we want to have more kids. It's very much a family decision, a life-decision thing.
Suddenly you sound like Ken Griffey Jr.
Thank you for not using Dennis Erickson.
It's tough. It is sad. But it's the best thing for our family, and we're looking forward to the new adventure ahead.
The Star-Bulletin brought me home at a time in my life when I really needed to come home. I need to thank John Flanagan, who hired me -- I could never repay him for taking that chance. And Joe Edwards who "discovered" me for the Star-Bulletin, and has been my biggest (no, tallest) fan ever since.
It was a privilege to do this job, here, at this paper, with these people. I was lucky to have been given this honor. It could be stressful, and wasn't always fun, and there were even days I didn't want to do it. But I never forgot how lucky I was. I always tried to write with heart. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. But that's OK. One snap and clear.
So you've embraced June Jones' philosophy?
Of course I have.
I've worked with great people. Boss Paul Arnett encourages us to put a priority on family in a business that makes that tough. Dave Reardon was the first person to welcome me, and no one works harder or takes the sports department's performance to heart more. Cindy Luis was my first boss and many of my best ideas come from her. Jason Kaneshiro has been a confidant after rough deadlines late at night. My friend Nick Abramo says, "Who am I going to laugh about stupid stuff with now?"
The list goes on. Al Chase is one of my favorite people. Randy Cadiente is The Man. Sjarif Goldstein laughs at all the same "Seinfeld" lines I do. Jerry Campany has a sly sense of humor. Paul Honda's passion is infectious. Cy Ohira is a guy you just like being around.
And the new, young guys, B-Mac and Billy ... well, I'd probably better go before I have any influence on their promising careers.
Isn't this the part at the Oscars when they play the music to get you off the stage?
Yes. Only a few more. Riley Wallace and Dave Shoji were overly generous to me. June Jones, though we usually got into it by the end of the year, always started each season with a clean slate.
The great Les Keiter. I've enjoyed becoming his friend.
I'll miss everything (well, except traffic). I was lucky. I've already done everything I wanted to do. Thank you, everyone, for doing this with me.
I'll end this column the way Bill Kwon did before me: Go 'Bows.