THE ROAD TO NEW ORLEANS
UH football fan Jon Pickett shows his spirit during the game against Charleston Southern.
Picking the ‘go team’ color scheme
STORY SUMMARY »
University of Hawaii football coach June Jones is calling on Warriors fans attending the Sugar Bowl to wear white shirts on game day.
The fashion statement is meant to show solidarity with the players, who will be wearing white jerseys on the field. Georgia will be in black.
But one fan notes he and his UH-loving friends have already "spent a ton of money on Warrior green attire."
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Fans wondering what to wear and what to bring to New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl had some of their questions answered yesterday.
UH associate athletic director John McNamara sent word via a news release that coach June Jones is calling on all Hawaii fans at the game to participate in a "white-out" by wearing a white shirt.
That's in contrast to University of Georgia coach Mark Richt calling on Bulldog fans to wear black shirts to the Jan. 1 game in New Orleans.
"This is something that both the UH and Georgia fans can have some fun with, and it will be unique to our game," Jones said. "UH fans can wear green shirts around New Orleans during the week to show their UH pride and then sport a white one at the bowl game."
But at least one avid Warriors fan sees the white-out campaign as a marketing ploy. Aldrin Villahermosa said he and his friends had already "spent a ton of money on Warrior green attire and Warrior gear" that they were going to wear to the game.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Amber Schaefer, middle, screamed yesterday as she saw University of Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, left, leaving practice. She got an autograph on her shirt. UH coach June Jones wants fans to wear white during the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day, but one fan sees the request as a marketing ploy.
When told that coach Jones had requested the white-out, Villahermosa, in a phone interview, said: "(White) is not our color. I don't know why Coach Jones would make that decision. After all, he's the one that turned us into black and green.
"It's all about solidarity," Villahermosa said. "It's the only way we can get this thing going. It was this year that proved that the fans are the 12th man on the field."
Villahermosa said he would meet with his group of 28 friends and decide what they will wear for the New Year's Day game. "I guess we'll end up meeting them in the middle and wear double shirts of green and white."
Ti Leaves OK if inspected
At least there is no controversy over the fresh green ti leaves that some fans plan to bring to the game for luck.
A state agricultural inspector said there is no problem so long as they are cut leaves, with no soil.
"People just need to bring them to the plant inspection area at the airport, and ready for inspection," said state operations support officer Carol Russell, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health. "Be ready to open their containers to declare them, whether they be in boxes, carry-ons or check-in luggage. We've had this experience before, when hula halau travel."
On the other end of the trip, when fans arrive at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Craig Roussel, director of horticulture and quarantine programs with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, said he spoke to U.S. Department of Agriculture officials and reiterated the fact that the leaves "require inspection and pre-clearance in Hawaii."
"It's fortunate the local USDA officer here used to be stationed in Hawaii, so she was familiar with the custom and how the ti leaves are handled," Roussel said.