The D Line
Short shelf life for trick plays in Internet age
We often go down to the field from the press box with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter of a football game. This is so we can position ourselves to talk to players and coaches as soon as the game ends.
Here's the problem: While on our way, we might be in an elevator or some other place without a clear view of the action when something spectacular happens.
This was the case last April when several of us missed a trick-play touchdown at the end of the Hawaii spring game.
Offensive lineman Aaron Kia lined up as an eligible receiver for the green team, and big No. 77 slipped into the end zone uncovered. Meanwhile, quarterback Bryce Kalauokaaea faked a handoff right, turned to his left and threw to Kia for a 13-yard touchdown.
There was no TV coverage (remember, this was the spring game), so I never got to see this magnificent piece of deception and execution - until yesterday.
"Someone put it on the Internet," Kia said. "I don't know who, just someone on the Internet. Tell whoever made it I said thanks."
I'm struggling to catch up to Generation Text, but I do know how to use YouTube. I quickly became the 746th viewer of "Aaron Kia's Big Adventure," produced by someone named WarriorMojo. So, WarriorMojo, Aaron Kia says thanks.
Any Florida fan can punch Kia's name into a laptop, see the same thing and pass it on to Urban Meyer. But that doesn't matter, since UH offensive coordinator Ron Lee assures me passes to the left tackle are not in the Warriors' game plan.
The Hawaii coaches might even like it if some Gator groupie got all jacked up about this, forwarded Kia's catch to Meyer and wasted a few seconds of his precious prep time. It probably wouldn't make a difference, but 30-point underdogs need all the help they can get.
As for Kia now, he's ahead in a pitched battle with Laupepa Letuli for the starting left tackle position.
Does he ever think about catching more passes - maybe as a tight end?
No such thing in the run-and-shoot, but, hey, a guy can dream.
"I'd love to try that, but my focus now is on doing the best I can at left tackle," Kia said.
The biggest question this fall is who Kia or Letuli will be protecting. Colt Brennan's stellar turn in his first NFL action Sunday (even though it was against a bunch of guys who will be former football players in a couple of weeks) reminded us of what a huge rebuilding task is at hand.
After four practices, I'm thinking the starter should be the guy I had pegged at the end of spring camp, Inoke Funaki. He's versatile, smart and tough.
Even if Tyler Graunke does return before the end of camp, he'll be too far behind to earn time at Florida. He'll have a long way to go just to bounce back from another collision with accountability.
Then there are the JC guys. Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch display moments of brilliance and relatively few bad reads.
Yesterday, Lee said the same thing he said many years at this time when he was receivers coach.
"We don't even know what we're doing yet."
This time, there are those who believe it.