By Paul Arnett

Friday, December 12, 1997

Local media finds
shoulder to pry on

RANDOM thoughts on a windy day in paradise:

Hawaii point guard Anthony Carter is just a few headlines and sound bites away from catching former Rainbows kicker Jason Elam for the most-reported injury by the local media.

Elam's chronic groin pull -- which came back to haunt the Denver Broncos kicker earlier this season -- drew as much up-to-the-minute attention six years ago as Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey does these days.

Now along comes Carter with a shoulder injury that is causing more panic than a bad session on Wall Street. It makes my shoulder ache just thinking about how many more sublux stories we will read and hear about over the next three months . . .

Former Hawaii head football coach Bob Wagner was fond of saying that a team was never as bad as its worst defeat or as good as its best victory.

That philosophy works well when deciphering the stories about Golden State guard Latrell Sprewell trying to kill his coach, and Nebraska Cornhuskers head football coach Tom Osborne quitting before his work killed him.

Sprewell isn't the dastardly villain many people believe him to be, and Osborne isn't some hero riding off into the Big Red sunset. Unfortunately, in America, we like our labels . . .

It would be nice if the NBA would accept some of the responsibility for the Sprewell incident. After all, the owners helped create this intolerable situation of million-dollar crybabies who respect no one but themselves.

KICKING Sprewell out of the league is a little like Dr. Frankenstein booting his monster out of the castle. He made him. Now live with him . . .

The Star-Bulletin had a vote in the Doak Walker Award and selected University of Texas running back Ricky Williams. Last night, it was announced he won the award given to the best back in the country.

Local football fans should remember Williams. The San Diego native made his college debut against Hawaii in 1995. He had 10 carries for 95 yards, one reception for 48 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Longhorns' 38-17 win over the Rainbows . . .

The Heisman Trophy winner will be announced tomorrow at the Downtown Athletic Club. Obviously, it's between Tennessee's Peyton Manning and Michigan's Charles Woodson.

There has been a lot of debate about who is the best player, but it really comes down to this: As the quarterback of the 11-1 Vols, Manning has made more plays for his team than Woodson has for the top-rated Wolverines . . .

Recruiting season is in full force for the Hawaii football team, and the Rainbows already have landed several local recruits. Which brings up this puzzling question: Why do local football fans encourage their top players to go to the mainland to play for the big-time schools and then criticize UH for not convincing them to stay home? Yikes . . .

LONG Island University brings its traveling basketball show to the islands tomorrow. The Blackbirds already have played at Purdue, TCU and Iowa, and faced Mississippi in the Ball State Classic.

They adhere to the theory that they are going to score 100, and you're going to have to score 101 to beat them. They are averaging 107 a game and ran up a stunning 179 points in a win over Medgar Evers. If not prepared for this offensive blitzkrieg, this is one game the Rainbows could lose . . .

The Shannon Smith story finally appeared in the Dec. 8 issue of Sports Illustrated. Unlike most of the other reports on the UH kicker's drowning last spring, this account delved more into the spiritual aspects of Smith's life.

The piece drew mixed reviews from UH head coach Fred vonAppen.

"The article was OK," vonAppen said. "But the writer (John Ed Bradley) took poetic license with some of the facts. It's still difficult for me to read and talk about."

Paul Arnett has been covering sports
for the Star-Bulletin since 1990.

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