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Let's save handshakes until after the games


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POSTED: Sunday, September 06, 2009

As the Hawaii and Central Arkansas players approached each other in lines for pregame gestures of friendship, the Bears' star running back, Brent Grimes, was having none of it. He hung back, not embracing the idea of embracing the guys he'd bang heads with the next 3 hours.

That is, until a UCA coach told Grimes in no uncertain terms where to move his posterior.

It generated the first chuckle of the season, and at that moment, I decided to be a Brent Grimes fan for life. At least one guy out there had the guts to try to keep it real. Except for coaches and captains, handshakes are for after the game.

It was nowhere near the level of LeGarrette Blount getting all punchy, but it was an affront to the spirit of the manufactured sportsmanship week in college football in its own little way.

Mostly, though, it was humorous.

As for the Oregon running back, I agree he should have been arrested for assault. And if Boise State isn't going to step up and suspend for at least one game the player who taunted him, Byron Hout, then WAC commissioner Karl Benson should. It would be right, and would also dispel the notion some have of Benson being partial to his alma mater.

SPORTSMANSHIP is always very subjective. Friday night, it was serendipitous for UH.

No ha'a/haka. No personal fouls. No gratuitous touchdown in the final minute. The Warriors, especially with Blaze Soares back in the lineup, hit hard. But they also ended up looking like nice guys in their 25-20 win. That might not be a trait you want in your football team, but sometimes it comes in handy.

For those of you disappointed the team did not perform an intimidating dance number pregame, well, remember a football team is there to entertain you, yes—but by playing football. True, what the Warriors did early on might not pass for that, but that just reinforces that these players should spend their time together working on gridiron choreography rather than the new routine.

It's not totally scrapped, though. “;We're saving it for special occasions against certain teams,”; coach Greg McMackin said.

I'm of the belief that the ha'a/haka benefits the opponents more than the guys doing it. I've spoken to many people, including UH players, current and former, Polynesian and non, who say it's counterproductive. Some of them say it's culturally inappropriate, too.

JUST TWO penalties for 5 yards, no personal fouls. Keep that up and we'll be calling this a team of great discipline. By far, the area of most improvement from 2008.

McMackin said he wasn't tempted to make the final score 32-20 with the ball on the Bears' 2 in the last minute. But it wasn't about pity. “;It was strategy. I've seen people do that and fumble it and the other team run it back and win.”;

Some of you remember: Joe Piscarzik, Larry Csonka, Herman Edwards. McMackin also had three UH lost fumbles in his short-term memory bank.

The Warriors should continue with the aloha spirit Saturday at Washington State when it comes to the dearth of personal fouls and war dances.

But they don't need to go so far as giving the ball away four times again.