Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Saturday, April 10, 1999

Run-fest a welcome
change for Rainbows

WEEKEND musings, or good news and bad news in the world of sports.

First,the feel-good news.

Well, it has to be Hawaii's baseball Rainbows, who broke through their winless showing on the road with a vengeance.

OK, so it was against a bad Air Force team. To say that the Flyboys had no pitching is an understatement.

Even then, a win's a win, especially on the road.And you know how the Rainbows-in any sport - fare in Western Athletic Conference games on the road.

And they swept Air Force in impressive fashion, including a school-record 34-run victory.

No, I'm not being redundant. Believe me, one of these years you might run into a WAC game in which a team might lose despite scoring that many runs.

Anyway, the 'Bows set school records for most runs (34), hits (35), runs-batted-in (31) and total bases (53) in a game.

I'd put asterisks after all of the records, though, with a note saying, "Played with winds gusting 50 to 60 mph."

Scoring 34 runs in a baseball game is hard to believe, even though Nebraska beat Chicago State, 50-3, earlier this season.

Shades of football-type scores.

One Star-Bulletin caller couldn't believe it when he asked if the Rainbows won. "Yeah,' he was told, "34-11."

"You sure it wasn't football?" he replied.

I should have told him, of course.He probably never saw the football Rainbows play in recent years.

Heck.In their last three football games at Air Force, the Rainbows have scored only 16 points.

TALK about a sneaky segue into bad news.

UH football, what else?

Oh, spring football camp's going fine as it can be.It's great seeing new head coach June Jones being hands-on on the field,instructing the quarterbacks and receivers to his style of offense.

But I'd sure feel better if the Rainbows would recruit a couple more quarterbacks in time for this fall.

Returning starter Dan Robinson needs some back-up help quickly.UH fans remember how banged up he got last year, reducing his effectiveness.

Protecting Robinson will be the offensive line's No. 1 priority this season.Otherwise, it'll be another long season for the Rainbows,even under June Jones.

Then, there's the matter of Charles Tharp, easily the best running back for the Rainbows the last two years despite a sophomore slump.

Tharp has asked - and received - his release, so that he can carry the ball for some other team.

Say it isn't so, Charles.

That's the bad news.

The good news?

Maybe now this season we'll get to see more of Avion Weaver, who was so underutilized last year.

Still, it would have been good to have both of them alternating running the football.As UH fans know, you can never have enough running backs and linebackers.

The same goes for quarterbacks. And this is the position where the Rainbows clearly are the thinnest. Real, scary thin.

Then there's the good news and bad news about former champions getting a life-time pass to the Masters.

It's great to see Arnold Palmer getting invited back and playing 36 holes even though he knew his chances of making the cut were nil. But it's a bummer when Billy Casper, Bob Ford and Gay Brewer accept invitations only to withdraw after playing one round.Why bother?

Bill Kwon has been writing
about sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1959.

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