Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Saturday, September 18, 1999

Looking for a winner to
root for? Try the Wahine

HERE I start rooting for the New York Yankees and they start losing. They're raising the hopes of Boston Red Sox fans once again. Setting them up for another September swan song

I had the same idea last baseball season. Go with the Atlanta Braves, who always seem to win the National League, and avoid the stress that accompanies a losing syndrome.

So what happens? The Braves lose the NL Championship Series to San Diego.

Rooting for winning, not losing, teams is part of a suggested therapy to cure me from being despondent after so many losing seasons of Hawaii Rainbow football.

The football 'Bows' losing getting you down? Root for a winner. That way, there's no stress, no frustration.

"Don't worry, be happy," is my motto.

Hey, a great idea. So I started to root for the Chicago Bulls. No sooner did I do that, Michael Jordan retires, and Da Bulls are no longer the bulls of the NBA.

Then I sought a care-free life by making the Denver Broncos my team du jour after they won back-to-back Super Bowls.

Sonofagun if John Elway doesn't up and retire, and without him the Broncos look like they're from Boise not Denver in losing their NFL season opener to the Miami Dolphins.

THE Yankees, though, were really the antidote, or so I thought. Especially after they signed my main man, Roger Clemens. World Series or bust.

Wish I didn't say that. They're both struggling, proving that nothing's for sure in life.

Now, I don't believe in bachi and those sort of things, but the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team is now my therapeutic team of choice.

And boy, did Lily Kahumoku, Heather Bown, Jennifer Carey, Jessica Sudduth, Veronica Lima and Heidi Ilustre, in particular, come through big-time Thursday.

You've got to remember that the day didn't start out too well. I was told I no longer had a job after Oct. 30. The Star-Bulletin was going to stop the presses.

Well, the Wahine beating Long Beach State in four and ending the 49ers' winning streak at 42 matches certainly made my day after all that bad news.

Don't ask me what I would have done if the Wahine had lost. Even I don't want to think about it.

If the victory last Saturday over Eastern Illinois lifted the monkey off the collective backs of the Rainbow football team, imagine how the Wahine felt in finally beating the 49ers in a meaningful match.

VOLLEYBALL life has been a bitch for Dave Shoji and his Wahine against "The Beach." The 49ers have given them nothing but grief.

A long-time Big West nemesis, Long Beach State ended the Wahine's season five times - each time in the NCAA Northwest Regional.

And even though the Wahine now hold a 21-14 lead in their series over the years, the 49ers had won 14 of their last 17 matches before Thursday night.

So that victory exorcised a lot of bad vibes for the Wahine, now 9-0 after beating Colorado last night.

It was only the second time they've met the 49ers since leaving the Big West and joining the Western Athletic Conference. So Thursday's victory was a big psychological lift.

Especially since they figure to meet Long Beach State again in postseason play.

Let's hope it won't be until the NCAA Final Four Dec. 16-18 at Stan Sheriff Center.

May there be more stress-free days before then.

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

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