Keeping Score

By Cindy Luis

Monday, September 27, 1999

Women’s football
too late for some

I saw you there. All of you up in the stands at Kailua High on Saturday evening. You made up over half of the some 300 fans in the stands. I could hear your thoughts.

"If only this were 5 ... 10 ... 20 years ago.'' I know what you were thinking, all of you female grid wannabes.

I was thinking the same thing. Man, I would love to be out there playing football.

The Hawaiian Wave, the island entry into the Women's Pro Tackle Football League, debuted Saturday. It was a controlled scrimmage between the Wave's blue and white teams.

Sure, there were some opening-night snags. And the P.A. announcer kept asking for someone to volunteer to run the scoreboard.

As in most opening games, there were plenty of penalty flags, mostly for motion. One holding call resulted in the first ever touchdown being brought back.

At first, we thought it was because Emma Mamea had been whistled for excessive celebration following her 40-yard TD run. At least it wasn't face-masking on a field goal attempt.

OVERALL, it was a pretty good showing for the team. Those skeptics in the stands had their doubts in the beginning but came away impressed.

"Did you see Louise give 'em block?'' asked one youngster.

"Wow, Cheryl Grimm... how many tackles?'' asked another.

Grimm, an HPD officer, recorded the first arrest ... er, tackle of the game. The name of the former Wahine volleyball player, a member of UH's 1979 championship team, was called often after that.

There were many other familiar faces in the stands, women I recognized from various other sporting venues - from the prep to the collegiate level. These were women who, 5, 10, 20 years ago would have been on the field.

Bobbi Perry wasn't convinced. The 1968 Olympic volleyball player had competed in intramural flag football while at Long Beach State but had her doubts. I know she would have at least tried out.

Me, too. I played flag football at UCLA, mostly quarterback and middle linebacker.

It was great, from what I can remember. My last game as a senior is a little fuzzy. It was the championship game and it came against a rival sorority.

I think we won. I'm not sure. I spent the night in the med center with a concussion after being kicked in the head by a 6-foot lineman during overtime. Alice, I'm still looking for you.

I always wanted to play football and resented the fact that my brothers could. Think there was even a dream to play for the San Diego Chargers.

Now that I may have some free time following the closure of the Star-Bulletin in a few weeks, this might be the time to loosen up that ol' throwing arm.

My age is not the biggest deterrent, however. No way am I ready to have my weight announced during player introductions.


Speaking of alternative occupations ... perhaps screenwriting is in the future.

Several weeks ago, before the season even started, the Star-Bulletin's Senior Editor Diane Chang and I were discussing a made-for-TV movie should the UH football team become the NCAA's turnaround team of the year.

Now that the Rainbows are 3-1 and looking like a possible 7-game winner, I'm beginning my casting calls.

No question that Tom Selleck would play June Jones or that Rodney Dangerfield is the pick as Fred vonAppen.

How about Pat Morita as Hugh Yoshida? And Ken Mortimer? The name escapes me but I like the guy who played Les Nessman on WKRP.

I'm open to other suggestions. And bribes.

I need the money.

Cindy Luis is a Star-Bulletin sportswriter.
Her column appears weekly.

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