Pat Bigold

The Way I See It

By Pat Bigold

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Agbayani runs
gamut of emotions

BRENDYN Agbayani has had a few things tugging at his heart lately.

For one thing, he's aching to see his older brother, Benny, play as a New York Met.

He's never had the chance, and it just has to be this week.

He'd originally planned to go to the West Coast to see Benny play in San Diego or San Francisco between Aug. 13-18.

But when the Hawaii Hammerheads won the right to host the opening Indoor Professional Football League playoff on Aug. 14, he swallowed hard and fulfilled his responsibility to his team.

I remember how hard it was for him.

The Hammerheads did need him. He scored two touchdowns against the Mississippi Fire Dogs to help them advance to the league championship.

Right now, he's working for Federal Express in Honolulu but wants to find a way to get to New York when the National League playoff series with Arizona shifts back there on Friday.

"I heard watching a game in New York is really exciting," said Brendyn.

Somebody told him he should take an employee hop on one of the Fed-Ex planes.

Brendyn will consider it, even though Benny wants to pay his way.

"I don't really want to put it on him," said Brendyn, who spoke with Benny at 6 p.m. Hawaii time yesterday.

"He's all excited and wants me to come."

BRENDYN said there was little time for Benny to celebrate in Cincinnati last night because the division series was to begin today.

"No rest. They were going right to Arizona."

Another thing on his mind is the Rainbow Warriors' football team.

He wishes he was still playing for them now that the run-and-shoot he and Benny excelled in at St. Louis is finally in place.

Brendyn said the 48-yard pass play to Channon Harris against UTEP was a page right out of his high school playbook.

"That was the first pattern we learned at St. Louis," he said.

"The confidence and the motivation are up there now," said Brendyn. "I think that Coach June Jones, Ron Lee and Wes Suan showed them that with this run-and-shoot offense, you can really rack up the points and discourage defenses."

Brendyn has been living vicariously through the player wearing his old uniform number (5).

Watching Afatia Thompson score his first career touchdown last weekend and help Hawaii improve to 4-1 on the season was somewhat of an emotional experience for him.

Brendyn and Afatia's late older brother, Eli, were close buddies at St. Louis.

They spoke the day Eli died unexpectedly about how great it would be to play again together as Rainbow Warriors.

I'll always remember how Brendyn told me that Eli gave him a hug that day, and how Brendyn added, "I'm lucky I got that hug."

By the way, Brendyn and his wife, Victoria, also have an emotional stake in the sagging fortunes of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. Victoria is the sister of defensive end Ma'a Tanuvasa.


One last note: Let's keep the Rainbow Warrior mascot shelved. The football team is winning without it. As I wrote in January, this skin-toned pin cushion doesn't inspire anything.

Pat Bigold has covered sports for daily newspapers
in Hawaii and Massachusetts since 1978.

E-mail to Sports Editor

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