Monday, December 27, 1999

Fans continue
to cheer UH
bowl victory

They 'get into the spirit'
and express joy at sports
bars and stores

See also: Season for the history books

By Treena Shapiro


Sports bars and stores continued to exude jubilation yesterday following Hawaii's upset victory over Oregon State in the Oahu Bowl on Christmas Day.

David Aveyta, general manager of Red Lion and co-owner of Pipeline Cafe, a sports bar in Kakaako, saw the game because it was broadcast on satellite television at both clubs. Between both, about 150 people watched with him.

"Everybody was so proud of what the Rainbows had accomplished compared to last year when everyone was so disappointed," he said. "Everybody has faith."

Thanks to UH's 23-17 victory, Aveyta sold a lot of drinks. "The energy level was so high. Because it was a competitive game, nobody would leave. People stayed even after the game left," he said.

Gabe Salazar yelled at the Oakland Raiders in frustration during the televised game yesterday at Players Sports Bar. But when he was watching the UH game on ESPN, he said, "I was screaming in celebration. As far as the individual plays for UH, I thought they played very aggressive and very hungry, which is a good intensity to have. They had fire in their eyes. It was through the roof," Salazar said.

At Novelty-T World yesterday, workers donned Western Athletic Conference shirts. "Since they won last night, we decided to get into the spirit," said co-owner Stephanie Ching. "It's been such an exciting time for UH."

Ching listened to the game on the radio at home with her family. As for going to the game, she said, "We have a 7-year-old. She wouldn't have enjoyed it."

The store had sold about a dozen UH T-shirts three hours after opening, and Ching was taking down names and numbers for people who wanted Oahu Bowl Championship T-shirts when they became available.

Surfvivor, who had WAC championship T-shirts printed even before the Rainbows took a share of the title, was unable to get the contract for the Oahu Bowl shirts.

Over at Sports Authority on Ward Avenue, manager Yukio Yukama said the team's success has been helping business. "We ordered and sold at least double the amount (of UH merchandise) since last year," he said. "The football program is the biggest part of that."

Yukama only watched parts of the game on television because he was busy spending Christmas with his children. "I don't watch a lot of sports on TV. I'd rather play it than watch," he said.

Frank Ortiz didn't know the game was going to be broadcast on television, so he listened on the radio. He was disappointed by the radio announcers. They were really amateurish," he said. "They were like high school football announcers."

But as for the game itself, "I was impressed with the 'Bows. It looks like they're headed in the right direction. June Jones is a master coach."

Terry Zitkovich, who stayed home because "the two games back-to-back were just a little long," said he was very impressed with the defense and the coaches. "Jones must have given a good motivational speech at half-time. They came back out ready to play and pretty much shut down the Beavers," he said.

But Zitkovich's son, currently a Radford High School football player, probably won't experience Jones' coaching. He's hoping to go to Nebraska, Zitkovich said.

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