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Dave Reardon

Evening QB

By Dave Reardon

Monday, March 13, 2000

Sports, with
a side order of

TODAY we attempt the impossible. We try to fix the wrongdoings of a songwriter who unwittingly (we think) miseducated millions of people - including, ironically, many sports journalists, as well as fans.

The word "ironic" and its derivatives are the most over- and mis-utilized words in the English language today (other than utilize, which is a word of very little utility, because "use" is always just as good).

A few years ago, Alanis Morissette sang "Isn't it Ironic?"

Well, the ironic answer was, and still is, "No, those things, such as rain on your wedding day, aren't ironic, they are just unhappy coincidences."

Of course, if the irony of the answer being "no" is what she was going for - then she's a freaking genius.

Perhaps you see the irony in a hit song by an angst-driven artiste being discussed in a sports column. If so, congratulations, you know what the word means. (And I promise, we will get to sports.)

ACCORDING to Webster's, ironic means "directly opposite to what is or might be expected."

It does not mean, "coincidental" or "interesting," or "I'm-so clever-for-pointing-this-out-to-you."

OK, linguistics lesson over. But to reinforce what we've all just learned, here are some examples from the sports world:

It IS NOT ironic that three of Tulsa's four men's basketball losses this season were against Fresno State. It is interesting, and probably has a lot to do with the way the teams match up - as well as luck.

It IS ironic that Hawaii lost NCAA tournament money by knocking SMU off the bubble in the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

It IS NOT ironic that the UH men's volleyball team beat No. 1 Pepperdine Saturday, instead of Friday in the match that counted in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standings. Just bad timing.

It IS ironic - not to mention moronic - that UH fans keep calling for coach Mike Wilton's head. He's kept a gutsy, injury riddled team together with little more than trainer's tape and brilliant moves, like switching Russell Lockwood to setter.

BY the way, who turned off the electricity? Get Alan Hackbarth back in the house, ASAP. Friday night's crowd acted like it had just spent three nights in the hospital - Costas Theocharidis actually had, and he put on quite a show.

It IS NOT ironic that the Punahou girls' basketball team is full of progeny of well-known Hawaii sports figures. But it is interesting that Nikki Jones (daughter of June), Caroline Ane (daughter of Kale), Becky Hogue (daughter of Bob) and Rachel Kane (granddaughter of Alex) all play for the Buffanblu.

It IS ironic that Punahou coach Shelly Fey (daughter of Harry Kahuanui), is an alumnus of Kamehameha, the defending state champ.

It IS NOT ironic that we received about 15 angry emails from Texas football fans after it was suggested last week in this space that we all send $1 bills to the destitute Longhorns' athletic department, in the hope it might help the football team honor its commitment to play Hawaii here on Sept. 2.

It IS ironic that two of those emails were received last night, six days after the column, and both suggested, "Hawaii, get over it already."

UH has moved on, looking for a new opponent.

Hawaii folks tend not to hold grudges, but they remember. Longhorns might have to expect a little smirk whenever they encounter a Rainbow in the future.

As Alanis might say, the whole affair seems quite the Jagged Little Pill for the Texans to swallow.

Dave Reardon, who covered sports in Hawaii from 1977 to 1998,
moved to the the Gainesville Sun, then returned to
the Star-Bulletin in Jan. 2000.

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