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By Dave Donnelly

Monday, February 5, 2001

XFL proves to be
all for show

WE have seen the XFL and it is us, to paraphrase Pogo. Not that the NFL's commissioner Paul Tagliabue will lose any sleep at night, since he won't be going head to head with the new football league, a kind of a "What would football look like if played by wrestlers?" type of thing. It all looked Mug shotcosmetic at first, as seen on KHNL Saturday night (and running late, naturally) beginning with the cheerleaders. Each team must employ a cosmetic enhancer. It takes some getting used to seeing plays taking place from behind the camera rather than down the line of scrimmage, and the cameramen are running right along side the players on the field. Just wait until one of them has a concussion. And while the NFL lets the mouth-smackers mug for the camera without a microphone, the XFL seems to encourage the dumbest of comments, getting exactly back what they sought ...

ONE guy who probably cared little about the XFL was Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who pays kicker Jason Elam more per year than the average XFL team's annual salary. Highest paid in the new league is the quarterback, who gets $4,500 per game. Bowlen, in town for yesterday's Pro Bowl and to hold court among visiting players at his Nick's Fishmarket, managed to take in the Punahou Carnival. Attorney Rai St. Chu, who ran the art gallery at the event, reports Bowlen and wife Anabel bought a lot of stuff for their second home on Diamond Head which they're still furnishing. And at the carnival, you might find NFL quality at XFL prices ...

Diverse diners

MATTEO'S G.M. Russell Druce has to be ready nightly for a disparate collection of hungry folks, but it was brought home to him one recent night in particular. At one table were Pro Bowler's Steve Wiznewski of the Raiders, Jamie Sharper of the Ravens and Toi Cook of the Saints. At another table was off-the-air newscaster Russell Shimooka with radio sports guy John Noland. Taking a busman's holiday there that same night was G.M. Al Hosoi of Ruth's Chris Steak House. And finally, following their concert with the Honolulu Symphony, the Juilliard String Quartet paraded in perfect harmony to their table ...

FINAL Pro Bowl item of the day: Eight NFL stars and one Hall of Famer showed they have skills on the links as well as the gridiron, and competed to raise money for charity last week. Winning the event, filmed for later showing by Fox Sports Net, was the "Blue" team led by Rams QB Kurt Warner, Eagles WR Chad Lewis and Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, who wasn't about to allow any young up-and-comer to outshine him. Over $200,000 was raised by the Children's Miracle Network, $50,000 of which goes to Kapiolani Medical Center ...


THE following has occurred in one form or another during the past 40 years or so, after people visiting the islands take home stones, pebbles and even sand, only to have a run of bad luck and blame it on their newly acquired souvenirs. It often follows a news article, such as the one in the Wall Street Journal last October about Pele and her lava rocks. Since then, Clifford Nae'ole, cultural advisor to the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, has been inundated by rocks, often sent to him at "The Ritz, Maui" and somehow the Postal Service gets it to him, helping folks feel they've overtaken the bad spirits of the rocks. Clifford even has a new nickname: "Stone-waller." He says he's received enough stones to build a wall ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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