Kalani Simpson


By Kalani Simpson

Football was a big
Fiesta for Frazier

HERMAN Frazier was one of those guys with the funny color coats. You see them, throughout the land, touring press boxes, shaking hands. They wear matching blazers, like the old ABC Sports announcing crew, like members at Augusta National.

Bowl officials. And their appearances late in the college football season always create a buzz. They're watching. They're making a list. Their annual appearances are a college football tradition. Their fall colors get tongues wagging and eyebrows raised.

Yellow! The Fiesta Bowl is here!

Herman Frazier was one of those guys.

The new Hawaii athletic director wore a yellow jacket once, as the president of the Fiesta fiesta in the 1998-99 season. This, he is quick to remind you, was the first Bowl Championship Series championship. Big money. Big excitement. And what a wild, crazy time it was.

"Going into that final week we were all over the country, looking at teams because Kansas State was still undefeated, you remember," Frazier told the Honolulu Quarterback Club last week. "Tennessee was undefeated, we didn't know who was going to play in our game. And UCLA was also still playing against the University of Miami in that famous 'Hurricane Bowl' game that had been suspended."

Frazier saw them all.

"That particular year I saw 38 football games. Count 'em. Thirty-eight football games. And if you want to have some fun flying around the country looking at football games, that was the most fun I've ever had.

"Now obviously, how did I do 38 football games? Some of them were doubleheaders. So we would watch a game, jump on a chartered plane, and go watch another game on that same particular day. That was fun. A lot of fun."

Sounds like it. But the point is that the new guy is more than track and field, Alabama budget crises or Arizona State. His image is the Olympics (and he can thank his official introduction by president Evan Dobelle for that), but there's more to Frazier than meets the eye. And he wants us to know it.

Frazier spoke of serving as chair of the Maricope County Sports Commission, of working behind the scenes when Major League Baseball came to Arizona.

His message is twofold: He knows how to get things done. And he has credentials in so-called "conventional" college sports as well. He's not just an international man of mystery.

"So if you think I don't understand about college football?" he said. "I know a lot about college football. And what it can do if you have successful teams in college football."

LOVED THE Hawaiian flag on the back of Waipio's batting helmets in the Little League World Series. What a finish.

And speaking of the LLWS, what's up with the 6-foot, 200-pound kid in the tournament?

I played against that guy. But in my day, he had a mustache.

A RESPONSE to Saturday's column about Timmy Chang's latest bout of bad luck: "Why is it that two weeks prior to football season everyone's testosterone levels get beyond the breaking point? Your article is an insult to 'gentlemen' unless you're a jock without brains. If you had a son, you could not possibly write that trash."

COMMENT: If you think it will improve my writing, I'm willing to try anything.

A doctor in the audience writes: "This kind of fracture heals fairly well in a few weeks but doesn't reach full tensile strength for six to eight weeks -- at least." Bear in mind this sports fan, M.D., has not examined Timmy, but does wish him good luck.

I read this in a national column and I agree: By participating in the "Bracket Busters" basketball showcase, the WAC is branding itself a mid-major conference.

Of course, if they're going to call you mid-major anyway, I guess you might as well go for it and get a few games on TV.

But it has to be infuriating that the Mountain West, for some reason, isn't put in that same group.

Watching Hawaii's defense should be fun this year -- or at least exciting. Listen to UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa: "We want to play aggressively against the run, we want to put as many people up front as we can, and when it's a pass we're blitzing 'em."

Kalani Simpson can be reached at

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --