Kalani Simpson


By Kalani Simpson

Signing day and
Pro Bowl weirdness

AH, yes. I remember my own letter of intent day. No newspaper articles. No ceremony.

Just me and a pen.

They weren't offering much money. Compared to these Division I, full-ride recipients we're reading about today, it was hardly anything at all.

In fact the paper in front of me may as well have said, "Yeah, you can come play."

But that was enough. I looked at it. I signed.

My dad took a picture.

That was it.

Not quite as official and elaborate as what we saw yesterday. But in some ways it must be the same.

The feeling of a decision behind you, and made. Something over, and just begun. Nervousness, the good kind. Smiles. Relief.

It's real now.

Letter of intent day is a golden time when all pressure is off and every future is bright.

And it was a big day, yesterday, for everyone who had something to sign.

>> The most embarrassing moment in the Pro Bowl: In the chaos behind the end zone in the game's final minutes, Cindy Luis observed that the mascots must be burning up running around in those furry suits, and asked which outfit was probably the worst. At that exact moment, I turn into the all-star cheerleaders, all of them, walking right past us one after another in a line, less than a foot away from me just as the words "I think they're all hot" were already escaping my lips.

>> Yet more weirdness from the Pro Bowl: A guy wrote in demanding to know how I could write that an actual football game effort out of the all-stars could possibly be as much fun as halftime entertainer Jennifer Love Hewitt. I noticed his e-mail address:

>> Nice to see UH win a big recruiting battle against BYU.

>> Here's hoping the back of his jersey says "J. Rolovich." And that the chants of "RO-LO! RO-LO!" at least wait until the kid actually gets into a game.

>> Speaking of which, the UH baseball recruiting class -- uh, team -- opens this weekend.

>> Joe Paterno is one of college football's legends. You can't blame a kid for being swayed by the man with thick glasses and white socks.

But it says something about the caliber of athlete Hawaii is recruiting when you're losing out to the likes of Penn State.

>> Attention TV people: Jason Elam never played for the Warriors. And the basketball Rainbows are not Warriors.

>> "White-Out Night" was a great success for Rainbow basketball Saturday, with Riley Wallace estimating that only 61 out of more than 9,000 people didn't go along with the program. With a crowd like that, the effect is striking.

So naturally, UH is going for it again.

But it will be interesting to see what a white-out looks like at the Wahine game tonight, where there might not be quite 9,000 in attendance.

>> You get the feeling the UH men are tired of answering questions about trying to win away from home.

After the Tulsa game Carl English detailed the woes of the road for us media types, and I went into jet lag just listening to him.

Is that a bad sign?

Kalani Simpson can be reached at

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