Kalani Simpson


Kalani Simpson

A night with Murakami’s
bleacher creatures

THE directive came down from above.

Last night was to be a full night. A hectic night, with playoff volleyball, and UH baseball, and lots of high school sports, and all of them right up against an insane deadline, all of them finishing all at once.

All of these stories and photos hitting our office with no time to spare.

And if I were going to insist on writing a column from the Rainbow baseball game on a night like this, then it would be very good of me to pau early.

Like, not on-time early. Early early.

Uh, OK, I can do that.

Of course, that kind of cuts out talking to the coach and players after the game.

Realistically, if you really wanted to be safe, it would be better to have everything written, finished and sent before the end of the game.

That makes it kind of tough to actually write about the game.

This would stump most columnists.

Luckily, there was a backup plan.

Fun in the bleachers with the creatures.

(Murakami Stadium has them. Creatures, if not bleachers.)

There is the legend of the man with three beer bracelets on his arm.

I did not find him. I did find "Incoherent Man." A dead ringer for the "Saturday Night Live" character who spouts inspirational gibberish enthusiastically, while his intended audience is left befuddled.

This guy was like that.

I enjoyed Incoherent Man.

But my favorite creature was the guy sitting behind the Fresno State dugout. He had a varied repertoire. He had panache. He had volume.

I could envision him in a "Superfans" skit with Chris Farley and George Wendt.

Fresno State tried a pickoff move to first base. "Oh, like THAT'S going to work!" he said.

An umpire came up with a call he didn't like. "I'll get you a Lens Crafters coupon!" he said.

A nice hit, and Hawaii tied the game. "Let's WALK the Dogs!" he said.

Let's walk the Dogs?

Back behind the dugout, the man was still at it: "Which way is San Jose again?!"

Just as I was wondering what the heck that meant, there was the public address loudspeaker:

"Kalani Simpson, please report to the press box. Kalani Simpson, please report to the press box."

Ho, da shame.

My first thought, my very first thought: how did they know I'd snapped, and bought an ice cream?

I walked up the stairs like a busted kid. But it was only a message from the office:

And keep it short.

Wow, why didn't they just announce that?

"We thought about it," Al Chase said.

Now THAT would have made for a funny story.

The whole night reminded me of a game two years ago, when I sat next to a couple of fans who decided the Rainbows could turn everything around if only they would name the place Murakami Stadium and sell 50 cent beers.

"It would all come together," one said.

"Uncle Roy would come," the other answered.

"We would carry him home!"

The prices were steeper, last night. But the name was there, and the Rainbows won. The fans had a great time, loving it all.

Incoherent Man? I think that was Uncle Roy.

Kalani Simpson can be reached at


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