Archive for October, 2011

B.J. Penn’s place in history … Is any win bad?

October 31st, 2011
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Hawaii sports history, that is. Now that he’s saying he might retire, where does the state’s greatest MMA fighter rank among the state’s all-time sports heroes? I imagine this will fall along generational lines.

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Simple question which today’s column addresses. A lot of folks are unhappy about Hawaii’s 16-14 victory at Idaho on Saturday. Were expectations for this team too high going into the season? They’re 5-3 and still have a shot at the WAC championship.

Saturday Night’s Not Alright … Poll Shakeup

October 24th, 2011
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Today’s column on fighting at Aloha Stadium during the UH football game generated a lot of reader comments. Also some emails that I’ll post later. I spoke with stadium manager Scott Chan this afternoon. He said obviously safety is the biggest priority at the stadium. He is reserving additional comment until he gets a chance to meet with the stadium’s head of security, Andrew Chang.

Thank you to Blake Tolentino, who was in the stands and saw the entire incident from close range and provided me with information about it.

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Here are the polls. Unbeatens Oklahoma and Wisconsin fall to Texas Tech and Michigan State. Since I’ve been instructed to strongly consider face-to-face meetings when voting in the Associated Press poll, I’ve got the upset winners above the teams they beat, at least for this week. You win, you deserve that. Now, in doing that, I ended up putting Wisconsin below Nebraska, which it soundly beat a few weeks ago. I may catch heat for that, but so be it. That game was about a month ago and Nebraska is much improved.

Here’s my ballot: 1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Stanford
4. Oklahoma State
5. Clemson
6. Boise State
7. Oregon
8. Kansas State
9. Arkansas
10. Virginia Tech
11. Nebraska
12. Michigan State
13. Texas A&M
14. Texas Tech
15. Oklahoma
16. South Carolina
17. Wisconsin
18. Michigan
19. Arizona State
20. Georgia
21. Houston
22. USC
23. Penn State
24. Southern Miss
25. Cincinnati

Awesome Austin Kafentzis

October 21st, 2011
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Hopefully for Hawaii, Austin Kafentzis will follow his family’s cleatsteps and play football at UH.

But that’s three years down the line from now. Austin, the son of former UH defensive back Kyle Kafentzis and nephew and cousin of too many other UH football alum Kafentzis’s to count, is just a high school freshman.

Despite this being his first year of high school though, Austin is putting up some incredible numbers as starting quarterback at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah. They are good enough to make him No. 2 in total offense nationally with 3,604 yards.

Kreutz resigns from Saints

October 21st, 2011
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This might be it for one of the greatest football players — debatably the best — ever from Hawaii.

Olin Kreutz, a six-time Pro Bowl center with the Bears, has left the New Orleans Saints midway through his first season with the team. His agent said Kreutz did not feel he was earning his paycheck, so he resigned.

Thoughts?

UH’s Circle is incomplete … Pal’s pick

October 19th, 2011
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Softball pitcher Brooke Wilkins was long overdue for inclusion in UH’s sports Circle of Honor, so it’s great to see she’s been voted in. Soccer star Natasha Kai is deserving, too, though maybe it’s a little soon after her UH career considering some of the other athletes who should also be in. Gender equity pioneer Patsy Mink Takemoto — who never played college sports — is also being inducted this year. But where is Nani Cockett, the best all-around player in the history of the women’s basketball program more than a decade after the end of her career? Still not in the Circle of Honor.

I also agree wholeheartedly with Stephen Tsai, who points out the glaring omission of so many great football players. Even if  “honor” is a large part of the criteria, many of those excluded have proven over the course of time they are just as good as people as they were as athletes at UH (Michael Carter, Ashley Lelie and Chad Owens quickly come to mind) and should be in.

If a goal of UH’s Circle of Honor is to acknowledge and spread the legacy of its athletes’ greatest achievements, perhaps it needs to revisit its criteria and process for enshrinement. And maybe there should be two circles: One strictly for the athletes (take the word honor out if that would help) and one for the coaches, administrators, boosters, etc.

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Pal Eldredge called to get the word out about the Variety School’s fundraising golf tournament. It’s set for Thursday, Nov. 10, at Ewa Beach Golf Club. Cost: $450 for team of 3, or $150 individual, buffet dinner to follow. Call 732-2835 for more info.

Of course, if you talk to Pal Eldredge the day the World Series starts, you gotta get his take, right?

“I’m an American League guy, so I’m leaning to the Rangers. They’ve been tough all year. Even though the starting pitchers haven’t been good in the playoffs, the depth of their bullpen is very good. If Josh Hamilton isn’t the best player in the game, he’s very close.”

Thanks, Pal.

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Today’s column is about UH basketball player Zane Johnson and leading by example.