Archive for November, 2011

Time to forgive Walter … if he was ever at fault

November 30th, 2011
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Whenever Hawaii plays BYU, the name “Walter Murray” and the word “drop” come up together repeatedly … even now 27 years later.
The more times I look at Murray’s “drop” of a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the 1984 game against BYU, the more I question whether it’s actually a “drop.” Raphel Cherry’s pass is certainly catchable, but not an easy one — even for the 6-foot-4 Murray.
One of the most subjective things in sports, the dropped pass. When we were kids, to me it was, “If you can get your hands on it, and you don’t catch it, it’s a drop.” Not so these days. Maybe I’m just getting old and soft, but like Red Sox fans and Bill Buckner a few years ago, maybe it’s time for Warrior fans to “forgive” Walter Murray (especially since it’s debatable whether this is actually a “drop” or not). Murray was one of the best receivers in UH history and made plenty of big plays in his career.
Take a look at this video (sorry, it’s a BYU production, celebrating its 25 year anniversary of its national championship season). At the end it shows two views of the play. On the first, it looks like an easy drop. On the second, it looks like a very tough catch. I was sitting in the stands that night, behind the end zone, fairly close. But Murray’s back was to me, and I couldn’t judge drop or no-drop.
And, like Buckner’s error, it’s important to remember that the Cherry-Murray disconnect is just one play in the game; the incredible leaping goal-line tackle by Kyle Morrell of Cherry was huge. And that is the play the Cougars and their fans remember.

McMackin on empty seats: “I’m not going to make any pleas.”

November 28th, 2011
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University of Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin was asked at his Saturday postgame press conference about the empty seats in the student section at Aloha Stadium as UH looks ahead to hosting BYU this Saturday. Here’s what he had to say.

“I’m not going to make any pleas (to the students to fill the empty section). Shoot, it’s going to be a great ball game. If people want to come and watch, then that’s great. I know this, I’ve been around Hawaii for quite a while now and I know that if it rains, they don’t want to come to the ball game. I don’t care if you’re playing (USC) or you’re playing whoever, we people, including myself, in Hawaii are spoiled when it rains. I hope it doesn’t rain.”

HPD says not enough info to investigate UH football for alleged point-shaving

November 22nd, 2011
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I wish I could say I’m shocked by the allegations, but I’m not. Hopefully there is nothing to it, but I’m afraid there might be. Rumors and speculation have been rampant, especially in recent days. Here’s the Star-Advertiser’s breaking news report. Sadly, much more to come. Update: HPD has released a statement today (Tuesday) that there is not enough information at this time to launch a criminal investigation.

Where are the students?

November 21st, 2011
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For the second-straight UH football home game, the student section was almost completely empty … even though they get free tickets and transportation from campus to the games. There are at least two popular theories as to why this is happening:

1) There has been a crackdown on underage drinking in the parking lot. I have a very good source who says student drinking in the parking lot was becoming a huge problem, so this is a viable theory.

2) An organized protest by the students because they feel they are being unfairly blamed for fights in the stadium. Theory 2 actually ties in with Theory 1. I could see where the students would feel persecuted if they’re just drinking and not fighting (not that I’m condoning underage drinking). Then there’s Josh Olbrich, the student who won a contest while attending the 11 p.m. UH basketball game last week and told me that there is a protest against the football games: A protest because “the team sucks.”

3) But click here for the real reason very few students are going to the football games. Why would anyone ever leave campus if it’s this much fun?

Austin or Graves? Why not both?

November 18th, 2011
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I’d like to see Shane Austin and David Graves both get significant playing time at quarterback against Fresno State, at least early in the game. Not necessarily alternating every play, but perhaps by series and situationally … Austin in third-and-long situations, Graves in short yardage. Then, for the second half, start whoever did better in the first half. Perhaps even run some formations with both on the field.

I don’t think this will happen, at least not this week, since UH wants to go with one clear starter.

I want to see who is better under the bright lights on Saturday night … it’s a lot different than practice.

One other note; if Graves is the guy and he does well and the Warriors win down the stretch, it could be a great boost to UH headed into 2012 since Graves is only a sophomore now. But I’d also like to see Austin, a senior, get some chances to shine at the end of a five-year career where he mostly waited in the wings.