Archive for February, 2012

Conversation with Colt Brennan

February 29th, 2012

I had a brief phone interview with Colt Brennan this morning. Brennan is excited about his opportunity with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

DR: What’s next for you?
CB: We have a two-day minicamp in Florida, March 31 and April 1. And in late May I head up to Saskatchewan.

DR: Have you been there before?
CB: No, I actually have never been to Canada before. Someone told me when you think of Saskatchewan, think of Nebraska. Real country, outdoorsy.

DR: How is your physical condition now?
CB: Physically I’m recovered from the accident. I feel great. The doctors and the rehab people and all of the medical people were great. I feel like I’ve had a good chance for my body to rest up. Now it’s time to get in football shape now.

DR: What is your training plan?
CB: I’m going to train here in California. I was thinking of training in Hawaii, but my agent’s here, and he’s got a lot of guys who just finished training for the combine and getting ready for the draft, so I can workout with them and I have a personal trainer here.

DR: How much of an adjustment will the CFL game be for you?
CB: I have to go up there and learn the game. It’s a little different. I just know right now it’s nice to have a job and know what I’ll be doing.

DR: Your former UH teammate David Veikune is on the Roughriders roster. Have you been in touch with him?
CB: Not since I signed because I just got back from Colorado, visiting my sister. We’d been doing some text messaging stuff. At one point he told me one of his coaches wanted to talk to me.

DR: Do you have a longterm goal?
CB: I’m just excited to play football again. It will be a total experience.

Here’s today’s column on Brennan and precedent for NFL quarterbacks serving an apprenticeship in Canada (subscription required).

Colt Brennan to the CFL

February 28th, 2012

Finally. Should have done this a couple of years ago.

Here’s the story from Pro Football Weekly, first reported by the Associated Press.

Note: Brennan last played for the Oakland Raiders, not the Baltimore Ravens as is implied in this report. The Raiders picked him up as a free agent in the 2010 preseason.

Case in point against UH hoops in Mountain West

February 24th, 2012

This ridiculous road trip that the University of Hawaii basketball team is now stumbling through is a perfect example of why UH is fortunate to be going into the Big West next season.
Far-flung games at Montana, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech don’t make sense for competitive and financial reasons. Losses by scores of 94-79 and 115-73 with one still to go at LaTech are the result.
The bracket buster joke at Montana was unavoidable because ESPN dictated it. But this should serve as a warning for advocates of all UH sports being in the Mountain West rather than just football.
Traversing the Mountain West wouldn’t be much better, with outposts in places like Wyoming — and with the new alliance with Conference USA, is there any guarantee the Rainbow Warriors wouldn’t be sent farther east, to some place like say, oh, Ruston, Louisiana?
The Big West makes sense for Hawaii because the schools are in California. Plain and simple.

The Quotable Coolen

February 22nd, 2012

Today’s column was quote-heavy, and that’s because Hawaii softball coach Bob Coolen is one of the most quotable sports figures in the state. An interview with Coolen is like a home-cooked meal by mom … the leftovers are really good, too.
Here’s what didn’t make the column about the Wahine and their 12-0 start to the season:

“People now pick each other up.”

“We do situational hitting, but our motto is reach for every fence, wherever we play at. We’ve had that happen 18 times (in 12 games).”

“We’re patient but aggressive. Not aggressive but stupid.”

Coolen had every player draw the hitting zone on a piece of paper, and had each identify a “special spot” in the zone. “A spot where you swing even at 3-0.” He also had them identify their most challenging spots.

“They’re believing in each other. Two years ago we had the same philosophy.”

“Last year chemistry wasn’t good. We had a lot of stuff bubbling in that vial. We had kids who wanted to do things differently than the way I wanted them to do it. It was the same team (as 2010) minus our leaders. This year we have very strong leaders, seniors and others.”

Coolen acknowledges that the competition gets tougher with Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M coming up. He also said that DePaul and Missouri Kansas City were tough opponents because of strong pitchers.

On the 11-day layoff: “It’s part by design and part by budget. We used the money we saved by not staying on the road another week to provide more guarantees (money for visiting opponents). This is good for us. Now we can rest, get back in the weight room and get back to maximum strength. We have our own little March Madness, playing what seems like every day in March. As many home games as possible.”

He said everyone contributing throughout the lineup, “makes the team much happier.”

Rainbows in transition

February 21st, 2012

Disappointed in the University of Hawaii baseball team’s 1-3 season-opening series against Oregon, including two very lopsided losses?
If you are, you weren’t paying attention.
This team is undergoing the biggest offseason makeover in 11-year coach Mike Trapasso’s tenure. And I can’t remember a bigger one during Les Murakami’s time either.
You don’t replace the entire infield, half of the starting rotation and most of the relief staff without missing a beat.
Fortunately for UH, though, it will almost always be in the game when Matt Sisto or Jarrett Arakawa is on the mound.
There’s going to be some rough sailing in the early going, but the Rainbows should win at least four of their five games against Wagner this week.
Positives and negatives after the first four games:
Plusses — Better overall defense than early last season, better overall speed. Collin Bennett looks like he’ll be OK at third and was productive at the plate. Conner George looks like he’s ready to live up to his potential. Freshmen Stephen Ventimilia and Kaeo Aliviado will wear down opposing pitchers and win games for UH.
Minuses — Lack of effective pitching after Sisto, Arakawa, Jesse Moore and David Longville; lack of consistent hitting with runners on and no power hitting.