Archive for April, 2012

If there is no Pro Bowl …

April 26th, 2012

… we will miss it, but life will go on. Not as we know it for one day in late January or early February. But remember, we survived the Pro Bowl disappearing for a year in 2010. If I remember correctly, the sun did rise again the next day.

Also, if the NFL does suspend or eliminate the Pro Bowl, that doesn’t mean Hawaii shouldn’t try to continue its relationship with the league. If the St. Louis Rams are willing to give up one home regular-season game a year to play in England, how difficult would it be to entice a West Coast team (all of which are popular here) to play in Hawaii? At least a preseason game.

One big obstacle comes to mind immediately: A tough sell considering the current condition of Aloha Stadium.

I spoke with Mike McCartney of the Hawaii Tourism Authority this morning. He said the HTA is still in talks with the NFL to host the Pro Bowl in 2013. “Oh, yes, we’re still in discussions with them and we want the game in Hawaii.”

“We’re negotiating in good faith and nothing has changed since we last talked (with the Star-Advertiser, last month).”

McCartney said latest negotiation discussion was today, and the possibility of there being no Pro Bowl is nothing new.

“That’s just an ESPN report. That has always been a possibility.”

On possibility of other events partnering with the NFL even if Pro Bowl is suspended or eliminated, McCartney said: “There’s no question Hawaii wants to continue its partnership with the NFL in different ways.”

McCartney declined to provide any details on negotiations or possibilities other than the Pro Bowl. “We’ve agreed to work with them directly and not in a roundabout way, and I have to honor that,” he said.

“It’s more than just yourself out there”

April 25th, 2012

I feel energized and smarter today, and thanks for that goes to the high school student journalists of Hawaii. I look forward to joining them each year at the Hawaii Publishers Association luncheon honoring them.

This year the HPA mixed students and advisors instead of having them at specific tables by schools. That was a great idea, since part of being a journalist is meeting new people and picking their brains, and anyone who wants to succeed as a reporter must overcome being shy.

I enjoyed getting to know the people at my table: Isa Hastings (Mid-Pacific), Dylan Godsey (Kamehameha), Greg Kamisato (Waialua advisor), Jamielynn Quisano (Campbell advisor), Samantha Feyen (Lahainaluna), Mehana Salvani (Kamehameha/Kapalama) and Jacob Kaneakua (Hawaiian Mission).

More and more of the school papers are developing web sites, but not at the expense of their printed editions; the print editions are splashier than in the past and emphasizing color. The schools have adjusted well to the new world of media, using online resources to break news and augment the print edition.

Keynote speaker Sara Lin of Honolulu Civil Beat noted you never run out of space online. She also gave some great advice on networking and making the most of opportunities, and emphasized how journalism remains a great career while it is ever-changing.

One thing that remains the same is that you can learn a lot as a student or professional in this field — every day.

As Dylan Godsey said, “You get inspired because you learn that it’s more than just yourself out there.”

Wise words from a high school student.

Give World Peace a Chance? Not until next season

April 24th, 2012

The more I see the replay of the Lakers’ Metta World Peace (aka Ron Artest) elbow to the head of the Thunder’s James Harden, the more I think a suspension for the remainder of the Lakers’ season — including however long the playoffs go for them — is in order.

Plus a big fine that would go to head injury treatment and research.

Harden tweeted today that he feels OK, but may have a concussion that could keep him out for several games and could affect Oklahoma City’s postseason.

Artest has a long track record of misbehavior on the court. Many who know him say he’s a good guy, but that doesn’t excuse unacceptable violent and dangerous behavior that has no place in basketball.

And this is no exaggeration: If that elbow’s just a little bit higher, Harden could have been killed.

If Roger Goodell were commissioner of the NBA, Artest would be gone, perhaps indefinitely, not to return until a visit to the principal’s office.

Breaking news update: He has been suspended seven games. Obviously from the above, I don’t think that’s long enough if the Lakers advance past the first round of the playoffs.

Ayaka Kaneko … On the dial … Remembering the Brew Crew

April 20th, 2012

>> Ayaka Kaneko is performing well at the LPGA Lotte Championship at Ko Olina. The Sacred Hearts graduate and tour rookie is the only local product to make the cut, and she shot a 1-under 71 on Friday in the third round. She had four birdies to go with a bogey and a double bogey Friday.

>> Keep an ear open for a couple of new radio shows on 1420 AM.

Former University of Hawaii football players Mike Lafaele and Nate Ilaoa will host a show that will focus on sports injury prevention and treatment.

And local sportscasters Mike Cherry and Jahmai Webster will be debuting a weekly hour-long show soon.

>> It was 25 years ago this month when the Milwaukee Brewers started the baseball season 13-0. Hawaii was well-represented on that team by former UH stars outfielder Glenn Braggs and pitcher Chuck Crim and former Hawaii Islanders manager Tom Trebelhorn, who was the Brewers manager.

Thoughts on UH’s Hoops Exodus

April 16th, 2012

Yes, that is quite a trend. Three players with a combined five seasons of eligibility remaining departing from the University of Hawaii basketball team. And all three players started at one time or another for UH, and all three were recruited by coach Gib Arnold two years ago, members of his first class. It’s a class in which seven of nine members have left UH with eligibility remaining.

Did they jump or were they pushed? In the cases of Joston Thomas, Trevor Wiseman and Bobby Miles, good sources tell me they did not “decide” to leave as UH press releases tried to indicate, and that before the season ended they had reason to expect that they would not be invited back for next season — and that they knew this before the team went into the late-season losing streak.

Looking at them individually, I wouldn’t fault Arnold for deciding to cut ties, which is his option since scholarships are renewed annually. Thomas and Wiseman were both disruptive at times, and I think Wiseman’s fate was sealed as an early checkout from the program when he refused to check into a game. Only very talented players can even dream to get away with something like that and suffer only a one-game suspension. As for Miles he was simply not a Division I talent, and also got himself into the doghouse late in the season.

But Arnold does have to be held accountable for so many of his recruits not sticking, regardless who made the decisions to disengage. Especially if he told them they were gone before the end of the season. Especially if it results in an APR hit. Losing most of your guys early to be drafted by the NBA is a lot different than losing most of your guys because they didn’t meet on court or off court expectations.

And the excuse of not having enough time to recruit the year he was hired goes only so far. Perhaps, for the first year at least, he shouldn’t have gone as heavy on marginal high school talents (although I do like the philosophy of recruiting high school players and believe it can work at UH; this trend, however, is patience-testing for an impatient fan base). Then, last year, he went the other way and rolled the dice with talents who would be hard to get into school; most of them did not.

Arnold is polarizing. Those who don’t like him say this is the end of the world and want him fired, now. That’s ludicrous. Those who do say UH basketball is headed in the right direction and all this is just part of building a program. That’s giving him way too much of a pass, especially considering the big raise after last season.

If star center Vander Joaquim leaves — which Joaquim says will not happen because graduation is important to him (refreshing) and those who know the program best do not think will happen — then, we can rant and rave about Arnold losing control of the team. Joaquim would DEFINITELY not be leaving because the coach doesn’t want him around.

So, in my mind, the jury’s still out on Gib Arnold. But his apologists need to remember that these players who aren’t good enough now are players he told us were good enough when he brought them to UH.