Archive for December, 2012

UH fans missed out on great hoops

December 25th, 2012

Hi Dave and best wishes for the holidays!

Speaking of hoops, I have a gripe to bring up, and it is a recurrent problem that comes up this time of year.

Case in point:

We have been UH season ticket holders for many years. Last night after the UH win, there was a notable exodus of UH fans heading for the exits in spite of the next game featuring the #3 team in the country and a good Miami team. Sitting next to us is a season ticket holder and his wife, and they got up to leave as well. I asked him if he wasnʻt going to stay for the next game. He said that he just wanted to watch the UH game and wasnʻt interested otherwise.

As you know, the Wildcats are very, very good, and the few fans that stayed around were treated to a very competitive game at least in the first half with many highlight plays. If it werenʻt for the UA fans (who travel well), the stands would have been embarrassingly empty.

Itʻs actually pretty disgraceful when you think about it and reflects poorly on Hawaii’s fans. Also in this case it wasn’t a Friday or Saturday night contest, and the scheduled start was 6:30 so folks would be home relatively early. The holiday season? Probably a factor but still if you enjoy college basketball especially at the highest level, I just canʻt understand not taking advantage of a ticket that gets you two games. I suspect that the championship game which really matches the two top teams on the west coast will also feature a lot of empty seats again.

We’ve seen this pattern before with the old Rainbow Classic, and I think its demise and loss of sponsorship support and regional TV coverage eventually was at least partially due to attendance problems especially if the UH didnʻt make it to the evening games. The DH Classic is going to have a hard time challenging the EA sports Maui tourney if people are going to treat the non-UH games as afterthoughts with little interest. In the last years of the Rainbow Classic the fall off in attendance was mostly due to the lack of “name” teams unlike the salad days at the Blaisdell with the likes of Duke and Michigan. Fans pack the gym at ʻIolani to watch top mainland high school teams in the annual classic there. Local fans fight to get the few available tickets for the Maui tourney. Yet on Oahu, a lot of the people who go to UH games apparently are not really big fans of the sport unlike the situation for volleyball for example. I also wonder a little about the lack of extras promoting the DH Classic: A friend tried to buy T-shirts for his kids but was told there werenʻt any (unlike Maui where all kinds of souvenir items are available)

As we were enjoying watching Mark Lyons and his talented teammates in action against the Hurricanes, I felt sorry for those people who left early and at the same time a little embarrassed for Hawaii. In a nutshell, there is no substitute despite HD TV coverage of being live at a sporting event. Of course the ESPN coverage tries to minimize the views of empty seats but the future of our tournament here may be a little problematical as a result.

Thanks for listening and keep up the good work!

Peter Caldwell

Bowl picks, against the spread

December 15th, 2012

Just for fun, my college football bowl season picks (spread, not straight-up; my pick listed first)

New Mexico Bowl: Nevada getting 9 1/2 against Arizona
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Toledo getting 10 against Utah State

Poinsettia Bowl: San Diego State getting 2 1/2 against BYU

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl: UCF giving 7 against Ball State

New Orleans Bowl: LA Lafayette giving 6 against East Carolina
Las Vegas Bowl: Washington getting 5 against Boise State

Hawaii Bowl: SMU getting 12 against Fresno State

Little Caesers Pizza Bowl: Central Michigan getting 5 1/2 against Western Kentucky

Military Bowl: San Jose State giving 7 to Bowling Green
Belk Bowl: Cincinnati giving 7 1/2 to Duke
Holiday Bowl: UCLA giving 1 to Baylor

Independence Bowl: Louisiana-Monroe giving 7 to Ohio
Russell Athletic Bowl: Virginia Tech giving 2 to Rutgers
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Texas Tech giving 13 to Minnesota

Armed Forces Bowl: Air Force giving 1 to Rice
Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy getting 13 from Arizona State
Pinstripe Bowl: Syracuse getting 4 from Virginia
Alamo Bowl: Oregon State giving 2 to Texas
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU giving 2 1/2 to Michigan State

Music City Bowl: Vanderbilt giving 6 1/2 to NC State
Sun Bowl: Georgia Tech getting 10 from USC
Liberty Bowl: Tulsa, pick ‘em over Iowa State
Chick-Fil-A Bowl: LSU giving 4 to Clemson

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Purdue getting 16 1/2 from Oklahoma State
Gator Bowl: Northwestern getting 2 from Mississippi State
Outback Bowl: Michigan getting 5 from South Carolina
Capital One Bowl: Georgia giving 10 to Nebraska
Rose Bowl: Stanford giving 6 1/2 to Wisconsin
Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois getting 13 1/2 from Florida State

Sugar Bowl: Louisville getting 14 from Florida

Fiesta Bowl: Oregon giving 9 to Kansas State

Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M giving 4 1/2 to Oklahoma

Compass Bowl: Pitt getting 3 1/2 from Mississippi

National Championship: Notre Dame, getting 9 1/2 from Alabama

1/8 Bowl: Kent State getting 4 from Arkansas State

The former AD

December 13th, 2012

Jim Donovan won’t come out and say it, but I think it’s pretty clear he’d still rather be athletic director at the University of Hawaii.
But since that is no longer a possibility, getting the job as athletic director at Cal State Fullerton is good for him because he grew up in the area and his parents, who are getting up in age, live nearby.
Considering everything that happened in the past several months — and the extreme likelihood that his contract at UH was not going to be renewed — Donovan landed on his feet professionally.
“I love UH and I love UH athletics,” he told me in a phone interview Thursday after he was introduced as the CSF athletic director. “But I am a Titan now.”
Whatever you think of Donovan professionally or personally, anyone who knows him knows this: He put all of his heart into his work at UH and battled some tough obstacles along the way.

The new AD

December 8th, 2012

I really wasn’t expecting to hear from Ben Jay last night after being told he was on his way back to Ohio. And UH’s press release on his acceptance of the athletic director job didn’t even have a quote from him.
So it was a pleasant surprise when he did call in response to my e-mail, at about 11 p.m. his time after a long flight and whirlwind several days.
You can read about him in today’s column; we talked about UH’s finances, repairing the damage stemming from the Wonder Blunder, the NCAA and a bit about his personal background and philosophy. We will all get to know Jay more beginning later this month; the tentative plan is that he will return to Hawaii the week before Christmas. He said he hopes to start work at UH in early January.
Jay said he has been to Hawaii a few times, going back to when he worked for what was then the Pac-10, and to visit his cousin, Yulee Okazaki.

Tough Cuts

December 5th, 2012

Here’s the list that I started with for today’s All-Time Hawaii Grown football team, there are a few more I have to add that were considered, and let’s hear who else you think should be on it:

Quarterback: Garrett Gabriel (Pac-Five/Hawaii), Jason Gesser (Saint Louis/Washington State), Marcus Mariota (Saint Louis/Oregon).

Running back: Joe Igber (‘Iolani/Cal), Chris Fuamaut-Maafala (Saint Louis/Utah), Adrian Murrell (Leilehua/West Virginia).

Fullback: Bob Apisa (Farrington/Michigan State), Mosi Tatupu (Punahou/USC).

All-Purpose: Tommy Kaulukukui (Hilo/Hawaii), Herman Wedemeyer (Saint Louis/Saint Mary’s).

Wide Receiver: Ashley Lelie (Radford/Hawaii), Chad Owens (Roosevelt/Hawaii), Jason Rivers (Saint Louis/Hawaii).

Tight end: Russ Francis (Kailua/Oregon).

Offensive line: Bern Brostek (‘Iolani/Washington), Rockne Freitas (Kamehameha/Oregon State), Toniu Fonoti (Kahuku/Nebraska), Chris Kemoeatu (Kahuku/Utah), Olin Kreutz (Saint Louis/Washington), Chris Naeole (Kahuku/Colorado), Dominic Raiola (Saint Louis/Nebraska), Jesse Sapolu (Farrington/Hawaii), Samson Satele (Kailua/Hawaii), Max Unger (Hawaii Prep/Washington).

Defensive line: Junior Ah You (Kahuku/Arizona State), Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis/Cal), Charlie Ane (Punahou/USC), Al Harris (Leilehua/Arizona State), Al Noga (Farrington/Hawaii), Niko Noga (Farrington/Hawaii), Jesse Mahelona (Kealakehe/Tennessee), Levi Stanley (Farrington/Hawaii).

Linebacker: Brian Cabral (Saint Louis/Colorado), Kurt Gouveia (Waianae/Brigham Young), Manti Te’o (Punahou/Notre Dame).

Defensive backs: Blane Gaison (Kamehameha/Hawaii), Rich Miano (Kaiser/Hawaii), Hal Stringert (Saint Louis/Hawaii), Jeris White (Radford/Hawaii).

Kicker: Reggie Ho (Saint Louis/Notre Dame), Dick Kenney (‘Iolani/Michigan State), Peter Kim (Kaiser/Alabama).