The decade that was

December 26th, 2009

I hope everyone is enjoying a happy holiday season. I’ll be taking a few days off, but will be thinking about the biggest local sports stories of the years 2000 through 2009, and I’d like your input. There sure is a lot to choose from, ranging from UH football to local golf phenoms Michelle Wie and Tadd Fujikawa to historic happenings in Hawaii high school sports to MMA and BJ Penn. There were plenty of great achievements by teams and individuals from here.

Tell me your favorites and why. It truly was a monumental decade.

–By Dave Reardon

13 Responses to “The decade that was”

  1. UHM92:

    For me, these are my most memorable sports stories:

    1) Timmy Chang breaking Ty Detmer’s record

    2) BJ/GSP vasoline controversy

    3) 2007 Warriors, especially the come from behind 12th win at home

    4) Colt Brennan and his multiple NCAA records

    5) And of course, the failure of UH to retain JJ at the height of a successful season

  2. Joe More:

    The #1 local sports story has to be the ‘June Jones Era,’ which basically encompasses everything about UH Football from the last decade, including Timmy Chang’s record, Colt Brennan’s success, the victories, the bowl appearances, and the high number of Jones’ players who made it to the NFL. I think fans and journalists could break down UH Football 2000-2009 into many different sub-stories, but all of these are directly related to the reign of the former-UH and now current-SMU coach, June Jones.

    My # 2 story has got to be the rise of BJ Penn in the fast-growing sport of MMA. I wasn’t so sure about this MMA sport at first, thought it was a fad. But it seems to be here to stay, and the kid Penn from Hilo is amazing. I’ve seen him fight a few times now and his skillset is awe-inspiring. I will admit that I’ve turned from critic to fan of MMA now that I see that the promotions have legitimized it through state sanctioning and regulation. And its great to see one of Hawaii’s own excel at such a high level.

  3. Warrior Dave:


    Got to be UH’s perfect football season in 2007.

    The streak brought so much excitement to everyone in the State of Hawaii from September until even after the Sugar Bowl.

  4. Manoa Mist:

    1. Have to say the rise of MMA coupled with the success of BJ. He’s kept Hawaii in the limelight.
    2. UH’s undefeated weak schedule regular season coupled with the Sugar Bowl embarrassment followed by JJ’s leaving. Maybe this is No. 1 like Warrior Dave suggests.
    3. The tide of destruction at UH left in the misguided hirings of Dobelle and his henchman Frazier.
    4. The one LPGA victory by Michelle Wie after almost a decade of hype. Gotta give her credit.
    5. The establishment of Dave Reardon’s blog at the Honolulu Star Bulletin. If not for that, none of us would be here.
    Peace out.

  5. ted:

    Couple more to add to the list:

    UH men’s B-Ball 4 straight post-season trips

    Riley Wallace’s “Retirement”

    Dave Shoji’s 1,000th victory

  6. Calvin Kuniyuki:

    Hello Dave,

    Ewa Beach’s comeback victory in the 2005 Little League World Series. In terms of setting, atmosphere, and what was at stake, that has got to go down as one of the most exciting athletic events of all time. The Hawaii team came back from three runs down in the last inning against the defending champions from Venezuela and won it on a walk off home run in extra innings. Ewa Beach played with incredible skill and composure–in a way that made us in Hawaii and fans across the nation who were cheering for them proud! Just an amazing, unforgetable game!

    Waipio follow that feat up with another World Championship three years later. They had to beat a very worthy opponent from Louisiana to get to the championship game. In the run up to the title game, Mexico seemed invincible, but Hawaii turned out to be way better on that day.

    Perhaps we should just say “Hawaii’s two Little League World Series Championships.”

  7. 310 Warrior Alum:

    The greatest moments should most certainly include Colt Brennan and the undefeated season with the final blow-out at the Sugar Bowl. The season before was even a greater season for Brennan, which he should have been one of the finalist for the Heisman. Timmy Chang had his moments, but the interception record really put a damper on things. One thing that is probably the greatest success story is how good (great) the Wahine Vollyball team has been throughout the decade. This is one of the most underated success stories and should rate as one of the top stories of the decade.

  8. hiro nui:

    Hey Dave,
    Although I had a nephew on the loosing end of this game and the fact that it was overshadowed by UH’s undefeated season, Leilehua’s upset of St.Louis at the state championship in 2007 with a come from behind victory at the waning moments of the game led by a sophomore who was playing in only in his fourth or fifth varsity game.
    The ultimate David and Goliath story that make grown men cry and give football fans reason to cheer for the underdog.
    Then of course Manti Teo’s national spotlight moment carrying his whole team on his shoulder to win Punahou’s first state crown in football, the young kid enduring the pressures that no other high school player has ever had to endure in quite some time, moving on to Notre Dame and starting as a freshman.
    Not to forget Punahou’s and Kamehameha’s string of state championsips in Baseball and girls volleyball.
    And Punahou being recognized as the top high school sports program in the Nation.
    Well as you can see with a thriving high school sports environment thanks to Keith Alameda and all his staff only helps a sports culture that is well developed here in a our small state of Hawaii.

    Just look at how many OLYMPIANS Hawaii presented at Beijing, I read somewhere that if Hawaii was its own country, it would have been ranked 8th in the medal tally. Just think, a Hawaii born and raised kid is the world’s greatest athlete (Bryan Clay). With other gold medals in Women’s soccer (Natasha Kai) and Men’s volleyball( Clay Stanley) our local talent has shun in the world’s greatest stage. BRAVO!

  9. uhwarriors:

    Lots of good big stories have been covered already and all justifiably so. Manoa Mist mentions one of the bad big stories, the incompetent administration of Herman Frazier that led to a weak and incomplete 2007 schedule, lack of soap, the Sugar Bowl ticket fiasco and June Jones leaving UH. It must be noted that the UH’s winningest football coach (Jones), men’s basketball coach (Wallace) and women’s basketball coach (Goo), all left during Frazier’s administration. On top of that, Bob Nash was hired by Frazier after the letter of intent day. While “big stories” usually mean stories of great achievement, Herman Frazier’s incompetence was unfortunately one of the big stories of the decade.

  10. Its over:

    I think the choice should be one that before it happened, you’d say to yourself, “Never happen. Not in a million years. Not in a brazillion years”. . .

    So, I nominate Rich Miano getting married.

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