Archive for December, 2008

Happy ending

December 31st, 2008
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Well, that was an eventful year.
No need to rehash it, since I'm sure every news organization will do that today and tomorrow. But here's something that turned up. It's a letter from the owner of a construction company to Na Koa, the UH football booster club. It was written during the summer:
"I am pleased to make a donation in the amount of $1,000 to Na Koa Football Club in the name of Colt Brennan. Recently, Colt agreed to help my family with autographs on footballs and jerseys. When we asked what we could do for him, typical of Colt, he had no compensation expectations but suggested that if there was any interest in making a donation, that we make the donation to Na Koa so that it can contribute toward the successes of the UH football program.
"One of the autographed footballs will be going to a youngster in our family living in San Diego who is an avid fan of Colt's and very recently found out he has Hodgkins disease. The football autographed by Colt will be a very special gift ... as (he) faces a medical challenge for his young life.
"Colt is a very special young man, and he is sincerely appreciative for all he has done to provide hope and improve the UH football program, the university and to our state, and we owe him a debt of gratitude. It is clear that Colt believes in Na Koa and the support it provides to the UH football program, and I am glad to be able to act on his suggestion."

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SteveM, our archivist, suggested that when it's the new year in your area, you post it. Like most of SteveM's suggestions, this sounds like a good one.

A great Dane

December 30th, 2008
By



The San Francisco 49ers recently made former UH offensive lineman Dane Uperesa an offer he could refuse.
The 49ers wanted to sign Uperesa to their practice squad with the hope of adding him to the full offseason roster.
But Uperesa politely — everything he does is respectful — turned down that offer. He also had turned down other offers from NFL teams.
That's because Uperesa, who spent the past two seasons on the Cincinnati Bengals' and then Indianapolis Colts' practice rosters, has decided to retire from football.
"It was something I was thinking about for a while," Uperesa said. "Football was always a vehicle for me."
Uperesa said he chased the pro dream but, in the end, decided, "I'd be happier trying to live life in the real world."
Uperesa's fiancee is in dental school at Creighton University in Omaha.
He has moved to Nebraska, and plans to pursue a master's degree at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
"I wanted it to be a decision made completely by myself," Uperesa said. "Football was always a way to get things I wanted. I got a great education (at UH), and I had the best five years of my life (there). I met some great people. I had a ton of fun. Now it's over. I'm ready to move on. I'm very happy."

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A reader named "John" sent me these links to two quizzes. He wants to see how well blog readers will do. Check them out:

http://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/name-bowl-games.php

http://www.jetpunk.com/quizzes/name-college-football-teams.php

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This is very off topic, but how do people feel about fireworks?
I wasn't a big fan of fire when I was a kid. OK, I might have been traumatized. When I was in New York, our seventh-grade class went on a week-long trip to D.C., where we bought fireworks. We were dropped off back at the school. I put a Roman Candle in my back pocket, then made the walk home. I noticed there was a kid behind me. I looked, and he had a match. That was the first, of many times in my life, somebody tried to light a fire under my arse.
Then there was my cousin, Todd Kubo, who taught me how to light a string of firecrackers, but wasn't too clear on when to let go.
So, no, I wasn't a fan of the big-bang theory.
But now my son does fireknife performances, and we've got an annoying neighbor who calls to scream at us at 12:15 a.m. New Year's Day, so I'm back on the fence on the issue. Your thoughts?

The latest winner is ...

December 29th, 2008
By



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Jason!
He gets two tickets (front-row, baby!!!) to Tuesday night's finals.
My bud Christie drew the winner's name using chopsticks. The Bobbi Brown bag (as background) is proof of authenticity. Thanks again to Kinda Shy for providing the tickets, which I believe also include hospitality-room passes.
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There's a wire report that the Pro Bowl will be in Miami in 2010. Thoughts?

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It's been a pretty good year for former UH slotback Davone Bess. He had a breakout rookie season with the Miami Dolphins. He got married. He became a father. And now the Dolphins, following the greatest turnaround in NFL history, are in the playoffs.
How are you feeling?
"It feels great, man. Words can't describe it. Knowing how hard we worked ... it's just a great feeling. I'm happy for Chad (Pennington, the quarterback). The Jets kicked him to the curb."
How's Samson (Satele, the former UH center)?
"He was so excited. He was going around the locker room yelling, 'Chee-hoo! Chee-hoo!'"
Going 12-0 or going to the playoffs?
"Oh, man. I've got to say 12-0. That was never done before at UH. Going to a BSC game, that was never done before. That was special. But if we make it to the Super Bowl, I'll have to think about that question again."
Will the $18,000 playoff check come in handy?
"Diapers are expensive."

And the winner is ...

December 28th, 2008
By



Al.
He gets the two front-row seats to Monday's Rainbow Classic games.
Give me a call, and I'll have the tickets left at Will Call.

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The final episode of the best television show, "SportsNight," was entitled, "Quo Vadimus" — Latin for "where are we going?"
The English translation was asked (peppered with a little French) yesterday in, of all places, a church foyer. Two season-ticket holders who had a miserable Christmas Eve demanded answers.
Because I'm a sports reporter, with nearly unlimited access, I, of course, had no answers.
Coach Mack said what everybody else has said: UH needs to cut down on sacks.
That also was the emphasis after the Sugar Bowl, which is why the Warrior quarterbacks spent the entire spring working under center. It was why Jake Heun was recruited, and why Aaron Kia practiced as a tight end.
But then Heun and running back David Farmer were injured in training camp, and injuries led to a shuffling on the offensive line, and the run-and-shoot wasn't effective with the QB under center and ...
Quo vadimus.
Then somebody mentioned that defensive back Ryan Mouton left Hawai‘i yesterday, and all of sudden it hit how much he'll be missed — and not just as a player.
What made Mouton important was his ability to transcend cliques. The best Warrior team in years — the one in 2006 — also was one separated into a few groups. The alpha group was led by Samson Satele, and his willingness to include Colt Brennan into the fold solidified the offense. Brennan set the records that year, but it was Satele who led the team. Some claimed he was the offensive line coach that year.
Mouton also had that impact. Mouton and Keao Monteilh were the leaders of the secondary. Mouton also pushed his roommate, wideout Malcolm Lane, to become a more aggressive player. Everybody liked and respected Mouton.
More than anything, the Warriors need a leader next year, somebody who can interact with all groups. It should be John Estes. More likely, it will be Rocky Savaiigaea, if he can stay healthy. And if he's serious about it, JoPierre Davis also is ready to step up.
So maybe that's the answer. The Warriors will go as far as somebody will lead.

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The Advertiser sports gang had our Christmas lunch today (it actually might be for 2007, deadlines and all). It was at Tsukiji Fish Market.

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f-clerks.jpgOur clerks

f-wai.jpgOur organizer

f-gang.jpgOur gang

Gerke leaves UH

December 27th, 2008
By



Alex Gerke, who coached the UH running backs and offensive line, has accepted an assistant coach's job at Utah State. UH head coach Greg McMackin said he will not fill the position until after the recruiting period ends in February.