March Madness….

….makes April fools of us all.

Here’s my bracket for this year’s NCAA basketball tournament. A lot of fun….

My pick? No clear-cut favorite this year, but I have Duke over Kansas in the title game. My other Final Four picks are Ohio State and Miami.

But the big story of the year is the University of Hawai’i being snubbed once again. Sure, we lost 15 games. Is winning that big a deal? I smell a conspiracy….

Beaching It….

Walked down to Waikiki Beach for University of Hawai’i Wahine beach volleyball since today was the only scheduled home date. It’s officially called sand volleyball (if your school doesn’t have an ocean conveniently located nearby.)

The matches are held at the Queen’s Beach Sandbox which has four adjacent courts.

There was a nice crowd of fans and tourists. Diamond Head makes for a nice backdrop.

Here’s our #1 pair, with “Walls” in the background.

On the way back, I stopped by Marukame Udon for lunch. It’s the only restaurant in Waikiki that has a constant line all the time.

You go down a cafeteria style assembly line to pick up your udon and assorted tempura side dishes. Mmm, so ono….

Glory Days….

“Glory days well they’ll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days”
– Bruce Springsteen

Those were the good ol’ days. Derek Tatsuno, Deitre Collins, and Bob Nash of the “Fabulous five.” I remember Niko Noga, Yuval Katz, Mario Monico, Natasha Kai, and Pono Ma’a.

And of course, Colt….

Girls Rule….

Seems like the University of Hawai’i Wahine teams are starting to overshadow the men’s Warrior teams. The softball team made it to the College World Series for the first time, guaranteeing a top 8 finish. The Wahine volleyball team ended its season at #3 in the nation. Pretty sweet….

The future does look bright for the entire sports program. The men’s baseball team just won the WAC and the basketball team’s recruiting class was ranked as the 7th best in the country.

The only question mark is the football team. Hopefully, Coach Mac can get things back together again. Until then, the Wahine will continue to have the lead story on the local sportscast. Girls rule….

The Home Team….

Recently, my friend Dan listed some of his favorite UH athletes on Facebook. It was nice to reminisce. Then it got me thinking….

Who are the best athletes out of Hawai’i currently? Arguably, they would be golfer Michelle Wie, Olympian Brian Clay, World Series Champion Shane Victorino, and UFC Champion B.J. Penn.

Funny, but none of them are former University of Hawai’i athletes. Funnier, none of them are as beloved as Colt Brennan, Derek Tatsuno, the Fabulous Five, or the Wahine volleyball team (the “darlings” of the UH program.) There is a dynamic present here….

I believe that there is an affinity between Hawai’i and its university’s sports teams. They seem to “represent” us. It’s an “us against them” kinda thing (“them” being the mainland.) Shane plays for Philadelphia, but Colt played for Hawai’i. UH is the only “show” in town, but it’s more than that. Sports seems to be the only visible platform where Hawai’i competes against the rest of the world. If you play for the University of Hawai’i, you play for us. Fittingly, their slogan is “We play for you.”

The “legends” of UH sports lore will always have a place in our hearts. Unless another one of our Little League teams makes it to the World Series, UH will always be Hawai’i’s team…. “the home team.”