When I arrived at the San Jose airport and went to pick up the rental car, the agent asked what I was doing here from Hawaii.
Me: “I’m here for the football game.”
Agent: “Oh, Cal or Stanford?”
Remember, this is at the SAN JOSE airport. The Spartans have always been an afterthought in their own town, but even moreso on a down year. A 3-6 San Jose State team on a three-game losing streak against a 2-8 Hawaii squad is not gonna drum up a lot of interest in an area where you’ve got two Pac-12 teams, two NFL teams, a rapidly improving NBA team and a winner of three recent World Series championships.
But, as today’s column indicates, there are plenty of displaced Hawaii folks here who will be happy to attend events tonight and tomorrow before the game and cheer on the Rainbow Warriors during it.
The Hawaii Road Warriors Tailgate Party is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., near Spartan Stadium. Admission is free and there will be plenty of Hawaiian music and local food for purchase.
Also, plenty of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior gear. This event is staged by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, and unlike other entities, it DOES NOT charge UH a percentage for helping sell gear. Isn’t that refreshing?
Football coach Norm Chow and athletic director Ben Jay will attend.
They will also be at a kickoff dinner tonight at the Hukilau Restaurant in San Jose.