Happy birthday to UH athletic director Jim Donovan and Aaron (Ronnie’s son).
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Whether Blaze Soares returns from a calf injury this week is not as important to the Warriors as San Jose State believing he will return.
Head coach Greg McMackin said he wants to play play-makers, and Soares is the Warriors’ biggest hitter. In last year’s meeting, Soares was instrumental in forcing a fumble that sparked the Warriors’ comeback victory over the Spartans. Until that point, no Spartan running back had lost a fumble that season.
Last week, McMackin considered closing practices when it was uncertain whether quarterback Tyler Graunke would be available for the San Jose State game. McMackin noted that Funaki and JC quarterbacks Brent Rausch and Greg Alexander have different styles. Why give the Spartans a head’s up? He decided against closing practices when it was clear that Graunke would be OK.
The mystery over Soares’ availability is an advantage McMackin does not want to cede. Teams react differently when Soares is in the game.
The thing is, Soares does not need much practice time. As long as he can run — and he was walking without a medical boot last week — he can play.
The Warriors already will receive a boost from the return of defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea. Josh Leonard was heroic in playing 81 of 86 defensive snaps last week. But the Warriors’ defensive tackles, as a unit, are better when there is rotation. Savaiigaea is a much-needed extra body.
Defensive tackle Fale Laeli, who started 12 games last season, said he expects to resume practicing this week .He played sparingly the first two games because of tendinitis, and did not play against Oegon State because of a high-ankle sprain.
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ESPN is trying to tug at our emotions with coverage of today’s final game at Yankee Stadium.
Other than the fact that I’m a Mets’ fan and will mourn Shea Stadium’s closing even more — Bill Buckner’s error, the 1969 celebration, the Beatles concert, Broadway Joe — it got me thinking about Aloha Stadium’s eventual demise.
What were the most memorable events? The victories — or losses — against BYU? The Islanders? The concerts? The graduations? Robbie Knievel’s motorcycle jump? The old parking system? (Whoops, how’d that get in there?)
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But, ah, Yankee Stadium.
Several years ago, a bunch of us attended a convention in New York.
Gordon Sakamoto, who was The Associated Press’ Hawai‘i bureau chief at the time, helped arranged a tour for our group. We got to go to the statues in center field. We had a tour of the offices. (I even got to use what I believe was Brian Cashman’s bathroom.)
The low point was in the middle of the game when somebody noticed that Brandon Masuoka was missing. Some genius believed he might be feeling sick so we were to check the rest rooms. He wasn’t in Brian Cashman’s rest room, I noted. Well, I went into a public rest room and, realizing that Yankee fans probably wouldn’t understand why I was looking under stalls, decided to abort the search plan. As it turned out, Brandon went to the upper deck to get a different view.