Noga brothers join the Circle

Self-disclosure No. 1: I don’t know Falaniko Noga or Al Noga personally, and I never covered them as a beat reporter.

Self disclosure No. 2: As a fill-in member of UH’s Circle of Honor selection committee, I nominated Niko Noga and Al Noga. Both are among seven former UH student-athletes who will be inducted this year.

First, there are no concerns about the their on-field abilities. I’m 53, and I’ve followed UH football for 40 years. Niko Noga is the best UH football player I’ve ever watched. Maybe there were players who were better. Maybe not. I’m old, but I’m still younger than dust, and Niko Noga tops my list of top UH football players. Al Noga, of course, was the first consensus All-America first team Warrior.

It wasn’t easy for the Noga brothers. They were raised in public housing, and they admittedly had to sidestep thugs, drug dealers and drug addicts on their way to school. They grew up in a household in which English was not the first language. They didn’t have the benefit of new cleats or coaching clinics or combines. They defied the odds by finishing high school, making it to college, and playing in the NFL.

Although they were great players, they weren’t always great people. They have a police abstract of misdemeanors. In Al’s case, he served six months in OCCC for domestic abuse. That type of behavior is unacceptable. Is it unforgivable? The legal system believes he served the appropriate punishment. It has been five years.

After the NFL, Niko returned to Samoa, where he bought equipment and coached a high school football team. Al had troubles — legal and physical. He told me he believes he is showing signs of pre-dementia, a result of dozens of concussions. Still, Al went back to school, paying his own way, and earned a degree. He is taking classes toward a master’s. He is apologetic about his past problems. He often shows up at UH workouts, encouraging the players to work hard, and accepts only a hug as compensation. From what I can tell, he is well-liked and respected by today’s Warriors.

I spoke with former coaches, players, even some Circle members. For the committee’s part, the vetting was thorough. A large part of the discussion was centered on what constituted “honor.” There was opposition, to be sure. But in the end, both were admitted into a very select club.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve made a lot of bad choices. I’m going to continue to make mistakes and bad choices. That’s life. I’ve worked alongside people who also have made mistakes and bad choices. I can’t speak for others, but I do believe in second chances. Even third chances.

Maybe I’m right. Maybe I’m an idiot. But in this case, I’d rather cast votes than stones.



  1. ai-eee-soos February 17, 2014 12:49 am


  2. ai-eee-soos February 17, 2014 12:52 am

    Thanks for the “header”.

  3. truegreen February 17, 2014 12:54 am

    wow, awesome. good job ST. I know this has been an issue of yours for a long time and great to see you took the opportunity to play a lead role in making it happen.

  4. ai-eee-soos February 17, 2014 12:55 am

    one more …

    mac n cheese OR pohk n beans.

  5. ai-eee-soos February 17, 2014 12:56 am

    nuff dis kine stuff (4).

  6. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 1:23 am

    Pork n beans.
    Unless you let me choose mac and pork.

  7. al February 17, 2014 1:35 am

    its cheese n beans for me….ole ‘

  8. ai-eee-soos February 17, 2014 1:35 am

    #6 – you choose anything you want – just stay downwind.


    . signing off – nurse said pau play.

  9. al February 17, 2014 1:36 am

    nice call stephen.

    one day when you are old…you, too should be welcomed in that circle.

  10. al February 17, 2014 1:47 am

    texas or hawaii?

  11. Warrior Dave February 17, 2014 2:41 am

    Thank you for being the voice of reason ST. You might have taken some slaps but looks like you gave out some cracks!!!

  12. wafan February 17, 2014 3:52 am

    Good about darn time morning!

  13. wafan February 17, 2014 3:53 am

    Baker’s dozen.

  14. maddog50 February 17, 2014 4:43 am

    Nice class…..nice touch Stephen with your comments about past issues….congats to the Noga’s

  15. turfwar February 17, 2014 5:07 am

    Great great news ST. It’s recognition that has been a long time coming. I hope both are in attendance whenever the newest members are introduced at whatever event is chosen for the occasion. I will not miss the opportunity to be there in person.

  16. mano1 February 17, 2014 5:25 am

    ST – What you did for both Noga’s was the best thing I’ve heard you do for the years since I’ve followed this blog and you as a writer. My blog name tells you I lurk often. Thank you again for what you did for both Noga brothers. I appreciate more when people do the right things especially against resistance.

    I’m older than 54 and I’ve watched UH FB since the Dick Tomey days including when Niko just started and I still go to UH games now. He is the best player IMO that UH has ever had too. I met Niko several times while we both attended UH and he seemed like a good guy back then and others closer to him who I knew well confirmed the same. Later after Niko’s NFL career was complete I was lucky enough to play a couple games of basketball at Pearl City outdoor court against him, Al and their brothers. We had a lot of fun in those two games in which we managed to beat them, and be friends for those few hours.

    Congrat’s to both Niko and Al for joining the Circle, and you too ST for being one heck of a human being for helping them get there.

  17. Willie February 17, 2014 5:31 am

    Best Warrior “D” player all time in my opinion, great call! Still remember when Bob Hope introduced Al Noga as one of the All American’s on TV. He was a stud and hope we get more like him soon.

    Only wondering how come it took so long?

  18. Slugger February 17, 2014 5:58 am

    Good morning, ST! Good morning, gang!

    Thanks, ST, for nominating & standing up for the Noga brothers. I never watched them play but those on the blog have called for the Nogas recognition for years. Thank you for giving the public a voice on the committee. Good job representing us.

  19. whitey February 17, 2014 6:45 am

    good morning tsaikos and three cheers for the nogas’. both of you are truly deserving.

  20. Hank February 17, 2014 6:46 am

    Falaniko Noga was the best ever imho as well. Well said ST.

  21. tommui February 17, 2014 7:28 am


    Re: The Noga brothers – about time!

    I met Niko several times – and I remember one remark he made:
    “Samoa is the best – – – but too humid”!

  22. koakane ip5 February 17, 2014 7:33 am

    howzit 808 stay dry now

    well stated mistah Tsai and all are deserving

    being part of the geriatric bunch, I saw all three Nogas bruddahs play for UH and all were warriors

    take care, have some kope and play nice

  23. 3-Prong February 17, 2014 7:36 am

    ………finally. Good job ST.

  24. cavewarrior February 17, 2014 7:42 am

    Great news on Nova brothers. Thank You Stephen! I share your views on this one.

  25. cavewarrior February 17, 2014 7:43 am

    Sorry spell check incorrect…Noga brothers.

  26. Da Punchbowl Kid February 17, 2014 7:47 am

    Very happy for both of the brothers. They are so deserving. And for all you do for UH Football, not only should you join the brothers in the Circle someday, you should also be a permanent member of that selection committee.

    I have been a poster, follower and fan of the Warrior Beat since day one. Your post today is the best I have ever read. And it shows not only your depth of passion for UH Football, but it also reveals what a tremendous person you are. And, last but certainly not least, it showcases your extraordinary skill as a writer.

    To the Niko brothers, good for both of you. And Al, I am proud to call you my friend.

    “To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

    GO NOGAS!!!

  27. Da Punchbowl Kid February 17, 2014 7:51 am

    Point of clarification – The following from my above post was addressed to Stephen Tsai:

    ” And for all you do for UH Football, not only should you join the brothers in the Circle someday, you should also be a permanent member of that selection committee.”

  28. cocobean February 17, 2014 7:54 am

    “I’d rather cast votes than stones.” A subliminal message to DR?

  29. rage777 February 17, 2014 7:58 am

    FINALLY!! Thank you Stephen for finally getting the Noga brothers into the CoH. I know you have been advocating for them for a long time and I have agreed with you the whole time. I am glad a fill-in member could be the voice of reason in the committee. Next time you become a fill-in, you should consider Riley Wallace, June Jones, Natasha Kai, Mark Tuinei, Chad Owens, Predrag Savović, etc.

  30. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 7:58 am

    Absolutely not. DR is extremely smart and an outstanding writer.
    I wrote about why I did what I did.

  31. Ipu Man February 17, 2014 7:59 am

    Didn’t one of the brothers make a tee shirt business?
    A Niko Noga tee shirt with his silhouette would still be awesome today.

  32. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:06 am

    I thought the committee did an excellent job of thoroughly debating each candidate. Ben Jay was very good at moderating.
    Now, the brothers have been previously nominated as individuals. It just seemed that now was the right time. At least, the majority felt that way. Opposition is good. Debate is good.

  33. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:09 am

    Now that the player I felt was UH’s best is in, I hope it opens the way for Garrett Gabriel, Michael Carter, Timmy Chang, Colt Brennan, Vince Manuwai, Samson Satele, Chad Owens, Ashley Lelie, Rich Miano, June Jones, the 1992 Holiday Bowl team, the 2007 team, Solomon Elimimian, etc., etc.

  34. Buffoman February 17, 2014 8:11 am

    I often wondered what set the Noga brothers apart for just about every player on defense who put on a UH jersey. I think it was the “constant quiet ferocity and determination” that made them special. If they were tired beyond exhaustion they would come out, but when they were on the field, it was always lights out until the play was finished. They would chase down runners, blow up lead blockers and just create havoc. You know, I cannot ever remember Niko pounding his chest (as today’ players do) to draw attention to himself with what he had just done. That must have created a new level of fear on the opponent side as they must have had a feeling of what was coming next…more of the same dose of ferocity and determination.

    Someone said that they have not seen anything like the Noga brothers since and I have to agree. I cannot remember who did what on offense from back in the day when they played, but I still have vivid memories of what these two men did on defense.

    I am so happy they are being recognized.

  35. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:11 am

    Ipu Man:
    I think it was Pete Noga who did that.
    Pete, who was not inducted, is paying his way to the ceremony. He was very emotional and proud of his brothers’ selection. This meant a lot to Pete and his family.

  36. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 8:12 am

    Very solid piece ST—kudos! I knew all three Noga brothers, including Pete, and played with and against them in ; I came-up in great time for HS and college football.

    Niko was the most dynamic explosive player that I have seen up close. And that says a whole bunch, I saw Mike Akiu (a legitimate sub 4.3 guy), Mark Tuinei (such a great natural fluid athlete for his size or any size), I worked out and played 7 on 7 with Ronnie Lott, several summers, when they came to train in Hawaii–and they all had nothing on Niko—absolutely nothing from a raw and pure athletic perspective. I saw him take Dave Rimington, who was all-universe, and just dismantle the guy, from out-quicking, to out-powering, to out-willing the poor fella. Wasn’t even close. Niko was a serious cat, and perhaps much of that had to do with a language and cultural barrier. First generation children, always have the hardest road to to tow, and that was especially true for the Noga brothers. Lets just say–Niko did not suffer fools…..

    Al, was a different guy all-together. Perhaps, the road have been paved a bit because of Niko and Pete, but he was far more care-free, and was usually in a happy and gracious comportment. From an athletic perspective, while Niko was literally breathtaking and stunned you with his force and explosiveness, Al had much more synergy with his abilities as applied to the particular sport of football. Again, maybe the assimilation portion had to do with it, but he was far more sophisticated with the nuance of the game, and well, his career speaks volumes on this fact.

    As for second and third chances, my personal opinion is: always give me the fella who is willing to learn and has the internal fortitude to keep on moving and striving. He makes the better person in the long run, and he/she certainly well tell much better stories at the bar or campsite late at night. What people do not always acknowledge is that failure is a much more profound teacher than success. When kids look at a person, the texture of someone’s life is not just the numerous successes, but rather, the scraps on your knees and elbows, and how you addressed and responded to these periods in your life.

    Failure and having shortcomings is instructive, but moreover, it does not mean by any degree that we are less than human, but rather cements this is the common element for all of us, and is the nexus that we have to all people. For that, let us celebrate both the Nogas many victories, and their effort and struggle with life’s many hurdles….Soles— fa’amalo!!!!!

  37. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:14 am

    There was a game against West Virginia when I had to use the bathroom. Real bad. But then West Virginia was lining up for a kick, and Niko Noga was a kick blocker. I had to stay and watch. Niko blocked the kick, and UH won.
    I was a UH sophomore or junior at the time. Bulla had hair at the time.

  38. Inyoface February 17, 2014 8:16 am

    JJ or Von Appen? Go!

  39. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:17 am

    Agreed. If committees are worried about potential behavior, then only dead people should be considered. There are no guarantees in life.

  40. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:19 am

    If it’s football, real estate and golf, the choice is JJ.
    If it’s books, classical music and politics, it’s FvA.

  41. bowwar February 17, 2014 8:20 am

    ST: I’ve seen all the Noga brothers play for UH including George Tupuola…I look forward to their sons and daughters to continue the tradition. I remember sitting in the stands while Momma Noga was cheering for her sons. The Nogas were not perfect and they had their share of “off-field” issues, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they were the finest football players in UH football history. Nice article ST and I’m glad that UH finally opened the doors for the Noga’s induction.

  42. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 8:33 am

    ST: Tru dat. We want our heros to be mythical and above reproach. However, that’s not life. Life can be an effing (e kala mai–just seemed appropriate) struggle, but that does not mean we do not have have joy, happiness and moments of contentment.

    The Nogas, had to act-out their struggles in public, in a world where both media observation and judgement were more than readily available. Most of us, we do our falling down in private, without being antagonized and having the putative evaluation of strangers thrown at our feet—and while the Nogas could lift several Gold’s Gyms, this is the reason they are strong and fierce men, they took life’s problems head-on and without excuse.

  43. 3-Prong February 17, 2014 8:57 am

    42 boo: Well said.

  44. Old School Dave February 17, 2014 8:59 am

    Stephen, thanks for going to bat for the Noga brothers. We’ve all make mistakes and have made bad decisions in our lives. Two types of people in this world; those who think they’ve done nothing wrong (in spite of it all) and those who realize that they’ve “messed up” and try to make amends.

    For me it was Niko’s blocked kick against West Virginia (Oliver Luck was the QB) in 1980, and Al running down that WR from SDSU his redshirt freshman year (1984). On a side note, Petelo was a pretty good linebacker in his own right, too.

  45. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 8:59 am

    Oh, did not get to play on yesterday’s little diversion: late lunch or plate lunch??

  46. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 9:03 am

    Or Booga Booga or Boola Boola??

  47. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 9:07 am

    Hanalei Bay or Prince Hanalei?

  48. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 9:07 am

    The original Booga Booga was awesome. Then I started getting confused when new members came in

  49. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 9:08 am

    Washington Intermediate or Washington Saimin?

  50. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 9:10 am

    ST, boola boola makes for a great cheer, but has absolutely nothing on James Kawika “Rap” Reiplinger, Ed Kaahea and James Grant Benton.

  51. hossana February 17, 2014 9:14 am

    Getting the Noga brothers into the Circle of Honor was long, I repeat, long overdue and I daresay, both brothers deservedly belonged in that Circle and the fact that Al returned to school, paid his own way, and has altered his life ways, exhibits the type of person he is today and I am more than happy to have them be a part of the other honorees in that Circle of Honor. Like I said, initially……looooooooong overdue!!! Congrats to both of them.

  52. Old School Dave February 17, 2014 9:14 am

    Boola: Broiled hamburgers at the Backstore behind Washington Intermediate. Das was da bestest. End of discussion.

  53. NotNasti February 17, 2014 9:23 am

    I’m glad the brothers will enter the Circle of Honor together. I will be there, giving them a standing ovation, and with a little bit of mist in my eyes. Good job ST! You’re a good man.

  54. Old School Dave February 17, 2014 9:25 am

    I wonder if the 1973 UH Football team might be nominated for the UH Circle of honor. They did beat UW at Husky Stadium, 10-7 before some 52,000 stunned fans. UH was basically a Division II team at the time. On the other hand, the pilikia near the end of the season with QB Casey Ortiz might be preventing that, not to mention HC Dave Holmes ouster. Still, there were some outstanding players on that team.

  55. Fei Jai Sigh February 17, 2014 9:26 am

    Thank you, Mr. Tsai.

  56. cocobean February 17, 2014 9:28 am

    Boola. You were a DB back in the day. Were you faster than Niko? Niko-lore has it he competed in the 100 yd dash for Farrington.

  57. 3-Prong February 17, 2014 9:28 am

    52 Old School Dave: Yup, Backstore Hamburger with a Greenriver. Not too long ago they were selling a dry mix seasoning to make your own.

  58. kapakahi February 17, 2014 9:32 am

    Da Samoan Sack Man……

    JMHO but gotta have to be a special player for a UH player to wear #54 on defense……

  59. Boolakanaka February 17, 2014 9:34 am

    Tin tin da dog or tin tin chop suey?

  60. Boolakanaka February 17, 2014 9:39 am

    Coco, you trying to embarrass me in front of my people??! Lol , when Niko was still around 215 or see he was faster than me–not 235 Niko.

  61. Old Diver February 17, 2014 9:42 am

    Niko Noga was a game changer. That is what separated him from just being great.

  62. boya_jr February 17, 2014 9:42 am

    Congrats Noga brothers. I was too young to remember, but I watched you guys play in the 1980’s.

  63. NorthShoreFan February 17, 2014 9:48 am

    Guud Morning Tsaikos…windy like heck today but …. ST makes the day sunny and bright!

    Guud things take some time to brew…well deserved honor for Niko and Al..

    there are a lot more to be Junior AhYou there yet? the gentle giant from kahuku…not only played a great game of football but is a community leader and makes some mean Poly Bread at his restaurant…

  64. HALEAKALA February 17, 2014 9:49 am

    I recall the 1987 AP All Americans on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Niko Noga was wearing a lava lava. He was a physical specimen and he stood out.

  65. Pu'uwai February 17, 2014 9:53 am

    Aloha kakahiaka.

    Waikiki natatorium or Waikiki Sands (all you could eat for $1.25)?

    Imua Rainbow Warriors!!!

  66. NorthShoreFan February 17, 2014 9:54 am

    Can somebody turn the wind machine off?…please!

    Watching the Noga brothers play was something special. Used to watch them specifically to not miss anything they did.
    Niko had some epic battles with Remington in that game. they battled from start to finish. would love to see a video of that game.

  67. kapakahi February 17, 2014 9:54 am


    Junior played for Arizona State…..not UH.

  68. kapakahi February 17, 2014 10:00 am


    The whole 1982 UH-Nebraska game is posted on youtube…..

  69. NorthShoreFan February 17, 2014 10:02 am

    Beeg Mahalo #69…

  70. NorthShoreFan February 17, 2014 10:03 am

    Yup… Arizona State

  71. NotNasti February 17, 2014 10:05 am

    ST re-read your number 6 post again. And again.

  72. kapakahi February 17, 2014 10:18 am

    Remembered a TV interview from Niko’s rookie season where then Saint Louis Cardinal All-Pro LB E.J. Junior said that the Cardinal LB vets never dared subject Niko to traditional rookie camp initiations ‘cuz they were all intimidated by Niko.

  73. Kapahulu February 17, 2014 10:39 am

    Thank You for helping to get the Noga Brothers in the UH Circle of Honor.
    There are a lot of UH Football Fans that agreed with you but had no say in helping them to get in. They have been deserving for many many years. They helped to set the standard on the field. Your post today was one of the best that I can remember on this blog. This is very exciting news and I look forward to being there in person on Saturday March 8th at halfitme of the UH Men’s Basketball Game for their induction. It should be a chicken skin moment and I hope the crowd gives them a standing ovation.

  74. SteveM February 17, 2014 10:42 am

    Good morning everyone!

    Wow ST — how did you get to “fill in” get on the selection committee? Hmmm…don’t answer that. 👿

    Great job on nominating the Niko and Al Noga! Long overdue.

  75. Kapahulu February 17, 2014 10:48 am

    Now that the Noga Brothers are going to be in the UH Circle of Honor, I would also like to see Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang get in. They set National records and brought National recogntion to UH. And we are talking Career Records.
    I would also like to see the 2007 Undefeated regular season UH Football Team get in to the UH Circle of Honor for getting to the Sugar Bowl. No other UH Team has ever done it.
    They helped to set a new standard for future UH Football Teams and brought National recognition to UH and the State of Hawaii. I was one of the many thousands of Hawaii fans that traveled to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. An experience I will always remember.

  76. Luki February 17, 2014 11:02 am

    Awesome to see Niko and Al Noga get they’re due on this. The effort they put forth to be better people is just as great as they’re on field accolades. Glad to see Al help out the team where he can, they should watch cut outs of him and brother Niko, unstoppable.

  77. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 11:05 am


  78. 3-Prong February 17, 2014 11:12 am

    Bows left it on the field that night. Proud to be….
    Jim was in fine form too.

  79. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 11:13 am

    Another Niko lore: back in the day, as some of you might recall, Monday’s under Tomey, were reserved for how shall I say, “cardio day”. Consisted of running 24 110s, 3 set of 8s. Great for getting Bobby McGee out of the lungs and getting booty lock.

    All of them were timed, if I recall correctly, WRs, RBs, and DBs, were to do it in the 15-16 seconds range. LBS a tad slower, lineman a tad even slower….Niko would on occasion run will the WRs, DBs, and then lift with lineman, yanking enormous amount of plates…..sole was impressive even to those who played with him.

  80. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 11:37 am

    Did somebody say Bobby McGee’s?
    On a related note:
    Peaches or Herb?

  81. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 11:48 am

    ST: I spent more time at Bobbys back in the day, then I ever did at Sakamaki Hall, by a long long shot.

  82. Mokihana February 17, 2014 11:51 am

    Thanks to you ST my prayers have been answered. SO HAPPY! When’s the party?

  83. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 11:54 am

    Watched the 82 Nebraska game, I was on the sidelines and god it brought back memories. A couple things were noteworthy: Anthony Woodson had a helluva game (the man was built like Adonis); our safety run support was so stout, Rich and Kent provided force like nobody’s business and loved contact; and Fred Hemphill could have been the modern day equivalent of Richard Sherman (long and lanky, really great burst out of his break, and fantastic ability to open his hip for a guy 6’3) but, Fred was the one guy who went to Bobby’s more than me, and how shall I say, “closed many a deal”, me, I went to Burger King with the coupons they use to have in tourist magazines in Waikiki, and ate away my loneliness.

  84. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 12:08 pm

    Back in the day, Hotel Street or Sesame Street? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

  85. kekaha February 17, 2014 12:10 pm

    i agree with #76 the 2007 season was a once in a lifetime experience, and as a season ticket holder with first crack at the sugar bowl tix, i did not hesitate in making plans for the trip, no matter what it took to get there. I had to go from Lihue to HNL, and then to orange county (aloha airlines was in business). Then to PHX on southwest airlines, which needed to make an emergeny stop in houston due to a mechanical malfunction, eventually making it to new orleans. my thought at the time was this experience may never happen again, and to be in the same venue with georgia, ohio state and LSU (playing for the BCS championship a week later, it was certainly unforgettable.

  86. tommui February 17, 2014 12:20 pm

    #83 All Nuha Already:

    You have to understand that some people are holier than you.

    Of course, if they read the Confessions of St. Augustine, they might understand that those without sin can throw stones.

    St Augustine, you may recall, was no saint as a youth. Saul also went around persecuting Christians until he took the road to Damascus and got religion, so to speak. And Saul, now Paul, was the earliest writer in the New Testament, even before Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

  87. Jm2375 February 17, 2014 12:23 pm

    Howzit Tsaikos!

    Congrats to the Noga brothers on their selection to the Circle of Honor!
    Thanks, ST, for your hard work, persistence, and perseverance in helping to get the long overdue honor.

    From yesterday’s post, it’s the 19th anniversary of us moving to Enchanted Lake and I still can’t figure out which way makai is from my house. 🙄 😆

  88. old808 February 17, 2014 12:36 pm

    Bobby Mcgees man that jogged some memories. Was Bobbys next to Michele Restaurant?

  89. old808 February 17, 2014 12:38 pm

    Wow that jogged my memory…Bobby McGee. Was that place next to Michele’s Restaurant?

  90. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 12:44 pm

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

    Mr. Reardon, I would say you should tread lightly in life. The throne of judgement is squarely built on our own short-comings and the projection of the self-righteous. The conscription to place doubt and an asterisk upon the Noga’s name and this well deserved recognition is the exercise and folly of a duplicitous pen, and a man, who would rather focus on the surgical past, rather than their entire history and story.

  91. old808 February 17, 2014 12:51 pm

    I’m very happy for Niko and Al Noga. Excellent and exciting players from their era. It is not for us to judge others for their short comings when we all have had our share of mistakes. Sin is sin and no sin is greater than the next. In the end the true judge will judge us all. We are blessed with free will to seek redemption to make the right choices and to learn from our mistakes.

  92. old808 February 17, 2014 12:56 pm

    ST my other screen name is oldtimer808 but that name has been frozen from your blog. Why I wish I knew since I am not one of those trolls who seek to to disparage others or to be negative against our home teams. I enjoy reading some of the interesting and useful information provided by the tsaikos.

  93. st. anthony trojan February 17, 2014 12:59 pm

    “Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”

    ― Ronald Reagan

    I would humbly like to add… the mama of the sons (noga) that she raised…she will never have to wonder when she goes to bed at night if her sons made a positive difference….reading this blog will forever put that to rest… now that will be places ..rightly so….into that circle…

    Hope Mr. Chow acknowledges them both as honorary captains at first home game…and honoring mama also on the field wearing # 54…. flanked by her two sons…

  94. bowwar February 17, 2014 1:02 pm

    IMHO DR’s column was absolutely “no class”…The Nogas were voted in and yes, for their “athletic achievements” isn’t that what a Sports Hall of Honor is all about. You don’t see any professors on there do you? Personally, I thought Niko should have been on the Circle a long time ago…I can understand the hesitancy on Al based on his personal challenges, but Niko should have been in. They actually should retire the #54 on the football roster in honor of the entire Noga brothers, as each aside from Pete, wore that number. I hope also that they give recognition to the Kafenzsis brothers for their UH exploits. Yes, Chang and Brennan should also be in the Circle soon, unless DR wants to dig up their personal exploits as well. Really cheap shot DR, same thing you did to MACK…

  95. bowwar February 17, 2014 1:05 pm

    #95: I agree, it would be fitting for Chow to have the Nogas as honorary team captains at the first UH game of the season along with mama Noga. What a great idea and it will harken the spirits past of those great UH teams which may have been short on talent, but HUGE on Will.

  96. Numba 1 Son February 17, 2014 1:06 pm

    Man I wish I could write like 92. Most always thought provoking and eloquent. The words just flow.

  97. Andrew February 17, 2014 1:13 pm


    I share your opinion on the sugar bowl being a once in a lifetime experience, thus wanting to go no matter what. I bought a plane ticket late since I wasn’t sure if I could get time off of work. I paid 2,100 just on airfare alone and had layovers in Phoenix, and Houston and also to this day I refuse to fly US Airways because of how miserable the flight experience was. I pretty much arrived in Orleans 6 pm New Years Eve and left the morning after the game. No doubt the game wasn’t the result we wanted but it was an experience I’ll never forget. Partying for New Years Eve on Bourbon street was probably one of the best parts of being there. The worst (besides UH losing) was having to sit next to two arrogant Georgia fans on the plane back to LA for a layover. They found it hilarious us Hawaii fans thought we had a chance to win.

  98. Inyoface February 17, 2014 1:28 pm

    Mack or Wagner? Go!

  99. lopaka43 February 17, 2014 1:40 pm

    Aloha, Tsaikos
    Returning from long time lurking to agree with everybody that the Noga brothers were awesome, and definitely part of why I’m a long time UH fan, but also to point out what great crowds we had cheering them on! Did you see that crowd in the first half of the Nebraska game? Wow, what a great feeling to feel the stadium rocking like that again!!

  100. WarriorMojo February 17, 2014 1:43 pm

    I give Reardon credit — this time — for putting HIS opinion out there and for explaining why HE feels the way he does.

    I don’t agree with him at all, but at least he’s not hiding behind some unidentified internet source for rumor and innuendo.

    The free expression and evaluation of differing ideas is a good thing.

    Congrats to the Nogas for their inclusion.

  101. Bryson February 17, 2014 1:47 pm

    Just read Reardon’s article,gotta say he must be close to God because the way he wrote that article makes it seems as if he’s not so much as Jay Walked in his life…As Stephen stated people make mistakes it happens,but whats more important and telling of your character is how you grow and learn from those said mistakes however big or small they may be…

  102. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 1:48 pm

    98..Numba1, mahalo nui for your nice words, age has gifted with the makana of blab. Mrs. Boola is not so fond of it….

    100-Inyoface–the thing about Wags, is that his voice always cracked. Players were always giggling.

  103. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 1:56 pm

    103–And that jab, and it was no doubt a jab, about his troubles with the law started in 1987? Seriously, like we are talking about freaking Henry Huihui?? What a little, little man. And don’t even get me started on the sophomoric journalism and “kill piece” that the article represents…..

  104. RainbowCliff February 17, 2014 1:59 pm

    Happy Presidents Day Tsaiko Nation !

    Congratulations to the Noga Brothers on their induction to the Circle Of Honor. I have seen them play after I left UH and can say with out a doubt that those Samoan Brothers were just BEASTS as linebackers causing so much havoc to the opposition. Definetly deserves this prestigous honor and took a wise sports writer in Mr. Steven Tsai to make the difference for it all to happen. Hats off to you kind sir as I CONTINUE trying to do right for my Rainbros during my era to receive recognition for their accomplishments alive today or departing this earth past of yester years long time ago.

    HONOR is a prestigious word and I hope that I may represent it all the time being a former Rainbow Warrior that left it on the floor every time I played. The Noga Brothers were just AWESOME football players who played for UH with HEART, DETERMINATION and FIERCE competitive play that made them OUTSTANDING representing UH football in that great era of the 80’s as I just finished up my elgibility in 1981.

    Goodness comes to those who waits and patience is always of virtue. Mahalo Hawaii for finally seeing the light for the Noga Brothers and God Bless The Tsai Meister for doing good in which others who has the same status with pen has done the Noga brothers an injustice for so long.

    I will be in GREAT spirit coming March 8th and to make it even special the honor will be at halftime of my former Rainbow Basketball Team. I would be so appreciative if any blogger reading my post can download a link to the game that day so I may see the ceremony on The Warrior Beat viewing it from my home computer here in Los Angeles. Tsaiko Nation is a GREAT blog and I am always honored to read and post with you AWESOME fans who support Hawaii athletics.

    Standing ovation for Al and Niko Noga as Circle Of Honor they are and will remain to the end of time. PROUD of these GREAT Rainbow Warriors who truely deserve this HONOR !

    Mahalo Tsaiko Nation for being the OUTSTANDING fans you are as I am so HUMBLE to be part of your LOYALTY and RESPECT to our UH players from the past who deserve recognition. May God richly bless all of you for all that you do cheering for Hawaii.

    Simply The Best, Better Then All The Rest !

    Imua Warriors !

  105. st. anthony trojan February 17, 2014 2:17 pm

    We have our most senior of Tsaikos….here that served as a judge…for me I would truly enjoy reading on here some a few of his encounters with men or women that he had met later on in his life…who on chance encounter say maybe at a mall etc…who walked up to him.. and shook his hand.. and thanked him for giving him/her a second chance to becoming a good n upright citizen of his/her community again ? i know be great reading….please share TM…

    as 4 mr. dr… is ok.. if ur morals are of higher standards… but you are actually using 2 yardsticks for your opinions n or vote.. one on moral grounds… n one for on the field of play…not reading ur article..hope at least you acknowledge them both for their on field action n play…

  106. obachan February 17, 2014 2:19 pm

    #88 In more “modern” times we have the example of John Newton; the former slave trader who later in his life composed the hymn Amazing Grace.

    #92 A good phrase to live by: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

  107. Numba 1 Son February 17, 2014 2:41 pm

    Had to chuckle at that Henry Huihi reference. Infamous name in Honolulu history and lore. Very real person who did some bad things. Great way to contrast, contextualize and put some perspective regarding Dave Readon’s piece.

  108. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 2:53 pm

    Today is the Noga’s day, hell, for that matter, this is their month. But, one day, I’ll be the first to endorse the entire Kafentzis clan, as the first family ro be inducted in the circle of honor. By my count, no fewer than 7 or 8, played for the Warriors. Now that is rather impressive.

  109. obachan February 17, 2014 2:56 pm

    Reardon’s column clearly brings up good points in terms of considering moral turpitude as a requisite qualification of nominees. However, what is unclear is whether he thinks the Nogas should never be inducted; or whether an insufficient amount of time has yet passed to atone for their past behaviors in order to consider them for induction. He may have a point in the latter instance as that would be a subjective call. If it is the former, then I submit that the ultimate measure of a person is not whether one has a criminal record but rather, in spite of that record, one has overcome past behaviors and now strives to lead a life of integrity. After all, King David committed adultery and murder yet he is referred to in Scripture as a “man after God’s own heart” after he genuinely repented and sought forgiveness.

  110. whitey February 17, 2014 2:58 pm

    there are a lot of athletes from the past who deserve to be honored and this is why some call UH, “manini u”. the value of honoring these outstanding athletes is a two or three way street. at the present it is a one way street, thinking that we keep this honor circle very exclusive. on the other side, which is more important, do you want these past athletes (plus parents & friends) to always be thinking of UH as a special part of their lives or continue on the present course. the value of having past athletes from the various UH sports honored gives UH a tremendous base to elevate it’s status in the community which indirectly helps with fund raising and recruiting.

  111. A-House February 17, 2014 3:04 pm

    wind started blowing in our valley a 1:58 am and stopped just a few minutes ago – leaves and branches all over the road!

    hope the State and/or City & County are keeping track of all the trees that have fallen on Like Like and Pali Hwys the past 6 years – believe it’s now over 7 that have blocked one or more lanes and several times the entire hwy – recall 2 trees that have hit cars and caused injuries

    hope the next one does not kill one or more people – they would have great supporting evidence to file legal action for negligence against one or both including the Outdoor Circle for supporting NOT trimming or cutting down trees as a VP said that a majority of tourists have indicated that Pali Hwy is the “nicest” road/drive in Hawaii – wish I could see their tourist survey – if one exists, don’t believe the “nicest” road is on the questionnaire.

    this may seem silly, but if it is you and/or your family it would not be funny or insignificant at all

    as I said before, we could send 1 million military personnel into combat with a single KIA and it would be celebrated as the absolute/greatest victory of all time – except for the KIA family

  112. whitey February 17, 2014 3:08 pm

    col, you take care and hope nothing happens. on the other hand, enjoy the day and think about the huge king you going catch on your next trip.

  113. A-House February 17, 2014 3:25 pm

    is the football coaching staff complete since filling the LB and QB positions?

    will the new coaches officially start on 4/1/2014 so as to prevent “double pay” for those who were released?

    wonder how “surprised” BJ is with the overwhelming million dollars deficit? lofty goals not met

    I’m for keeping separate ledgers/balance sheet for football and all the other sports just to see how much football actually brings in and how much it must give to support all the non-revenue sports and show these to the BOR and upper campus to stop their allegation(s) that football “lost money”.

    and, wish the Gov would truly create a “separate line item” for UHAD and dispense with all the “rah, rah” speeches and photo ops – to anyone’s knowledge, has he presented a “line item” for “UH travel expenses” in his budget to the Legislature? was his statement, after election, just a “hip, hip” statement to appease the public and UH fans.” will a $5 million line item, including athletic payroll, be such a significant item within a $2+ billion State budget? if he does for 2014, it would be interesting how “upper campus” reacts.

  114. A-House February 17, 2014 3:34 pm


    every year, it’s my sister-in-law who catches the biggest salmon or black cod or halibut – mine not even close!

    2 years ago, we were trolling just off Shelter Island on our way back to the lodge – pole starts zinging, it’s her turn, she fights and it comes off – next, it’s my turn except our “rule” is if you miss you get another chance – bang, the pole bends and the line sings, up comes a 27 pound “white king” – ah, life is so unfair!!!

    years ago, fishing for halibut – she pulls her line and it feels like she hooked Alaska, gives the pole to my brother who tugs and tugs and tells her “here it’s your pole you bring it up” – yep up comes a 200# halibut

    looking forward to our next trip this summer! be me, Masaboy, my brother and his wife on the SAME BOAT – Masaboy’s dream is to catch a bigger halibut or salmon or black cod than his Aunty!!!!!!

  115. gobows February 17, 2014 3:38 pm


  116. old808 February 17, 2014 3:40 pm

    Well are baseball bows are having a difficult game against Oregon. Bottom of the ninth inning, we are down 10 to 1. I’m glad Coach Traps took Flores out of left field. He looked shaky out there. He was back at 1st today and Doi out in left. Flores has a big puka in his swing. He needs to fix that bounce when he triggers his swing. Wow three straight singles by our Rainbows and bases loaded no outs.

  117. old808 February 17, 2014 3:42 pm

    boolakanaka you must be from the Aiea area.

  118. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 3:49 pm

    old808, — My family is deep in Aiea area, so much so my grandparents had monthly house accounts at Nagamine’s. Back in the day, as you recall, you paid-up at the end of the month, I think, a pass-down from the plantation era. My grandparents moved from Honomu, and my grandfather did 53 years at Dole. True story–upon retiring, Dole gave him this huge pineapple–made entirely out of diamonds and emeralds (my mom’s has it now)–now that’s old school.

  119. gobows February 17, 2014 3:52 pm

    1. Niko Noga
    2. Pisa Tinoisamoa
    3. Nate Jackson

    my top 3 that I’ve seen play at UH.

  120. old808 February 17, 2014 3:52 pm

    I’m from Aiea too and I know the Nagamine Store and old town Aiea.

  121. old808 February 17, 2014 3:53 pm

    and Kanda’s hamburger steak

  122. old808 February 17, 2014 3:54 pm

    Pound for pound Nate Jackson played big.

  123. whitey February 17, 2014 4:04 pm

    Col. this is the year of the horse and you goin get the hugest fish of your life. It is in the stars.

  124. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 4:06 pm

    Maybe not be the best of all-time, but these are my all-time favorite players:

    Golden Richards (the name had me from the get-go)
    Levi Stanley ( part of Levi’s army)
    Keoni Jardine (not sure why he never got his NFL shot–I idolized that guy)
    Gary Allen (first time I saw a guy move like that against big-time opponents)

  125. gobows February 17, 2014 4:07 pm

    i know its early but…that chad konishi move not looking so good.

  126. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 4:07 pm

    old808–Do you remember Korishige’s (spelling) little place we bought candy by the library.

  127. Truman February 17, 2014 4:30 pm

    old808, boolakanaka- my relatives are old timers from Aiea. The Nakakura’s had 4 girls who went to Aiea HS. I think a little before your time, Boo. As a sporting goods rep in the 70’s, I used to call on Aiea HS and remember coaches like Rita Shimamoto who had the Arakaki boys. Later, when living in the area, I remember the Kuroda’s gas station (nice lady) and their body/fender shop. I believe that was Harrison Kuroda’s dad.

  128. Kevin February 17, 2014 4:32 pm

    When did firing Chad Konishi ever look like a good move?

  129. Truman February 17, 2014 4:34 pm

    Boolakanaka, I don’t know if I missed your identity when you first came on the blog and people were trying to guess who you were. I was curious because your time at UH had some of the best teams we’ve had but looking at that roster, I cannot guess your identity. I know you said you were a DB. Not only good players but look at some of that staff, Tomey, Dave Fagg, June Jones, Duane Akina, Rich Ellerson, Bob Wagner.

  130. OC Warrior February 17, 2014 4:37 pm

    56 – Coco – I first heard of “Niko” from Farrington when I was a freshman or sophomore at Roosevelt trying to make the track team. The older team members kept on talking about him and how physically imposing he was but yet a very friendly down to earth dude. At our first event that included FHS, I remember seeing him and thinking it was the sole Lou Ferrigno! He wasn’t just big but cut. To top it off, like you said, one of the events he took part in was the 100M dash! He did participate in the other “lineman” field events like the shot put but seeing him run the 100M was a sight to see. From what I heard, the scariest thing was running next to him because you could literally feel the ground shake. When he was not competing he was socializing with everyone and always had a big smile on his face.

  131. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 4:38 pm

    Old 808 and Truman, I use to live by Gerald Ako, the man before Tats (Derek Tatsuno) hit the scene. Across from him were the Lagapas, good athletes, stanley was a really good baseball player. But, I think all of Aiea were good baseball players.

    Tats use to sometime pitch batting practice when I was in little league or sr. little league. They had to stop him, even at like 15%, no ball even remotely left the infield.

  132. Truman February 17, 2014 4:39 pm

    I was wondering which of the Nogas would be inducted if at all. Al had the most accolades but Niko was sure explosive. As a sports rep, I remember how proud Al Espinda (former Farrington coach) was of Niko when he insisted I meet him in the weight room. This guy had his shirt off and no body fat. Talk about intimidating.

  133. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 4:43 pm

    Truman, you are missing Adam Rita, Buzzy Preston, Nelson Maeda and Sam Papalii were GAs, and the late Terry Albritton (strength coach).

  134. Truman February 17, 2014 4:43 pm

    Yeah, Aiea was a big contributor to UH baseball. That was some team when they had Ako, Tats, and that Kailua guy whose name is escaping me. When Tats was pitching, it was like a sure win.

  135. OC Warrior February 17, 2014 4:44 pm

    Interesting point that this designation is named the “Hall of Honor” and not “Hall of Fame” which can make the selection criteria somewhat different. However, it is the UH Hall of Honor so one could argue that when they were at UH, the Noga’s did serve honorably. When I was working at the dorm cafeteria where most of the players ate, Niko and Al were always nice and friendly and would even chit chat once in awhile. Not every player or coach was as friendly. JJ was another one that always looked you in the eye, gave a smile, and asked how you were doing. I also remember Anthony Woodson, that dude was ripped! I believe he was the guy that jumped over a would be blocker and went superman to take out a quarterback, I think it was for New Mexico.

  136. Truman February 17, 2014 4:45 pm

    #135, yeah my mind not as fresh but of course you were on that team.

  137. OC Warrior February 17, 2014 4:49 pm

    126 – Boola – my favorite Keoni Jardine play was when he ran down the Temple running back from behind to allow UH to make a goal line stand and the defense dug in and if I remember correctly, held them to a field goal. Gary Allen is may all-time favorite. I can’t believe how small he is, at the USC game a couple of years ago I finally got to meet him and he did not look much bigger than me. I know that they listed him at 5’9″ and 180 but he looks more like 5’7″ or 5’8″ at best and maybe 170.

  138. Ralph February 17, 2014 4:51 pm

    #136 Rich Olsen

  139. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 4:54 pm

    Funny thing about Aiea, back in the day, like the 1972-77. All us kids use to watch the Varsity baseball, and it literally almost had more fans than football. If you recall a certain senior little league (13-15s ) team, we had no pony league in Aiea, went all the way through, and was the only team, up to that point in history, to beat Taiwan. Eventually losing a double-header to them, and being the world’s 2nd best team.

    Of course, Taiwan’s team was their national team, and our team was not just only of Aiea, but I think, we had two divisions (national and american) and so, it like only half of Aiea.

  140. Truman February 17, 2014 4:55 pm

    The 80′ and 81′ teams were some of the best but the players during that time were just exciting. I think I first got hooked with UH football when Jim Kalili, guard was one of the first great ones that I was exposed to. Then you have the Larry Coles and some of the stalwarts of the Price era. Not the best record but great defense. Defensive lines with Levi Stanley, John Woodcock (under appreciated, I think), Cliff Laboy and Pat Richardson (another Aiea guy). Not to mention some great players on offense like Dan Audick.

  141. Truman February 17, 2014 4:56 pm

    #140, yes that’s the guy. thx.

  142. boolakanaka February 17, 2014 4:56 pm

    139–I was at that Temple game! Temple had this sort of pudgy white fullback, and Carl Kennybrew, all of 205 pounds him, was sticking the beejesus out of this fellow. Carl could straight hit.

  143. st. anthony trojan February 17, 2014 5:09 pm

    great reading today…

  144. Truman February 17, 2014 5:11 pm

    OC, that tandem of Allen and Toloumu was exciting. I really like Raphael Cherry during that time but it was a sad and disappointing outcome that he had in the NFL. I thought he could have had a better career if things had gone right.

  145. st. anthony trojan February 17, 2014 5:14 pm

    james kalili passed away not to long ago in kona.. at one point he had that flesh eating disease..was several years ago…when his son was playing pop warner…seen his passing in the obit column…

  146. OC Warrior February 17, 2014 5:27 pm

    Truman – I agree, Allen and Toloumu were like thunder and lightning! Either could take it to the house but Allen was the ultimate scat back with cat like quickness and Toloumu had the power to go with his speed. Good times…..

  147. Truman February 17, 2014 5:29 pm

    Great to read about all the past football players (and baseball). In my younger days, the passion was at an all time high but I was always frustrated by those BYU teams and gotta thank Garrett Gabriel to bringing an end to that. I still have some of that passion but at least not so frustrated (still to some degree with the recent loses).

  148. wafan February 17, 2014 6:04 pm


  149. wafan February 17, 2014 6:04 pm

    What happened to the 1?

  150. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 7:20 pm

    Thanks all for being such living treasures. You’re UH blood runs deep.

  151. cocobean February 17, 2014 7:39 pm

    RE: Dave Reardon.

    I’m a life long local newspaper reader, well, maybe the Sports Section anyway. I delivered the Star Bulletin from 3rd grade till 10th and got hooked on reading the paper on a daily basis. Both papers actually. My family and I always had a dual subscription.

    I must have read every article Dave has written for the SB and SA. I read his blog. I’ve heard him many times on sports talk radio shows. He’s a good writer and on radio interviews he gives well thought out opinions.

    His “writing personality” reminds me of Sgt. Joe Friday. “Just the facts Maam.” You have a hard time arguing with facts as evidenced by today’s article. It was well written but I get a feeling that it was written with a tinge of “Don’t shoot me I’m just the messenger,” attitude.

  152. rainbows4eva February 17, 2014 7:47 pm

    146. I always wonder if R. Cherry being black prevented him from getting a shot at quarterback in the NFL. Black guy better at DB than QB seemed like the prevailing mentality. He was very russell wilson-like I think. But it was still the white guy quarterback thing in the 1980’s. Remember how big of a deal they made about Doug Williams in the Superbowl?

    Things went bad for Raphael. In case you forgot …..

    In 1999, Cherry was convicted of first degree murder in the death of his wife. He was initially sentenced to life imprisonment, but upon appeal of his conviction, his sentenced was reduced to 30 years. Cherry’s estimated release date is January 9, 2020.

  153. rainbows4eva February 17, 2014 7:53 pm

    I loved West Keliikipi III at fullback. He was power plus! Another example of poor choices. This from 2006:

    Keliikipi, 24, who just completed his senior season as a UH running back, is one of eight defendants accused of taking $126,000 from Kaiser without its authorization. The group allegedly found a way to swipe their credit cards at Kaiser’s Moanalua Medical Center machines and debiting their accounts in early 2002.

    But as a running back, he was a MOOSE.

  154. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:06 pm

    Just a head’s up, I do know where posts are originating from. Tsk, tsk.

  155. Former UH Athlete February 17, 2014 8:12 pm

    Just saw this along the rumor mill…

    Orangebloods reports that Wittek had a good visit to Texas. Keep on mind that this is coming from the same people who had Jim Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin as potential targets for the then vacant HC job. They probably thought they could bring Bear Bryant back to life to take the job also.

  156. old808 February 17, 2014 8:14 pm

    Boolakanaka I was before your time and in the first grad class from Aiea. I remember my classmate and Joe Moore did music in the cafeteria at lunch time and acted like DJs. I guess you might say this is how Joe Moore got started in the communications business. He was a class behind me. Aiea did well in 64 and 65. The team won 8 games and lost only 1 and for two years straight, the lost was to Kailua. We had Sammy Stevens at quarterback and his nickname was Slinging Sammy Stevens. I used to go the UH baseball games when Tatsuno was pitching. It was the old baseball stadium and we could sit any where. I used to go behind the screen to watch Tats pitch and his fastball was unreal. His fastball had so much movement back then. It was the Tats and Ako show back then. Ako was a junk ball pitcher so a huge contrast to Tats.

  157. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:16 pm

    It’ll come down to where Wittek thinks he has the best chance to play. If he thinks he can start at Texas, he’ll pick the Lomghorns.

  158. old808 February 17, 2014 8:16 pm

    Boolakanaka I remember the Santoki Store and the pool hall was below the store and Omiya Delicatessen in old Aiea Town. I think it was next to the Aiea Theater.

  159. whitey February 17, 2014 8:17 pm

    ralph, ralph, ralph. long time no see. where u been lurking?????

  160. old808 February 17, 2014 8:22 pm

    #140 I see you got it Rich Olsen from Kailua

  161. old808 February 17, 2014 8:24 pm

    Oh behind the screen at the old UH baseball field was at field level standing only.

  162. old808 February 17, 2014 8:25 pm

    I’m trying to dig into my old memory bank before I get too old to remember.

  163. old808 February 17, 2014 8:27 pm

    My dad used to drag me with him on Sundays to watch the Asahis, Waipahu Red Sox, etc in the Hawaii baseball league at the termite palace. There were some good players back then. The Watanabe brothers for the Red Sox and the Asahis had this first basement that could hit homers in the upper deck in right field.

  164. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 8:28 pm

    I know the feeling. It’s a race against time.
    But all of you guys have done a tremendous job of brining back old names today. I was going through these posts today and it was, like, a trip down memory lane.
    You guys are always wonderful. Today you were, uh, more wonderful?

  165. old808 February 17, 2014 8:37 pm

    Mahalo ST but the other bloggers trigger these memories.

  166. Truman February 17, 2014 8:40 pm

    #152, ST, are you saying old when you say “living treasures”, hah, hah, j/k. You also leave some cryptic messages from time to time.

  167. Truman February 17, 2014 8:43 pm

    I just wanted to mention one of my favorite players when we talk about moves and that’s Jeff Sydner. He also had the best Heisman pose that he did once in the end zone. I just wish he didn’t leave early.

  168. old808 February 17, 2014 8:43 pm

    I hear you #167 and you’re right and let me add to your thoughts. During their playing days the Nogas were put of a pedestal and rightly so for the excitement and performance by the fans but the Nogas are no different than any of us who have made mistakes. No one should compare their mistakes to another because most human errors come from the same place. Nogas are deserving. “To err is to forgive, to forgive is devine”

  169. Truman February 17, 2014 8:46 pm

    #154, yeah I remember the troubles that Cherry got into. That’s why his career path was so sad. Don’t know what provoked that situation but personal relationships can sure drive people over the edge.

  170. rage777 February 17, 2014 8:46 pm

    Forgot to say congrats to Tita Ahuna for making the CoH!!! That took a while also, not only a great player, but a great coach.

  171. st. anthony trojan February 17, 2014 8:58 pm

    just my 2 piso cocobean…i have not read his column.. but to say that he was the messenger or a “tinge” of being a messenger… makes me sort of laugh…it was a hatchet job…from what i read on here..if .. n a big if….all i read was accurate…then me not agree with him or you….he was the message writer n messenger.. no doubt about that…

    if i were in his slippas… i would have called al n asked him for an interview…n write about what is he doing at the present..and what happened in the past..if he was willing to give forth that info…for me…it is wow read a sports column…extolling the “facts” of one samoan..who is now back in school on his own dime… trying to get his masters…maybe you have heard of the 100’s who have done that.. me have not…it is to his credit ..n hopefully all of those that come out of the housing.. be samoan..or ne accomplish what he is trying to do…

    like st says..”he is extremely smart n a good writer”…editors only want to sell papers…n seems like all the same breed.. from days of yore..when the advertiser used to get into it with mr. fasi..
    lets just say… was “just facts”… but should extremely bad taste…

    as a mother of al or niko.. which column would you rather read.. the one by st..or dr.. she dont need to know the “facts” as u put it…she already knows them first hand…makes me wonder… did you get paid 4 your post.. n how much??

  172. Da Punchbowl Kid February 17, 2014 9:03 pm

    Boola –
    Ralph Cherry was my lab partner in Biology. Super nice guy. Gary Allen was too. I remember him from that one little private alcove hangout at the student center. And yes, Niko Noga always seemed to a very happy guy off the field. Further, you can’t mention Aiea High School without mentioning Tripler Kerisiano.

  173. old808 February 17, 2014 9:09 pm

    Another exciting UH football player was Bobby Ahu. I was at that game at the termite palace in the rain when Ahu had 3 punt returns. He could cut on a dime. That was 1969.

  174. Kalalea February 17, 2014 9:12 pm

    I may be swimming against the current, but…I don’t see my opinion as one of “casting stones”. I agree we all make mistakes. I agree people should be given chances. That, IMHO, has nothing to do with inclusion in the Circle of HONOR. I appreciate all The Noga brothers did on the athletic field and what they meant to UH. I can separate my opinion of them re: their athletic prowess and what they did off of the field and still admire what they did on the field.
    Inclusion in the Circle of HONOR, however, encompasses both behavior on and off of the field- demonstrating behavior worthy of HONOR. Anyone who has been incarcerated should NOT be included- period. It doesn’t mean they aren’t “worthy” athletically; it just means they aren’t eligible based on the criteria for the Circle of Honor award/recognition. See Dave Reardon’s column re: criteria for inclusion.
    As a UH graduate I find it embarrassing that someone who has been incarcerated would be included, regardless of how much time has passed. To do so diminishes the Circle. I think Mr. Noga should thank UH but decline.
    Appreciate you, ST; appreciate your disclosure, but have to respectfully disagree with you.

  175. whitey February 17, 2014 9:13 pm

    not too mention that the aiea hs fb hc was clarence nihei a maui high grad. think coach dan izuka was from kauai.

  176. old808 February 17, 2014 9:19 pm

    In my humble opinion, if you are embarrassed than you are judgemental and casting stones. He served his time and he is doing things in his life to redeem himself.

  177. Truman February 17, 2014 9:31 pm

    Forgiveness can be tough but let me pose a hypothetical situation. If someone commits a crime and does his time. If he then does some of the most kind things like shelter for homeless or donation to help kids with terminal illness or is a philanthropist later in life, is he never forgiven? Can he never regain his honor? That would be harsh.

  178. Truman February 17, 2014 9:43 pm

    #179-old808, with experience comes wisdom, sometimes anyway. lol.

  179. cocobean February 17, 2014 9:49 pm

    #174, My messenger comment was to infer that Reardon wrote the piece knowing full well that it’ll ruffle some feathers and he could defend his position by saying he’s merely relaying the facts. My Sgt. Joe Friday reference to his writing personality was to compare him to Friday’s dour, emotionless personality. For Joe Friday everything was either black or white which is how Reardon often comes across.

  180. Bows4life February 17, 2014 9:56 pm

    Congrats! To Niko & Al, very deserving nd also get Job TSAI.

  181. NorthShoreFan February 17, 2014 9:58 pm

    Turn it around…some gets inducted… couple of years later gets convicted of a felony…do we then remove them?…

  182. Kalalea February 17, 2014 10:13 pm

    Boolakanaka- Re: #92- I think you read something into that was not, IMHO, in Reardon’s column. I don’t think he was judging, per se, but rather pointing out the criteria for inclusion and the fact that Al’s inclusion is, at best, questionable.
    See Cocobean #153 response re: his take on Reardon’s column. I believe that was more of Reardon’s perspective.
    I’m not Reardon’s biggest fan, but I think he has a valid point. I think Al Noga’s playing years represented some of the best for UH. Basing inclusion in the Circle of Honor on just that criteria, however, is to dismiss the other criteria. It’s not “just” an athletic award. If it were, he would have been hands-down included at first nomination. I, too, would have voted for him.

  183. st. anthony trojan February 17, 2014 10:26 pm

    thanks cocobean for ur explanation.. my point is not “joe friday”.. which was facts about a crime that was committed at the scene…when they arrived etc…there…. in my humble opinion.. no crime was committed when he got voted on to be inducted..the crime was his exclusion all these years…

    so if the governor decides to pardon sumone in the future… should that person be included in that circle …but me agree.. rules should be changed.. n that incarcerated portion be thrown out…
    like bill says.. you have the last word…

  184. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 10:26 pm

    “I don’t see my opinion as one of casting stones …”
    What are you talking about? Did you post under a different name previously? I don’t see anywhere previously where you debated “casting stones” under “Kalalea.”
    Anyway, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. I stated mine. Agree/disagree it doesn’t matter to me. That’s my opinion.
    You’re entitled to your opinion, too, which I respect. You stated your side very well.
    Glad you shared it.

  185. Jm2375 February 17, 2014 10:33 pm

    BTW, I don’t care what the NoClueAtAll thinks, the 2002 Warrior Volleyball team won the National Championship. At the very least, the title banner needs to go back up in the SSC. The team should also be inducted into the CoH.

  186. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 10:36 pm

    i think Costas Theocharidis also should be inducted. He still holds all of UH’s MPSF records.
    But baby steps.

  187. Kalalea February 17, 2014 11:05 pm

    ST # 186 – I was referring to the last sentence of your blog entry (re:casting stones). I also appreciate your opinion and I know the passion you have had about this issue- which is to be admired. Mostly, though, I appreciate your openness to all opinions-whether you agree with the person or not.
    And, oops, I used to post under I Believe, but have changed email and posted on a different site under Kalalea and didn’t even think of changing it back to IB- e kala mai.

  188. Stephen Tsai February 17, 2014 11:10 pm

    No worries. I just got confused. Thanks for contributing.

  189. SteveM February 17, 2014 11:26 pm

    RE: #189
    Kalalea (nee “I Believe”) — welcome back to the blog. Long time. Seen LizKauai recently?

  190. Kalalea February 17, 2014 11:27 pm

    ST-btw, did you receive the email response (I rec’d) from OC Sports which I forwarded to you ; re: NOT airing a Men’s Volleyball game which you had mentioned in an article?!

  191. Kalalea February 17, 2014 11:32 pm

    Aloha SteveM! The wonderful LizK and I are opposite sides of the island, but thank you for asking as it reminds me to get in touch w/her. I was off island when Ukulelei Boi had his accident and just recently learned the news. What a talented guy!

  192. ai-eee-soos February 18, 2014 12:47 am


    Duane Akina still looking …

    Stanford: Per source, Stanford is strongly considering former Texas defensive backs coach

    Duane Akina

    and Weber State defensive coordinator / defensive backs coach Erick Lewis for the defensive backs job. Lewis has previous stints with Eastern Michigan, Louisville, the Green Bay Packers, Bucknell, Ball State, and Michigan State.

    Akina coached the defensive backs at Texas from 2001-2013.

  193. kruzen February 18, 2014 2:03 am

    Congrats to #54 and #54.

  194. ALLAN February 18, 2014 2:52 am



  195. al February 18, 2014 3:22 am

    li hing or tom mui?

  196. al February 18, 2014 3:24 am

    the class of ’82 had six or more guys get into nfl camps.

  197. al February 18, 2014 3:25 am

    ’82 or ’92

  198. al February 18, 2014 3:25 am

    200 or 200?

  199. KimoK February 18, 2014 3:34 am

    Well now we know what “honor” means to you, Stephen. I’m sure if he had raped the woman after he beat her, you would have voted him in sooner.

  200. wafan February 18, 2014 3:52 am

    Good morning!

  201. kifi February 18, 2014 4:32 am

    #198 – 1981 seniors that made NFL rosters:

    Gary Allen – Oilers/ Cowboys
    David Toloumu – Falcons / Eagles
    Kani Kauahi – Seahawks/ Chiefs/ Packers
    Mark Kafentzis – Oilers/Browns
    Dana McLemore – 49ers
    Tony Holyfield – 49ers

    Cut in camp:

    Marcus Tarver – Broncos
    Dave Barbour – Broncos

    Heard that they went to camp/ not sure if true:

    Merv Lopes – 49ers
    Verlon Redd – 49ers

  202. boolakanaka February 18, 2014 5:04 am

    184–Kalalea: As you say, I respecfully disagree.

    I will offer this counter-point and observation: As a writer, because you state all facts, does not also mean you are trying to cultivate a position or create a specific slant to your telling of a story.

    While I do not write a daily column, my professional life does require me to publish and write a fair amount, so it is with a particular cognizance that I say, a resuscitation of the facts, should not be confused with the equally important order of how we lay out these items or the topics and subjects we choose to highlight and create a literary resonation with the reader. For example, this passage is fairly flagrant:

    but nine guilty verdicts that led to incarceration for misdemeanor charges, including abuse of a family member, assault, harassment and criminal contempt, had a lot to do with his exclusion.

    This is all part of the public record, which Star-Advertiser cityside reporter Gordon Pang helped me find. It’s as much a part of Noga’s legacy — if not more — as his stellar achievements as a Rainbow Warrior and in the NFL…

    And so while it cites facts, it also ends in a subjective bold conclusion, and it is no doubt a conclusion, that in his opinion, that is to say, HIS judgement, his criminal past has more weight to his reputation, as opposed to his playing feats. Is there some objective test out there that lays out the criteria to such a subject? Reardon, allows the reader to digest his sequence of yes, facts, but then draws the reader also into the paradigm of a two-headed dragon: that simultaneously scolds and delineates Al’s shortcomings, while making a rather opaque caveat, that I actually support his induction, if certain stipulations and moral footnotes are cited, per my overview.

    As I previous stated, nine paragraphs down, after he has already set out a lengthy chronology of criminal events, he then again, purposely chooses, to cite that Al’s criminal conduct started in 1987. This again sets out a marker for the reader to make specific notation on this specific item.

    My point here is that, you can choose to use all the same facts and items listed in the article, but depending on how you choose to construct these facts (and don’t get it twisted, this is pure construction on his part) you can choose to do any number of pieces: redemption, learning, evolution or pious and moralistic. It is sort of easy to see who choose the later…

  203. boolakanaka February 18, 2014 5:06 am

    203–Those are true, and Merv Lopes, Jr, almost made the final cut. Two things should be noted though, he was on IR for a bit in camp, and Merv Sr, was a good friend of Bill Walsh.

  204. rage777 February 18, 2014 6:07 am


    Does that mean you don’t think Mandela should have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize or all the praise he gets? He was incarcerated, wrongfully or not.

    That would also mean you don’t want Colt, Davone, Pisa, or the teams they were on to be in the CoH. (I think those three were incarcerated)

  205. 3-Prong February 18, 2014 6:21 am

    Re:(204 boo’s comments)

    While I am not quite sure what boo is saying, I totally agree (I think?)!! hehe

    Welcome to The Circle Niko and Al !

  206. wafan February 18, 2014 6:34 am

    Hi and welcome back, Kalalea (IB)!

    Hope you have been well.

  207. Shoko February 18, 2014 6:56 am

    A better example would be Pete Rose’s ineligibility of baseball’s Hall of Fame. A person who made mistakes in the past and continues to be admonished til this day. I think the lesson here is that past actions can still haunt you well into the future.

    Congrats to the Noga’s.

  208. boolakanaka February 18, 2014 7:05 am

    209…Shoko, I know what you are saying–I feel you, but Pete’s story is very specific as applied to his direct action as a player and manager .

    Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the “permanently ineligible” list from induction, after previously excluding such players by informal agreement among voters. In 2004, after years of public denial, Rose admitted to betting on baseball and on, but not against the Reds. The issue of Rose’s possible reinstatement and election to the Hall of Fame remains a contentious one throughout baseball.

  209. Shoko February 18, 2014 7:33 am

    It’s more or less about past transgressions (on or off the field) and seeking forgiveness. The old adage that time heals all wounds may apply here, but I think it has more to do with people’s willingness to forgive over time. It was just a matter of time before the Nogas were inducted, and in Rose’s case it may prove to be the same should he be included into the Hall of Fame.

    There seems to be a delay in posting. Thinking it may be on my end.

  210. A-House February 18, 2014 8:14 am


    sure hope your “star reading” comes true – if so, my year of the Dragon will let out a huge roar!!!!!

    yep, Clarence, Dan Inzuka, and your cousins were in the dorm with us – later couple more Mauians came in – one from kula and big Norman O – believe both were Maui Hi grads.

  211. A-House February 18, 2014 8:20 am

    when we met Pete Rose at the Fourum Shops – he looked so pathetic – sitting on a folding chair behind a folding table in front of Field of Dreams – no smile, looking very depressed

    we had to buy a “poster picture” to get his autograph – still unframed, but cherished by the family – also took a picture with him

    perhaps “gambling” is considered a greater offense than multiple suspensions of abusing the NFL drug policy/code

  212. Leahi2 February 18, 2014 8:21 am

    boolakanaka: they way you write reminds me of “Plato” in the comic strip Beetle Bailey. I learn a lot from reading your posts (not to mention others) and often times get a big kick out of it. I would like to say this is great. Keep it up. Much Mahalo!

  213. Ipu Man February 18, 2014 8:32 am

    Wonder if the prez reads this blog. Bet he would like this one.

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