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Three Wishes

If a Sports Genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? Would you want to see your favorite NFL team win the Super Bowl? Would you undo a horrible loss or mistake from the past? How about winning a national title in college football? Head to our ESPN Honolulu Facebook page and share your three wishes. (Who knows? Christmas is the magical time of the year!) In the meantime, here’s what one longsuffering sports fan might want from a generous genie…

by Lance Tominaga



I can’t believe it’s happening, but there he is, floating whimsically in the air in front of me: an honest-to-goodness genie. I have no idea how he got inside my Oakland Raiders Hydroflask, but when I popped it open, a deep blue mist shot out of it and…

“But you gotta hurry up,” he tells me, looking at his watch. “I don’t have all day. Three sports wishes. Go.”

Whoa. Something like this can’t be rushed, I try to tell him. I need time to think. This is the kind of thing sports fans only dream about. What do I wish for? Where do I even start?

The first thing that comes to mind is something happening right in the here and now.

“I wish for the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team to win the national championship this year,” I declare. “They’re an amazing team, and all of Hawaii is rooting for them. So that’s Wish No. 1.”

“Done,” the Genie says. “Truth be told, I’m happy to do it. I was rooting for them, too.”

Man, as a sports fan, there are so many things I could wish for. I wish Ali beat Holmes. I wish Bo Jackson never got injured. I wish there was never a Rocky V.

I wish Walter Murray caught the damn ball.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. “I wish Walter Murray caught the damn ball at the end of the Hawaii-BYU game in 1984,” I tell the Genie. “He catches the ball, and Hawaii wins. So that’s my Wish No. 2.”

The Genie pauses. “I should warn you, if you make this happen, not only does BYU lose the game, but they also lose any shot of the national championship. Remember, the Cougars were undefeated that year and beat Michigan in the Holiday Bowl to win the national title. If Walter Murray catches the ball, you’d be undoing all of that. You’d be depriving BYU fans of the biggest moment in their school’s history. Think of all the joy that the fans in Provo felt at the time. You’d be taking it all away…”

“Sweet,” I say. “Do it.”

“Done,” says the Genie. “You heartless *****.”

I have one final wish. What should it be? Should I ask for Anthony Carter to make that dunk at the end of the Fresno State game? Should I help Bill Buckner field the ground ball in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series? (Gary Dickman would kill me!) Oh, how about undoing the infamously stupid “Tuck Rule” call against the Raiders in the 2001 playoff game? (C’mon, Patriots fans, it was a fumble and you know it.)

Suddenly, it dawns on me. Wish No. 3.

This is brilliant. It would make me a local sports hero. Why didn’t I think of this before?

“Hey, Genie, here’s Wish No.3,” I say. “I don’t care how you manage to do this, but here it is…”

A moment passes, and then the Genie is gone. I look around the room. I walk to the window and look outside. Everything seems normal. Nothing seems to have changed.

I hurry over to my computer and look up December 22, 2011. And there it is.

“In a shocking turn of events, Norm Chow turned down the opportunity become head coach of the Rainbow Warrior football program,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser story begins. “According to reliable sources, Chow stormed out of the official contract signing after his pen failed to work and no other writing utensil could be found in the UH Athletics Department.”

“I don’t understand. It’s as if every pen and pencil in the building just magically disappeared,” said one UH official. “No doubt, this is a setback for UH football. But we will try to move on from this.”

I lean back in my chair and allow myself a smile. The smile disappears when I try to purchase tickets to the SoFi Hawaii Bowl game between UH and BYU.

The game is sold out.

Damn. Where’s that Genie again?

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