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2019: Let’s Go to the Movies

  1. What a year it’s been for sports…and for movies. Let’s take a look back on this eventful year with some of Hollywood’s biggest films and sports happenings.

NEVER GROW OLD: At age 43, Tiger Woods defied the odds and captured his fifth Masters Tournament title. Woods overcame a two-shot deficit at the start of the final round to finish 13 under par for the tournament, a stroker better than runners-up Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele.

HUSTLERS: Arizona QB Khalil Tate had nothing but daylight as he sprinted toward the endzone. A Wildcat TD would have likely sent the game to overtime. But senior Rainbow Warrior defenders Kalen Hicks and Manly “Pumba” Williams never gave up on the play and brought Tate down at the one-yard line. Hawaii 45, Arizona 38.

A HIDDEN LIFE: Besides being the owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots, 78-year-old Robert Kraft wears many hats: businessman, philanthropist, sports mogul – and s0metimes-patron of Orchids of Asia Day Spa. In February, Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution. His trial is pending, and obviously he hopes he gets off (so to speak).

THE UPSIDE: They’re young and need time to develop, but UH men’s basketball freshmen Bernardo Da Silva and Justin Webster have already shown to have great promise as Rainbow Warriors. Da Silva scored a career-high 17 points in Hawaii’s opening game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The very next night, Webster posted his own career high of 16 points against nationally ranked Washington.

READY OR NOT: The University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team entered the 2019 season with nine new players, including five freshmen. The question was asked: “Are these newcomers ready to contribute?” Three months, a Big West championship and Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament appearance later, we got our answer: Most definitely.

TRIPLE THREAT: He runs. He throws. Most importantly, he wins. Has there ever been an NFL QB quite like Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson? He’s got to be a lock to win the league’s MVP Award.

BLACK AND BLUE. That’s how Bellator flyweight contender Kate Jackson looked (and felt) after five full arounds with Hawaii’s Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. It was another successful title defense for “The Ilimanator,” who is now 11-0 in her MMA career.

JOKER: First, he demanded to be traded. And then, upon joining the Oakland Raiders, he got frostbite on his feet because he didn’t wear proper footwear. And then he held out of camp because he didn’t like his helmet. After being released, he joined the New England Patriots. Then allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse surfaced, and he was released again. As the circus continues, we ask: Is there a bigger clown in sports than Antonio Brown?

HIGH LIFE: The Toronto Raptors weren’t expected to win the NBA title last season, even after acquiring high-scoring Kawhi Leonard. But the reclusive All Star turned in an MVP-caliber campaign for his new team, leading the Raptors to their first NBA championship. After the season, Leonard bolted for Los Angeles, where he is expected to lead the suddenly relevant Clippers to title contention.

A SCORE TO SETTLE: In April, the UH men’s volleyball team beat Long Beach State to capture their first Big West Conference championship. Two weeks later, however, the 49ers got revenge, defeating the Rainbow Warriors in the NCAA Championship match. Expect these two proud programs to have more epic matches in 2020.

LOW TIDE: After five straight seasons of making the College Football Playoffs, the Alabama Crimson Tide found themselves on the outside looking in after losing star QB Tua Tagovailoa to season-ending surgery.

THE FAREWELL. Dick Tomey, a college football legend to brought Rainbow Warrior to prominence in the 1980s, died on May 10, 2019 at the age of 80. On Nov. 9, Hawaii defeated San Jose State, 42-40, to capture the inaugural Dick Tomey Legacy Trophy. (Tomey also coached the Spartans, from 2005 to 2009.)

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY: Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson stunned the NBA world by resigning as the team’s President of Basketball Operations near the end of the regular season. Johnson said that he had grown tired of all the “backstabbing” and “whispering” that had gone on within the organization.

LONG SHOT: In a Mountain West preseason poll, the Rainbow Warrior football team was predicted to finish fourth in the conference’s West Division. Well, we all know how that turned out. Hawaii won the West and made it to their first MW Championship Game.

CHILD’S PLAY: The U.S. women’s national soccer team was never really challenged in this past summer’s FIFA World Cup. Team USA outscored their opponents 26-3 en route to their record fourth World Cup title.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE. Understandably, NBA players and other professional athletes often use their celebrity platform to speak out on many social and political issues. But there was nary a peep when Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey put out a Tweet in support of the Hong Kong protests. The Rockets organization and the NBA have a lucrative relationship with China.

COUNTDOWN: Can it really be happening? Plans are evidently underway for a new 35,000-seat facility to replace the rust-bucket we call Aloha Stadium. The price tag is expected to be around $350 million, and the hope is that the stadium will be completed in five years. You got the over or under on that?

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Before the season started, the Washington Nationals lost their best player, outfielder Bryce Harper, to the Philadelphia Phillies. Time to rebuild, right? Who knew that the Nationals would go on a late-season tear and beat the Houston Astros to win the World Series? Hollywood, indeed.

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