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Gary’s Blog: Not So Fan-Tastic

By Gary Dickman.

I knew it. I just knew it. It was going to happen. I was hoping Hawai’i football fans would be a little more patient with this year’s team, considering everything that’s gone on this year.

Last Saturday,  the University of Hawaii football team had another road loss, losing 34-10 to San Diego State. I’m not going to make excuses for this team, they did not play well. Most of you know I host the postgame show after Hawaii football games. “The Fan’s Voice” is the name of the show. After doing this for 10 years or so, I usually know what kind of reaction I’m gonna get. I’ve said a few times on this blog, that I hope people would not be bothered by things that, in the big picture, shouldn’t bother them like they used to. There were a lot of little things over the years that would get to me, but not now. I used to get upset when my roommates would eat my food, especially my lemon Italian ices that I crave so much. Not this year. I actually offer them these delicious treats. Or when my roommate decides to erase 100 shows on our DVR, even though I hardly have many shows on there. This happened again last week, and now all of my Curb Your Enthusiasm shows are gone. I didn’t let it get to me. (But seriously, why did she have to do that?)

Ok, back to the topic of fans and UH football. I got calls and texts comparing this team to the ones that Norm Chow coached. “Norm 2.0,” I was told. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, just like me. But come on, really, this year? I’ve learned to look at the big picture, and even though I want this team to start winning more, I’m not losing sleep over how poor the offensive line has played. Not this year. I’ve learned to accept this team not playing as well as we hoped for, just like I learned to accept missing Italian ices from my freezer.

Having said this, I do agree with fans and really feel for them as for not being able to attend any home games this year at Aloha Stadium. I had one passionate, emotional call on Saturday, and a few follow up texts on this. And I had no good explanation. So I ask, why aren’t a limited amount of fans able to go to games this year?  Now, I know it’s all COVID related, and of course the fans realize this as well. But we all see fans at college games and NFL games around the country, in small numbers. And I have yet to hear about a surge or high numbers of new COVID cases as a result. I think what bothers fans and me as well, is this: We never got an exact explanation. Like, why can’t  5,000-7,000 fans be able to attend? With those numbers, social distancing could be enforced and followed. Maybe you get to go to one home game this season, and a different group of fans go to the next game, and so on. Our numbers are amongst the lowest in the country. I know this wouldn’t satisfy everyone, but it seems like it could have been accomplished with some planning. It’s too late now, but I really feel for the fans who bleed green and white, but can’t cheer in person their favorite team this year. I strongly feel their should have been more communication to the fans by the Governor, who made this decision.

I think of myself as someone who thinks outside the box, I’m curious about things that not everyone else is, but I guess that’s just me. Here’s an example. On Sunday, Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins beat the LA Chargers. This wasn’t shown on the TV broadcast of the game, but on Sportscenter later on, they showed that after the game a member of the Chargers, nose tackle Damion Square, approached Tua with a Dolphins jersey with Tua’s name and number, got his sharpie out, and had Tua sign it on the field. As I said, I wonder about things that not a lot of people do. I have a few questions. First, why is an NFL player getting an autograph of his opponent on the field after the game? Jersey swaps are one thing, but this is different, leading to this question. Did he have this jersey on the bench the entire game? Did he come out of the locker room with Tua’s jersey and just stash it on the bench? What did his teammates think about this? Where did he get this jersey? Did he buy it at a store or order it at NFL.com?  Did he let Tua know he’d be approaching him after the game for his autograph? I admit, I’ve never seen this done in this country. Maybe in the Olympics with the Dream Team, but that’s it. These are the kind of things I wonder about at night. But I’m gonna out that in pause for now, cause it’s 2:00 as I’ meriting this and I’m about to enjoy my lemon Italian Ice. I’ve convinced myself that I deserve two tonight, in celebrating that the NY Jets didn’t lose this week, for the first time this season.

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