It’s time once again to reach into our expansive mailbag to see if we can provide advice or assistance to the most fascinating-yet-peculiar of organisms: sports fans. And, as always, I begin with an important legal disclaimer: The views and opinions I express in “Dear Gabby” are strictly my own and not necessarily shared by any licensed, authorized or sane sports professional. Any advice I dispense in this article should probably be disregarded or ignored altogether. I like turtles.
Now, on to the letters:
Dear Gabby: Horrible loss by our Rainbow Warriors this past Saturday. I’ll get right to the point: Do you think Todd Graham might be the second coming of Norm Chow? – “Annoyed in Aiea”
Dear Annoyed: Whoa, tap the brakes a bit. Graham is currently 2-2 as Hawaii coach. Chow didn’t get his second win until the team’s 11th game of his debut season. Also, Graham already had 95 victories and 10 Bowl game appearances as a Division I head coach before ever coming to UH. Chow was a career assistant who worked hard but, as it turned out, was way over his head as the top guy. Don’t jump off the bandwagon just yet. The ride’s just getting started.
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Dear Gabby: I already miss the Run-n-Shoot. Except for the New Mexico game, Hawaii hasn’t had much success throwing the ball. What gives? – “Wondering in Waimanalo”
Dear Wondering: Again, it’s too early to draw any definitive conclusions. UH has a solid QB and a solid group of receivers, so it’s hard to imagine the offense abandoning the passing game completely. Last year, the Rainbow Warriors averaged just over 337 passing yards a game. This season, the average is 239.5 through four contests. If the offensive line can return to form, I expect that number to go up. Also, remember that even during the run-n-shoot era, Hawaii relied on a strong running game led by RBs like Nate Ilaoa, Alex Green and Diocemy Saint-Juste. The bottom line: You need both an air and ground attack to win.
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Dear Gabby: What do you think of Bank of Hawaii securing naming rights to the Stan Sheriff Center? I think it’s long overdue. – “Curious in Kaneohe.”
Dear Curious: I agree, although it should be noted that Bank of Hawaii has always been a big supporter of UH Athletics. This recent development is just an extension of an already strong partnership. Yes, there are people out there who think this is selling out to the almighty. Welcome to the real world. If I had my way, we’d see even more of these arrangements. Imagine “Zippy’s Field” at Les Murakami Stadium. Or the “Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.” (NOTE: Any entities interested in securing naming rights to “Dear Gabby” are encouraged to give us a call. We’re not particular. Bob’s Laundromat? Tita’s Nail Salon? Strip T’s Hostess Bar? Come one, come all!)
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Dear Gabby: I still can’t over that game-winning Hail Mary TD pass from Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins. What was reaction to that play? – “Amazed in Aina Haina”
Dear Amazed: My reaction was, “I have both Murray AND Hopkins in my Fantasy lineup. I just won, bayyyybeee!” (Sorry, Tiff.)
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Dear Gabby: I’m just so sick of Jim Harbaugh at Michigan! Do you think he’ll last for the rest of the season? This is so depressing! – “Aggravated in Ann Arbor”
Dear Aggravated: Wow, all the way from Ann Arbor! Well, my friend, with sports headlines such as “Hope Feels Lost at Michigan, and 2020 Looks to be the End of the Road for Jim Harbaugh,” the handwriting sure seems to be on the wall. Fact: Under Harbaugh, the Wolverines are 37-5 against unranked teams, but 11-16 against ranked teams (and worse, 7-12 against ranked Big Ten teams). And then there’s his 0-5 record against rival Ohio State. Yeah, I can understand your frustration. But here’s a little meme that might cheer you up:
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Dear Gabby: What did you think of Dustin Johnson’s “masterful” win this past weekend? Was that an amazing performance or what? – “Impressed in Iwilei”
Dear Impressed: Without a doubt, it was a superb tournament for Dustin What’sHisName. But let’s not forget Tiger Woods’ courageous comeback after his disastrous 12th hole in the event’s final round. Tiger, who has been battling debilitating injuries for much of the year, showed true grit after carding a 10 on that Par-3 hole. His determination in the face of adversity bodes well for him in the future as he continues to chase Jack Nicklaus’ record for most major tournament championships. Tiger Woods this, Tiger Woods that. Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.
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Dear Gabby: What’s your take on Tua Tagovailoa’s rookie season so far? I think he’s the real deal. – “Proud in Palolo Valley”
Dear Proud: I think Tua is doing great, and he’s just getting started. Right now, he’s serving as an effective game manager. He’s not asked to do too much. In fact, the way Tua has been eased into Miami’s lineup has been nothing short of brilliant, and that’s to the credit of Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who should be the leading candidate for “Coach of the Year.” But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Marcus Mariota had an impressive start to his rookie year, too. Marcus is now with the Las Vegas Raiders, and if Derek Carr somehow loses his starting job, we could see a Tua-Marcus QB battle on Dec. 27. What a late Christmas present that could be for Hawaii fans!
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