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Gary’s Blog: The Wrong Stuff

By Gary Dickman.

It always bothers me when the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team loses at home, and even more when they lose two home games in the same week. There is something that bothers me even more than that in sports, and you’ll read about that in a few minutes.

So it was not  a good weekend for our Rainbow Warriors as a new member in the Big West, Cal State Bakersfield, won a close game on Friday and more convincingly on Saturday. I’m not going to make excuses for UH. I will though, give some reasons. Put simply, they lost to a better team. Bakersfield starts five seniors, and that experience helped them win both games. They played together as a team, didn’t get rattled and had more talent. I still believe our guys are good, and will get better. It shouldn’t be surprising that they’re struggling early on. Hawaii has now only played six games, and with seven new players, it’ll take a while. And that’s ok. That’s how basketball goes. You just don’t show up and become a great team from Day 1.

I write this because there are fans who are really down on this team, players and head coach Eran Ganot, and their criticism is so ridiculous, it’s almost funny. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but at least understand the sport and have more information before you complain. There were calls and texts on The Fan’s Voice after both losses. One fan doesn’t understand that when a player gets two fouls in the first half, they usually sit out the rest of the half. It’s done like that everywhere in college basketball. But a fan tried to tell me that our two players, Casdon Jardine and James Jean-Marie, wouldn’t have fouled out if they stayed in the game early on. Somehow, he had a crystal ball. I don’t want to go on and on about fans criticism; again, you’re entitled to your opinion. This happens in every college town around the  country. Let’s watch this team, and I’m pretty sure they’ll get better as the season continues. And it’s not that bad right now. UH is 1-3 in the Big West, but with just a little luck, they’d be 3-1. The Riverside loss was a game UH led by 4 with 1:15 left, and the first Bakersfield loss was a tied game at 50-50 with a few minutes left. There’s enough talent on this team, that in time, they’ll close out games better and win these games that could go either way.

And now for what really bothered me in sports this weekend. It involves the WORST rule in all of sports. In the NFL, for some insane reason, this is a rule: If a player on offense has the ball, but fumbles and the ball goes in the end zone and then out of bounds or out of the end zone, the ball goes to the team on defense. Even though the team in defense didn’t get possession of the ball, they get possession. And not only that, they get the ball on the 20-yard line. It’s like a touchback. Only it isn’t. Not at all. This happened in the Kansas City vs Cleveland game on Sunday. Why is the defensive team rewarded like this? A touchback occurs when a punt or kickoff ends up in the end zone, or a player intercepts a pass and is downed in the end zone. There’s no logical explanation why a team fumbles in the end zone, and you give the ball to the other team, and give them 20 yards. If a fumble occurs and the ball goes  out of bounds anywhere else, the ball goes to the player who had possession last. And the ball stays right there, there’s no moving it up 20 yards.

I do have a solution to those few who like this rule, or think the offense shouldn’t get rewarded by fumbling. Here it is: If a team fumbles into the end zone and  the ball goes out of bounds , the offense keeps the ball from the same place the play started. They don’t get extra yards, and they lose the down, basically. Here’s an example. The team is on the 6-yard line, second and goal. A running back runs to the 2-yard line, then fumbles into and out of the end zone. My way is that they get the ball back on the 6-yard line,  now it’s third down. The offense kind of lost a down, and the defense doesn’t get an unfair gift they didn’t deserve. Doesn’t this make sense? That’s why I’m here, to solve problems. You’re welcome.

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