By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Oh, it’s true: There are different types of University of Hawaii sports fans. Some are rabid die-hards who live and die with every UH win or loss. Others are casual fans who enjoy going to the occasional game and cheering on the home team. Still others are bandwagon fans who can only bothered to show interest when a team or program catches fire. Hey, we’re not here to judge. Every athletic program in every part of the country will welcome fans of all persuasions. But we made a list of ten things that all UH fans should do at least once. You can call it a Bucket List if you want. How many of these have you checked off?
[ ] TAKE A ROAD TRIP. There’s something about traveling to the continent and attending a UH road game. Not only do you get to experience another city or town’s offerings (restaurants, culture, attractions, etc.), but you also get this unique “Us vs the World” feeling when you’re an enemy territory. The exception to this might be the games at UNLV, where the majority of fans might be wearing green. Don’t forget to bring your ti leaves!
[ ] PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT. It’s true that most college athletic programs operate in the red. While costs can be alleviated through public funding and corporate support, a lot of times more is needed, especially with the COVID-related challenges that the Athletics Department have to deal with today.
[ ] LEARN THE FIGHT SONG. Here, we’ll even help you out: “Here’s to our dear Hawaii / Here’s to our Green and White / Here’s to our alma mater / Here’s to the team with fight / Rah! Rah! Rah! / Here’s to old Warriors calling / Here’s to old battles won / Here’s to Hawaii’s victory / Here’s to each valiant one!”
[ ] SUPPORT THE BAND AND CHEER TEAM. The UH marching/pep band, cheer team and Rainbow Warrior Dancers are a big part of the overall UH game experience. And just like the coaches and players, they put in the work to deliver winning performances. So show them some love the next time you see them selling shirts, posters or other items as they raise funds for road trips, uniforms, etc. They deserve your support.
[ ] CHECK OUT THE OTHER SPORTS. Sure, it’s fun to attend games for the “marquee” sports like football, men’s basketball, baseball and volleyball. But when was the last time you went to a UH softball game? Or a Rainbow Wahine hoops game? How about women’s soccer or even water polo? Make it a point to go out and support some of the lower-profile UH athletic programs at once once every season. Most of these events won’t cost you a penny, and you might be surprised how much you enjoy the experience.
[ ] LEARN THE HISTORY. We’ve found that being a UH fan becomes more meaningful when you gain an appreciation for the rich history and traditions of your favorite programs. Today’s younger generation of football fans, for example, will only benefit from learning about past greats like the Noga brothers, Jeris White or Gary Allen. Besides, you know the old saying: “Those who don’t learn history are doomed to hire a Chow or Arnold again.”
[ ] BUY SOME MERCH. This one should go without saying. Nothing shows your UH pride than sporting a team jersey, cap, T-shirt, etc. The great thing about being a Hawaii fan these days is that your choices for UH gear and memorabilia are almost endless. There’s aloha wear, coffee mugs, spirit items, temporary tattoos, luggage tags, souvenir balls, umbrellas, etc. Happy shopping!
[ ] BRING THE KEIKI. Most of you can appreciate this: Attending UH game’s is great, but attending UH games with keiki is even better. Think about your own first game experiences as a youngster. There’s nothing like seeing the wonder and excitement in a child’s eyes as he or she watches these tremendous student-athletes in action. Besides, there’s nothing like building the next generation of UH sports fans. Just. Watch. The. Language.
[ ] MEET THE STUDENT-ATHLETES. Any time you get an opportunity to meet a UH student-athlete, take advantage of it. It may be a postgame autograph signing, pep rally or fundraising event. You’ll find that 99% of these young men and women are outstanding ambassadors of their school and state, and they will make you even prouder to be a UH fan.
[ ] CELEBRATE THEIR ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Can we get real for a second? How many of you care about the “student” part of student-athlete? We’re not pointing fingers at anyone specifically, but we all know people who only focus on wins and losses on the field or court. A true fan will never lose sight of the real mission of collegiate athletics: that is, to equip and build better leaders for our future. (End of lecture!)
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