It’s Good To Have Football Back

Bobby Curran
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Friday - August 03, 2011
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Finally the business of football is back.

For all except incoming rookies, the new CBA in the NFL should prove a bonanza. While top draft picks will make considerably less than those selected in the same order in 2010, they’ll still make out well.

Less fortunate are the undrafted free agents. Previously, a coveted undrafted rookie might receive $20,000. Now each team is limited to a $75,000 pool for all their undrafted free agents. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears each signed 24 of them the day it was allowed. That’s about $3,000 per player. For the lucky few who make the team (last year just under two per club) the minimum salary will be $375,000. Nice for those who survive, but the odds are long.

Former Hawaii safety Mana Silva is rated a decent chance to make the Baltimore Ravens. Wide receiver Rodney Bradley also went to the Ravens. Offensive lineman Laupepa Letuli hooked on with the Cowboys.

Former Warriors who were drafted will get more of an opportunity to impress. Running back Alex Green could get into the rotation with the Packers with an excellent training camp. Wide receiver Greg Salas is with the Rams and they need weapons, and slot-receiver Kealoha Pilares should also get a chance to return kicks.

Don’t expect a lot of holdouts this year. The compressed window will create a sense of urgency even with top picks. Let the games begin!

* It appears likely that the WAC champion will come from the pool of teams leaving the conference at season’s end. Nevada has the advantage in schedule, meeting Fresno State, Hawaii and La Tech in Reno. Fresno has the best overall talent, and Hawaii has a huge edge at quarterback with returning 5,000-yard passer Bryant Moniz.

While many are going with Nevada as eventual champion because of the favorable home slate, I believe it comes down to whether you believe that Nevada’s success was based on the Pistol offense or on triggerman Colin Kaepernick. I say it was Kaepernick, and I’m crossing off the Wolfpack. I suspect it will come down to the winner of the UH-Fresno St. game at Aloha Stadium Nov. 19 and right now that appears to be a toss-up. Throw in La Tech and it’s hard to separate the top four.

One thing is for sure: This is the last time a Hawaii football team will travel to Ruston. Early season research indicates that UH’s first two opponents, Colorado at home and Washington in Seattle, should be good, tight games. But UNLV does not appear strong, and this becomes a must win for UH if it is to approach its season goals. In fact, UNLV will be favored in only one game this season, a home contest against FCS foe South Dakota State. Las Vegas sports books have pegged the line for UNLV’s win total at 2.5. * A frequently asked question is when individual game tickets will go on sale. For Wahine volleyball, it’s Aug. 8. For football, the date is Aug 15. Season tickets for both sports are available now.

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