McMackin, Sony Open, NFL

Bobby Curran
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Friday - January 18, 2008
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By the time you read this, the University of Hawaii is expected to have announced that it has filled the position of head football coach. If it turns out to be somebody other than defensive coordinator Greg McMackin, don’t try to contact me. I’ll be receiving treatment for shock.

What may not qualify as shocking, but certainly makes the list pleasantly surprising, is the speed with which UH answered the challenge. With signing day looming for potential recruits, there was no time to engage in a plodding, laborious search for June Jones’ successor. It shows what can happen when people are allowed to pursue a well-identified goal even within a weighty bureaucracy.

While I’m sure the state hiring processes once served well, they are hopelessly antiquated in our fast-paced world. Hopefully we can now move on to other important subjects - like showing potential recruits the plans for an upgraded UH-Manoa campus, athletic facilities included.

Let’s expand that to the entire UH system!

Last week’s Sony Open at Waialae had good crowds and great shot making. Fans were treated to a wonderful display of golf by eventual champion K.J. Choi. The Hawaii contingent did not fare as well with the exception of Punahou and UCLA alum Parker McLaughlin, who not only made a birdie at 18 on Friday to earn weekend playing privileges at his former place of employment, but also put together two terrific rounds to secure his second PGA Top 10 finish. After three days of near-perfect conditions, the trade winds blew mightily on Sunday.

“That last round was what I expect from Waialae,” said McLaughlin. “I was happy when the wind came up.” I have a feeling this will be a breakthrough year for McLaughlin, whose virtues include an even temperament and a very accurate putter.

And then there were four! The NFL playoffs produced a couple of exciting finishes and some unlikely heroes last week. Who’d have thought that San Diego Charger backup QB Billy Volek would produce the winning score over the favored Indianapolis Colts, or that the Manning on center stage would be Eli of the N.Y. Giants?

For me, growing up on Long Island, a great Sunday meant a Giant win and a Cowboy loss. For the Giants to knock off Dallas after having been swept in the regular season was a thrill.

But how good is Marion Barber? The Cowboys have their next great running back.

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