Sports provides relief from economic woes

Bobby Curran
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Friday - October 24, 2008
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We are officially in the best time of the sports year.The World Series, midway through college football, almost halfway through the NFL, NBA in pre-season mode and college hoops right around the corner. And for those of us in Honolulu, prime time Wahine volleyball, high school football and Hawaii Winter League Baseball.

There is not a day where you can’t catch something juicy, and often times in person. Nothing like a UH football game to take your mind off of your electric bill or a breezy night at Les Murakami Stadium for a respite from your 401K woes. There the only bail out you have to think about is the batter escaping a little chin music.

It’s hard to remember a time when the economy was in such bad shape. Sports provide an escape from some of the stresses of life, even if for only a little while. And it has always been so. Even during the Great Depression the ballparks were full, college football crowds were huge and boxing matches drew fans en masse. There always will be those who head to a movie theater for a few hours of relief, but nothing works for me like getting engrossed in sport.

Fun fact: At our house, a trip to the gym followed by a game seems to work especially well.

The NFL had its third firing this week as Mike Nolan of the 49ers followed Oakland’s Lane Kiffin and Scott Linehan of the Rams out the door. Times are tough on the West Coast, and UW head coach Ty Willingham can’t be far behind. No pro sports owner or university administrator can afford to appear nonchalant about a lack of success for their teams,not with hefty prices and seat licenses, and corporations deciding whether to re-up for luxury suites.Coaches may be hired for large dollars, but they’ve never had less job security.Maybe Al Davis should change the line to “Just win, baby, or else!”

I often say that it’s not wise to bet on a game in which the ball does-n’t bounce straight, but here’s a wager I’m willing to make: Mike Nolan will see the rest of his contract money before Lane Kiffin. I’m even willing to give odds.

UH basketball fans are anxious to get a look at the 2008-09 edition. Not only has head coach Bob Nash brought in a solid recruiting class, but UH will play 20 home games, which will be the most in school history.

Fans seem especially interested in getting a look at 6-foot-7-inch wing player Roderick Flemings,who possesses what some are describing as an NBA-level game.Certainly he’s the most highly touted recruit to join the program since Tom Henderson. Tickets are on sale now - no increases for the men and a reduction for Wahine tickets. And if you buy a men’s season ticket,you get first dibs on that seat for the inaugural Diamond Head Classic in 2009. You can buy tickets at the Stan Sheriff Center, by phone or online at

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