When I was 15, someone’s father took me and that someone to a college football game between then No. 1 and No. 2 Notre Dame and Michigan State. The game ended in a tie and enduring controversy. Until last weekend, it was the first and only time I had watched in person No. 1 play No. 2 in any sport.
When the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors played Long Beach State on Saturday, Easter Eve, the Stan Sheriff Center was loud, louder than any sporting place or time I have known in Hawaii, especially during the final game of five. The Bows won games one and two. Long Beach State took the next two. The tiebreaker was played in a bath of sound that drenched all who sat and stood and shouted and, in the case of my seven-year-old daughter, screamed. It was a thumping, a pounding of air from the collective heart of an island. It boomed, the pep band goading it along like a rider to Heaven’s gates, closing.
The score in game five was 15-8. The reaction was astonishment and relief as much as joy and pride. It was Louisa’s baptism to fandom, as if she had visited the river a few times and decided to finally take the plunge during a 100-year flood. What a dip!