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Wednesday, January 3, 2018


For those not familiar with the Hawaii dining scene, there is the best restaurant in Hawaii, Vintage Cave, and an excellent Italian partner, Vintage Cave Cafe, where I had lunch yesterday.  My membership paid for most of what you see here below, with a glass of Suntory beer:

Real black truffles.  This would normally have cost around $50.

For sunset, I was treated to a relative rarity for sunset Honolulu, a clear horizon:

I saw, perhaps, my hundredth Green Flash.

But Hawaii is proudest these days of our football quarterbacks.  This weekend, Marcus Mariota (St. Louis High School, University of Oregon, 2014 Heisman Trophy, Tennessee Titans) took his pro football team to the NFL playoffs, the first in almost a decade for the team.

The highlight, though, had to be McKenzie Milton (Mililani High School, Central Florida University) leading the Knights to victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl.  Why so great?  Auburn only beat this year the two teams contending for the national championship on January 8, Georgia and Alabama.  

Milton had committed to the University of Hawaii, but was remembered by Scott Frost when he was a coach at Oregon, where Mariota played.  When Frost got the head coach position at Central Florida, he talked Milton into switching to CFU.  The school the previous year had a record of 0-12.  In two years, Frost made CFU the only undefeated division one football team, with a record of 13-0.  Unfortunately for Milton and CFU, Frost got a promotion to Nebraska, where he will take his entire coaching staff.

So what is happening to the University of Hawaii?  The previous year Hawaii signed zero scholarship players from Hawaii.  I would bet a lot of money that no other major college football team in the nation signed no players from their home state.  Why do the best players leave us?  Well, I left for a "better" school on the mainland when I graduated from high school.

Our most outstanding high school recruits are Polynesian defense and offensive line players, so to have such a sudden ascendancy of quarterbacks is surprising.  And I did not even yet mention QB Jordan Taamu from Pearl City High School, who turned around penalized University of Mississippi into a winner this year.  However, Ole Miss landed this year Matt Corral, a sure NFL pro.

But back to Hawaii, our football team did sign four local graduates, including Gatorade Player of the Year Chevan Cordeiro, also a quarterback from St. Louis High School.

Maybe another Sugar Bowl in the offing?  When the University of Hawaii went undefeated in 2007, they made the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans against Georgia.  Watching Alabama beat Clemson in this incredible stadium on New Year's Day brought back many memories.  Pearl and I sat way up near the top, where the stairs are extremely high, with no railing.  The covered dome vibrates the sound so you can actually feel the noise.  Eerie.  

It's now called the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  The NCAA Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia will be played in the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.  But Central Florida University beating Auburn has made this game superfluous.

It was exactly 35 years ago, I was golfing at the Volcano Golf Club on the Big Island.  I was on the back nine when the ground shook.  Shortly thereafter, we were treated to several fountains of lava only a short distance from where we were standing.  This is the same Kilauea Eruption, Pu'u 'O'o, that began on 3 January 1983 and in 2014 threatened the town of Pahoa.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average again broke it's all time record, up 99 to 24,923.  


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