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The Greatest Season

Reflections on life as a UH fan.

(page 2 of 2)


Photo courtesy of Lance Tominaga


The success of 2007 can be traced to January of that year, when quarterback Colt Brennan announced that he would return to Hawaii and not enter the NFL Draft. The drama continued in the months leading up to the season, with now-ousted UH athletics director Herman Frazier trying to defend the team’s embarrassingly weak schedule.

Once September arrived, however, everything clicked. The Warriors began the season ranked No. 24, and eventually climbed to No. 10 in the BCS standings, earning them a trip to the Sugar Bowl against No. 5 Georgia.

Along the way, there were times when it seemed the team’s BCS dreams would be derailed. In the Warriors’ second game of the season, for example, it took a Gerard Lewis deflection in the end zone to preserve a 45-44 overtime victory at Louisiana Tech. On Oct. 12, Hawaii overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat San Jose State in overtime. On Nov. 16, Dan Kelly booted a 45-yard field goal with just 11 seconds left in the game to give the Warriors a 28-26 win over Nevada. And on Dec. 1, the Warriors were down by 21 points before escaping with a 35-28 win against Washington.

In every instance, the Warriors persevered. They met every challenge. In that respect, 2007 truly was the Warriors’ greatest season.

It was the season that Hawaii fans learned to believe.

That was clearly evident on the night of Nov. 23, when Hawaii beat Boise State. Final score: Warriors 39, Broncos 27—hundreds of fans rushed the field to celebrate with the new champions. It was a moment to savor—a scene of pure, unbridled joy.

When I began to walk off the field, I paused and took another look at Red Level, Section HH. I couldn’t escape the irony of it all.

I got to witness the greatest victory in UH football history. And I was right there on the field, finally, with the best seat in the house.      
                
It just wasn’t the same.                 
    

Lance Tominaga is the Web editor at ESPN 1420 radio. He is currently working on the premiere issue of ESPN 1420 Magazine, set to debut in April.
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,March

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