There was a time when I was a total Rainbow/Warrior-holic.
I started catching TheBus from Moiliili to Aloha Stadium as a kid, jumping on board with my friends from Ala Wai Park. (Us guys would play tackle football every day in the summer and one day even Gary Allen showed up and played with us keikis!) Seats were $2.50, end zone, in the Dick Tomey era.
Memories for a lifetime.
But Dave Reardon’s column this morning sheds light (again) on the drunken fool problem at UH football games. It’s been a recurring theme for the past decade or two. I wouldn’t know as well as I did back in the 1980s when I was a UH student reporter. All I know is, in the two decades-plus that I’ve covered high school football games, the vibe has often been intense, colorful, sometimes even funny. And I’ve never encountered drunkeness.
Oh, alcohol isn’t necessary to bring out the occasional, obnoxious comment at a high school game. But I do enjoy the sheer emotion, the encouragement, even the rage of fans cheering their team on. The applause for opposing teams now and then. And none of it is triggered by an $8 cup of Budweiser. And I’ve rarely seen a fight at a prep game. Almost all the action is on the field.
I’m not against adult beverages, not at all. I just appreciate good value. That’s what I get at a high school game, whether I’m a reporter or fan. I realize after all these years that high school games and all the volunteer parents and friends who make the experience complete do it without having to jack up prices. Come on, a plate lunch at Aloha Stadium now goes for $14. Or how about a soda for $6? Yikes…
You can get a homemade plate of hamburger curry and chili at Kaiser Stadium for only $6. I did, just two weeks ago. A can of soda or juice will still cost just $1. You can get all kinds of tasty local food CHEAP at high school venues. I remember Julian Yates Field in the 1990s, covering Konawaena football. Roast pork plate, inexpensive, and the pig had just been hunted the day before. Only in Hawaii!
There’s also the Hawaiian plate at Radford. The fried noodles are excellent at Mililani, Campbell and Radford. Moanalua has outstanding food, including kalua pig (if I remember right).
One year, I remember tasting the best banana bread EVER at a Kahuku volleyball match.
Point is, I miss UH football, but not the silliness of drunken fools. I knew back then that people would shy away from the facility rather than bring their young children and grandchildren.
The problem will be worked out, my guess, in a reasonable way. Meanwhile, at a high school game near you, I might be having a little too much satisfaction with a pre-game meal, free parking (most times) and great football action.
I can catch the UH game via online radio. The view from Waipahu’s field is priceless.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser