See, here’s the thing.
Hawai’i Rainbow Warrior football has always been on my “must watch” list.
An opportunity to extend your consecutive hours of watching college football beyond the 12-hour mark? Absolutely.
A chance to watch that always-exciting and occasionally-good Run-n-Shoot offense that never makes for a dull moment? Sign me up.
O.K., except for that four year period when Norm Chow tried to be a hotshot and reinvent the fucking wheel.
How dedicated is my enjoyment of Hawai’i football? It is to the level that three years ago when Hawai’i lost at home to UNLV on a late field goal, I had no way to watch that game.
Usually, that would go in the bin of “oh well, there’s always that one other game I’ll get to see later on.”
But no, this time some fan in the stands was streaming the game on Periscope via his smart-phone.
That’s right, folks. I was sitting at my desk at 2 A.M. Central time watching Hawai’i lose a nailbiter on my laptop via a grainy handheld smartphone Periscope stream.
If that’s not dedication to the cause, I don’t know what is.
I say all that to say the following; I am more excited about Hawai’i football going into the 2019 season than ever before. I have my reasons.
Last season as a sophomore, Cole McDonald missed a game because of internal bleeding that seeped into his sac and was still a borderline top-10 quarterback statistically. Extrapolate his stats out one more game, and you have a guy who is top-five in completions, yardage, and touchdowns.
Sure, he was also outside the top 60 in completion percentage, but that will happen with overmatched Swiss cheese blocking for you. Add a year of starting experience for all of those guys, and health for McDonald, and you’ve got something.
It’s not uncommon for teams to play seven home games, though it is slightly less common for most Group of Five programs. It’s not uncommon for Hawai’i to play 13 games, though it doesn’t happen every single year.
2019, though, will be the first time in 13 years that the Warriors will have eight home games among their 13 contests, and they get plenty of time to build momentum there as well.
Thanks to smart scheduling and the same double-bye as every other team, Hawai’i won’t leave the Big Island until they travel to play Washington on September 14th, and won’t change time zones until two weeks later when they play at Nevada.
On the other end, the Rainbow Warriors travel to Las Vegas to face UNLV on November 16th, and it’s the only time they have to travel after November 1st due to having four of their last five games at home.
Due to their odds of going bowling (and playing in the Hawai’i Bowl if they do), the ‘Bows will play either six or seven games across November and December but will only have to leave their home state a maximum of two times.
Last, but certainly not least, due to the joys of Facebook there will be a grand total of one Hawai’i game that I don’t watch this season.
The season is bookended by two games on CBS Sports Network, the opener tomorrow against Arizona, and the finale against Army. Of the other 11 games, nine are going to be broadcast on Facebook and two more are going to be on an ESPN Network to be determined.
Hawai’i football hasn’t been this well-positioned for a successful season in a long time, and I’ve never had a better opportunity to watch this team be exciting and winning along the way.
So yeah, I’m pretty pumped.