The only thing better than watching Texas pummel a quality opponent in person in a soulless basketball venue a quarter of a mile from the action is to watch it from a tiki bar in Waikiki whilst ostensibly on business. Game commentary by drunk locals speaking in halting pidgin is also substantially more satisfying that Billy Packer's wait-for-any-negative-play-and-then-question-the-player-or-coach-incessantly-until-the-next-tv-timeout methodology.
Also, there were some girls with nice tits walking around the pool deck.
My day began at 6am when I began systematically creating a flurry of e-mail activity and phone calls such that my work ethic could not be impeached when I fled to the hotel tiki bar to take in March Madness 1:20 Hawaii time. I have corporate game.
I flee to the bar, cell phone clutched in my hand so I can molest friends and relatives with alarmist text messaging and profane rants about opposing players handchecking Augustin too much. I used to love Barnes' bruiserball five years ago, but now that we have the skilled players, I'm fucking John Wooden. Yes, I'm a sports hypocrite and quite comfortable with it.
So I'm ready, except tiki bar was not. The game wasn't on. When Derrick Low and Washington State were eliminated, so too was the rooting interest of the locals. That's the island way. Some say all politics is local, Hawaiians think everything is local. The bar was full of drunkish locals debating the merits of Hawaii's proposed tram system. This being Hawaii, where mainlander demands are met with indifference and precise appeals met with hostility, I offered a gentle,"Hey, you boys mind if we look at that game, maybe? It might be on. CBS or something?" I then ordered a drink and feigned indifference, gazing off of at the beach. The locals shrugged. OK. He's not acting like a haole. We humor him, ya. Game on.
The camera focuses on the Lopi. There is an intake of breath and a machine gun of commentary:
Ooooweeee, Stanfer' too much tall. You for trouble, mistah.
Get riddy for soun' of make dunk! (makes swooshing noise)
Oooosshhhhh, Texas manini. (Manini means small)
We may not win this game, but I'm sure as hell going to win this crowd. I decide to appeal to the underdog heart that beats strong in all Hawaiians. They're sort of like Aggies in that regard, but their pidgin is more comprehensible. A heart that courses with resentment that they are always overlooked, underestimated, or just forgotten by arrogant mainlanders. I offer that we are the underdogs: too little, too manini, but isn't that what some of those mainlanders - especially those big-time Californians - think about Hawaii? Stanford is very elite. Very uppity. Texas is a humble state school of the people. These are my arguments and they are utter bullshit, but I begin to weave them gently, indifferently - because indifference is the most persuasive debating posture in Hawaii - into the game narrative between my screams of "Take his ass off the dribble, DJ!" and "Yes, bitch!" because I'm pretty eloquent when I'm in game mode.
This is met with considered silence and nods. Then:
I like da Texas very much.
Dey quick for Stafford, I tink.
You gonna make win. Stratfer too much cocky
Now I'm getting barraged with high fives after every good play. The locals have found their underdog, damn the Vegas line. And I'm starting to realize, just around the same time as the Texas guards, that the Lopez twins - particularly Brook - aren't overrated. They're McCartney and Lennon paired with eight Stanford Ringos. The Lopii are deeply underrated. Because Stanford's guards are utter and complete garbage. I'm sure they are nice young men...blah blah blah. I'm sensitive to the difficulty of recruiting quicks to The Tree, but goddamn. They'd be the worst backcourt in the entire Big 12. John Candy's corpse would do a better job staying in front of our guys.
More local commentary after a sweet drive by Augustin:
Augushhteen very nice wit da ball.
Oooooo, he my kine playa.
He almos' good as Derrick Low.
And with eight minutes to go in the game, I'd won the over the bar just as surely as Texas had won over da Stanfer'.
Color in another piece of the map for Burnt Orange hegemony.