The Hawai’i Bowl: Hawai’i. December 24, 2008

Welcome to the Hawai’i Bowl Anti-Preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Hawai’i Warriors. (Whatever happened to the Rainbows?) It’s going to be deep into Christmas Eve for the mainlanders by the time the game kicks off at 8 pm EST, and Irish fans are looking for a big present from the team as they look to end a 9 game 15 year bowl win drought.

Hawai’i won’t be looking to give this gift away and will in fact, try and regift what has been given to the Irish in the recent past– another bowl loss. So Notre Dame can not come into Hawai’i like a bunch of fucking tourists, they have to walk into Aloha Stadium like a bunch of pissed off pirates looking to destroy the native sons of the island.

Hawai’i. The Warriors finished the season with a 7-6 record and were rewarded with yet another Hawai’i Bowl berth (their 5th in 7 years). Their most impressive victory was against then #22, Fresno State. But, the game that everyone is talking about is the Cincinnati game where Hawai’i was up on the #13 Bearcats until collapsing in the fourth quarter to lose the game 29-24. Hawai’i did lose to 3-9 Utah State, but the Irish lost to 3-9 Syracuse… so whatever.

What should you be drinking? Rum. Lots and lots of rum. Since the economy is still in shambles and you spent your last dollar on a Christmas gift for the Secret Santa gift exchange at work, make sure you go with the ole’ reliable… Captain Morgan. You drank it in high school, you chugged it in college, and now that you are all grown up- you still can’t get enough of it and mix it with everything you drink as you curse all of those around you. Whew.

You can do just about anything with the Captain at your side. Here are a few short recipe’s to get you started:
  • Captain’s Booty: 3 oz. CM & 3-6 oz. Ginger Ale
  • Shark’s Nipple: 1/4 part CM, 1/4 part Mountain Dew, 1/2 part Cranberry Juice, & 3 ice cubes.
  • Captain’s Code: 1 oz. CM & 8 oz. Red Bull
  • Subway Domer Crack: 1/2 part CM & 1/2 part Apple juice or Apple cider

There are many other mixes to use with the Captain… and I suggest you try them all.

What should you be eating? Pirates ate like shit. I urge you to not eat like a pirate, unless you want scurvy or some sort of intestinal disease. Eat like the natives, but I suggest that you stay away from the poi unless you like cream of wheat and/or grits. (The Subway Domer KILLS grits). There is another way to enjoy the sacred Taro plant instead of mashing it up into poi… Lau lau.

Lau lau is a dish that takes any type of meat and wraps it with Taro leaves and is steamed. Here is a recipe to try:

•1 lb boneless pork or beef
•1 lb salted butterfish – soaked or salmon may be substituted
•1 lb boneless chicken
•Hawaiian Salt
•frozen taro leaves – thawed and drained
•taro leaves
•liquid smoke (optional)

This dish can be prepared using equal amounts of beef, chicken, fish and pork. I recommend using at least one meat along with the chicken and fish.
Cut meat and chicken into 1 inch chunks.
Rinse butterfish well, remove skin and cut into 1 inch chunks.
Cut and discard the stems from the taro leaves. Wash leaves. Do not dry.

In a large bowl, mix fish, chicken and meat with liquid smoke (if desired).
Take a piece of each main ingredient and wrap all three together in several taro leaves. This is called your laulau.
Place each laulau in the center of a taro leaf and wrap it. Use a second ti leaf to wrap it around the opposite direction.
You should have what looks like a little package. Secure with string.

The completed packets should be steamed, covered for several hours. They can also be cooked over a grill if kept well moist. Lay 3 to 4 taro leaves in the pan. Add half of the luau (taro) leaves. Arrange meat mixture evenly on luau leaves. Put remaining luau and ti leaves on top. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours.

Of course, it doesn’t matter what you are eating if you are watching this…

What should you be wearing? Just like the Navy game, I implore you to dress the part. Throw away those Hawaiian shirts, grass skirts, and leis and grab yourself a hook, eye patch, and wooden leg. And for you lady friend?
Shiver me timbers!

What freshman will have the biggest impact? This has become an easy answer, because it is so obvious. Michael Floyd. Floyd is Notre Dame’s biggest threat on offense and he makes everyone else better. While Floyd was out for the Syracuse and USC games, the offense looked like it jumped in a Doc Brown Dolorian and went back to 2007. They looked awful to say the least. There is little doubt that this was because Floyd was out. Hawai’i is ranked 43rd in pass defense efficiency in 1-A. They just don’t have the personnel to cover both Tate and Floyd, and because Floyd runs such very good routes, I look for him to have a monster game against the Warriors, and even if he doesn’t have a huge “stat” game, somebody will. That’s why Floyd will make the biggest impact- that’s why Notre Dame will be able to move the ball. That’s why Floyd is probably the MVP of the Irish offense this year.

What offensive player needs to step it up? It would be easy and correct if I said Jimmy Clausen. As Jimmy has struggled, people point directly at the most visible face of the offense. This is inaccurate though. Clausen needs help, just as all good quarterbacks do to move the ball. The offensive line? All of them? Well, most of the offensive woes can be attributed to poor pass protection and uncanny ability to be worked over by inferior defensive lines. I’m sure they are capable of stepping up and doing the task against Hawai’i, but I think Armando Allen is the player that has to rise to the occasion. The question is if he is healthy enough to do so. If he is, Allen provides Clausen not only with a very good dump off option that can move the sticks and keep drives alive, but also a running back that can explode at the line of scrimmage and get 4 or 5 yards at a time. Allen may never be the game breaker that Irish fans were hoping for, but he is becoming more and more like Darius Walker. And I’ll take that.

What defensive player needs to step it up? David Bruton, what the hell happened? Bruton has to step it up against a team that likes to spread it out and chuck the rock. Bruton has had chance after chance to have more interceptions than what he ended up with this year, but he kept dropping one sure interception after another. The last TD that Syracuse scored to eventually win the game was on Bruton as he had his hips in the wrong direction as the WR came off of a cut. That was after Hammond and Hayden were talking about “NFL scouts drooling all over David Bruton.” As much as any player on the defensive side of the ball, Bruton can change the outcome of a game. He has that knack of being in the middle of the sction, we just need him to attack that action and put the Irish in good position to win the game. I think Bruton can do this, and i believe that he will as well. His last game as a member of the Fighting irish may turnout to be his most memorable. That’s what we need.

What special teams player needs to step it up? With Mike Anello out with a broken leg, I was going to go with his gunner partner David Bruton, but then I really started thinking about it for a few moments and it comes down to the central figure of special teams… the field goal kicker Brandon Walker. Yes, we need good snaps and good holds but we need Brandon to keep improving as he has over the season. Notre Dame has had 2 games against Hawai’i in the past and both of those were in Hawai’i and both were close games. Close games come down to extra points and field goals. Brandon Walker has to be money.

Who’s gonna win? Despite an obvious talent advantage on paper for Notre Dame, they will face stiff competition against the Warriors. This is the Warrior’s home field and they are looking forward to playing the high profile Fighting Irish. I think the time has come and the tide will turn for the Fighting Irish and the bowl streak. the streak dies and the Irish impress in what is a no win situation as far as the national media is concerned. Call me a homer, but I’ll take the IRISH 44-17 in a pull away victory in the fourth quarter.

About The Subway Domer

Warlord and Emperor of the Subway Alumni... also, I do this "dad" thing pretty damn well.