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Sports & Fitness // Hot Air
Steve Murray

Taking A Breather From Hot Air

Sometimes even legends need a break. It can be difficult to say goodbye to the ones you love.

Farewells can be emotional, such as when Lou Gehrig announced his retirement. They can include historic backdrops like Swilcan Bridge where Jack Nicklaus paused during his final round at Saint Andrews.

Announcements of departure can be disappointing, and others can’t come soon enough. Acura decided the world no longer needed the NSX (disappointing) and AMC canceled the Pacer (way, way too late). Endings, as when Rocky Marciano knocked out Lee Epperson in his final fight, or Ted Williams hit a home run on his final at bat, can be dramatic.

Others are shocking.

Who wasn’t shocked when Barry Sanders suddenly escape from football purgatory in Detroit while still in his prime, or when Sandy Koufax called it quits following a season in which he won 27 games and posted a 1.73 ERA with 317 strikeouts.

I’d like to think my final MidWeek column would tap into all those emotions.

That’s not exactly right.

I want today to be a national day of mourning.

I want flags at half mast, tributes by colleagues and a Senate resolution declaring May 28 Steve Murray Day.

I want a full six-minute segment on The Daily Show and a cameo where I get shot to death on Sons of Anarchy.

I want to ride slowly atop a convertible sports car, waving to the assembled masses of cheering ditto heads who knew of only one universal truth: that whatever I wrote was brilliant. (Actually, I want to drive a 2014 Corvette around the Top Gear test track, the Autobahn or a closed-off section of H1, and I don’t care if no one watches! I’ll settle for a 20-minute test drive around Honolulu potholes, or a few laps in a Hendricks Motorsports backup car around Talladega. Anyone? Anyone?)

I want a malasada named after me, take batting practice at Les Murakami Stadium and official acknowledgement that the Tony Smith sculpture fronting the art building at UH is simply an amalgamation of my initials.

Most important, I want to know that the world will be a worse place without my musings. (Self-delusion already has filled this final request.)

What the future holds remains to be written.

Get it?

For better or worse, I am not going anywhere. I’ll continue to edit the Central Oahu Islander and produce MidWeek cover stories and other features. What’s to come next regarding sports coverage in this spot is yet to be announced.

Sometime in the near future, not this week or next, before the end of the decade but not before vacationing and discovering how ineffectual my driver has become, we’ll announce something new. Or maybe we won’t. It’s more fun that way.

It’s been a great ride.

In this space I got to discuss NASCAR, the NHL, UH athletics and the bravery of Pat Tillman. We’ve examined economics, prejudice, the best foods to throw at baseball games and why Mark McGwire and Kurt Warner do not deserve Hall of Fame consideration.

I watched Riley Wallace’s final game, and was 5 feet from the basket when a Julian Sensley dunk brought down the entire stanchion. I saw Karl Malone in Lakers gold, Kolten Wong in Rainbow white and Suburbans in black as they idled in ready should Barack Obama have to leave Stan Sheriff Center in a moment’s notice.

Timmy Chang broke records, Colt Brennan won games, Chad Owens proved little guys can come up big. We also discovered how bad traffic could be getting into Aloha Stadium.

Sumo came to the Blaisdell, Tadd Fujikawa rocked Waialae, Jim Bolla embarrassed a community and professional baseball returned to Hans L’Orange Field. Bob Nash got fired and Manti Te’o got catfished, while Dominick Raiola provided a single-digit suggestion to Lions fans.

It was all great fun to document it all.

Mahalo for reading.

smurray@midweek.com

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