Shutting Down Army, Navy?

One of the unanticipated consequences of the government shutdown is the travel restrictions placed on military academy teams, which threatened, for a time, last week’s Air Force-Navy game and the Army-Boston College contest.

Apparently, funds that were not appropriated were used to allow those long-scheduled college football games. Other sports have been cancelled – the Howard University-Navy soccer match didn’t make the cut.

And the Department of Defense announced that football games involving the academies would be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

In the scope of the shutdown, these football games are a very minor consideration but tough to plan for if you are University of Hawaii, whose Rainbow Warriors are scheduled to visit Navy Nov. 9 and host Army Nov. 30.

This will make UH athletic administrators huge advocates of a quick resolution to our most recent political nightmare. * What would a football season be without some hint of a quarterback controversy?

Last week’s announcement that Taylor Graham would start if healthy over hot hand Sean Schroeder had many fans in a tizzy. When you look back at other controversies involving signal callers, they often work out because of injuries. UH is probably fortunate that it has four quarterbacks who can (and have) played. While everyone has their favorite, the modern game requires that you have more than one quarterback who can guide your team in a competent fashion.

While the NFL seems to favor the fresh, young player, the exceptions seem most prevalent at quarterback, where some of the veterans are having amazing years. Peyton Manning was on a pace to throw 64 touchdowns going into last week, and Drew Brees and Philip Rivers also are showing well for the over-30 crowd.

While this often happens early in a season, the Denver Broncos through four games looked to have one of the most efficient offenses in recent NFL history.

Nobody is questioning John Elway’s decision to sign the injured Manning and trade away Tim Tebow. It’s hard to imagine two more kindred spirits than Elway and Manning.

The AFC West should get the early nod for division most exceeding expectations. Everybody knew Denver would be good, but Kansas City and San Diego are both playing well under new coaches.

Most disappointing division has to be the NFC East, where the Giants, Redskins and Eagles all look like damaged goods, and even the Cowboys don’t appear to be a monster.

* Season tickets go on sale for both UH basketball teams this week and each figure to improve on last year. Gib Arnold’s club looks like it will be far more athletic than any of his three previous editions, and he may finally have the personnel to play the high pressure, fast-paced game that he prefers. Laura Beeman’s team that surprised last year should be deeper and more talented this time around.

UH is offering a pretty neat special: Buy a men’s season ticket and you can get a Wahine season ticket for just $30. That’s a bargain. I can’t wait to see what these teams can accomplish in this year’s Big West.