Under the Hood: Let’s Dance!

It’s that time of the year again–time to dance.  March Madness is even more special this year as the Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine qualified to play against the best basketball teams in the country. In a span of about 72 hours, the Rainbow Wahine scored redemption in a 78-59 plastering of UC Davis and the Rainbow Warriors scored a massive measure of revenge in a 64-60 thriller on ESPN 2 versus arch rival Long Beach State.

Since their loss to UC Irvine–who was taken out by The Beach in the semifinals–in last year’s Big West tournament championship, the men’s program has faced adversity, such as NCAA sanctions and the departure of Isaac Fleming.  The Rainbow Warriors hard fought win over Long Beach State is one that everyone will be remembering forever.  It was their first win in three meetings over The Beach this year and the first over the 49ers in the state of California overall since 2007.

Eran Ganot, the Rainbow Warriors coach said, “What a day for the state and the athletic program.”  Rainbow Wahine coach Laura Beeman added, “Hawaii, this one’s for you guys.”

The end of the men’s game triggered a wild celebration of Hawaii fans and the students that traveled with them–a change from the Irvine students that stormed the floor a year ago. Long Beach State students, with a large number expecting a celebration, left the arena quite quickly in stunned silence.  In reference to challenges the team faced, guard/forward Aaron Valdes said, “We could have quit on each other, we could have [gone our separate ways,] but we…decided to stick it out.”

The women’s game, while not as close, was just as emotional.  “I love every moment of it,” said Hawaii point guard Destiny King. “The loss from last year picked us up, made us mature.”

“There were really some key moments with this group that brought us together,” Coach Beeman said. “We had some pretty hefty team meetings; it really starts off with your seniors.” It was a change from the tearful press conference last year following a 67-60 loss to CSUN in the women’s final.

Hopefully, there will be no tears and plenty cause for celebration for both our men’s and women’s teams representing Hawaii this March. Let the madness begin!

First and Second Rounds – Friday and Saturday
The Rainbow Warriors were selected into the South Regional in the Spokane sub-pod as the 13-seed. They will face fourth-seed California on Friday at 8:00am.

The Rainbow Wahine were selected into the Bridgeport (Conn.) Regional in the Los Angeles sub-pod as the 14-seed. They will face third-seed and sub-pod host UCLA on Saturday at 12:30pm.

Twice as nice: Saints sweep Homecoming for third straight year

MANOA, Saint Francis Gymnasium

Give Saint Francis a chance, they’ll take it. Put them in front of a student section–now known by their PA announcer as the Thunder Brigade–and they’ll give it their all. Twice, in this case.

Lady Saints 52, Damien 41 
Kaimi Kalei scored 16 points and Olivia Vaeatangitau added 17 off the bench as the Saints held off a late Monarch surge, 52-41 in front of a loud crowd of around 835–including nearly 250 students–at Saint Francis Gym, otherwise known as Thunder Junction, Saturday afternoon. Melina Souza added 18 for Damien in the loss. The Lady Saints improved to 5-9 (5-3 ILH).

“[Olivia] really gave us a lift, and I think that was the difference,” said Saints coach Chris Hoe. “If it wasn’t for her, we probably wouldn’t have won by this margin.”

Senior captain, Kelli Okubo, however, begged to differ.

“I thought [the students] were the difference. They were amazing.” It seemed that way from the outset, but Damien got off to a hot start. Souza hit two of her first three shots and the Monarchs forced four early turnovers to the tune of a 12-8 first quarter. The Saints, led by Vaeatangitau and Kalei, stormed back, taking a 19-17 lead that they would not relinquish.

The lead ballooned to 36-27 after three, but Souza hit two triples as part of an 8-0 Monarch run to shave the lead to 40-34. But it was Kalei and Vaeatangitau that made clutch shot after clutch shot that led Saint Francis to victory.

“Big win, big win,” said Kalei, “I think that sixth man really helped.” Not to mention Okubo gave a fist bump to the announcer after–he was part of it too.

Saint Francis 66, Le Jardin 47 
In a game billed as the division leaders in an instant classic, the Saints dropped 10 three-pointers–four from Bryce Nishida, and three from point guard Kameron Ng and three from 2-guard Noah Kurosawa–en route to a 66-47 rout of the Bulldogs. The Saints did it out and in, with Supi Mailei pulling down 10 rebounds while Isaac Crichton added eight and Boris Vukovic pulled down seven.

It was all done in front of a raucous crowd of around 1,011–including 300 students.

With the win, the Saints moved into sole possession of first place at the halfway of the league season with a perfect 5-0 record. Mitchell Hashimoto led all scorers with 17 as the Bulldogs suffered their first ILH loss.

“We didn’t expect to [shoot this good],” Ng said. “[Coach Ron] told us though, we can’t throw these up at will.”

“Supi [was] a beast inside,” coach Ron Durant said. “Sometimes, he has to take over.” And it was that again. The Saints led by 20 on two separate occasions, only to have the Bulldogs trim it to inside 15 twice. Same went on Thursday—the Saints led by 20 against Damien and nearly blew it.

Not this time. “Coming out strong in that third quarter was huge for us; we challenged our players to come out and take better shots.”

ScoringLive’s Stacy Kaneshiro, who was present at the boys’ game, contributed to this report.

Under the Hood: Canada Comes Home

A short while back in March, I decided to bring my podcast out of retirement, with a new format:

  • Once a month
  • Audio
  • Anything goes

It was to be called: Tumalip, The Podcast. Anything went those first episodes, from the NHL and NBA drafts to Donald Trump’s outlandish and wacky comments. But during the brainstorm, I found one name that I wanted to get on but never could on old podcast: Jay Onrait. Yes, that same guy that was on FOX Sports Live that I had a huge fandom for. That same Canadian that brought his irreverent style of broadcasting from TSN with that old man named Dan O’Toole (not actually an old man, it’s a running joke). In May I decided to email him and ask him about the pod. Of course, his wife was eight months pregnant with their now eight-month old daughter, Isabel; he said to get back in October and to work something out. I was super excited, it couldn’t come fast enough.

My first exposure to this dynamic duo was in 2007, when they were featured on the American SportsCenter, and then saw them in action in 2012 when I was on my first sojourn in Whistler. I immediately was captivated by it, and I couldn’t believe their producers allowed them to do it. When I heard they were leaving and coming to United States in 2013 for the launch of FOX Sports 1, I was excited, yet disappointed. No more waiting to go to Canada, but when I went next time, I wouldn’t see them anymore. I last saw them on TSN on April 5, 2013, and then the next night on August 17, the launch night, I immediately flipped over. Charissa Thompson, Seattle native, greeted me, and then after a minute of intros, the camera came to the desk and showed them, in their Canadian glory in front of me.

The show has gained a cult following, and has averaged about 9.8 million viewers a month, compared to ESPN’s 8.3 million viewers. In fact, it’s gotten so bad, ESPN is actually promoting more and more frequently just for viewers. ESPN has also continually lost its grip on major events–the U.S. Open, BIG EAST basketball, NASCAR events, and more, just to name a few.

Fast forward two years later, they are still the same people. Same irreverent broadcasting style, same old Jay and Dan. Finally, I got the courage to email him while we were driving past the Rocky Mountains back from Banff to Calgary. It was a back and forth affair between those days, and it was perfect–his new memoir, Number Two would be out October 27th. Finally, we settled on a date of November 15th. During the period from there, I came up with questions, wondering if he would take me seriously. I was worried, though: Would he answer my questions? Would he laugh me off and then take away my creditability? However, I had no time for pretense. It was time.

I called him on time, and he got back. It didn’t seem like him at first, but I knew from his personality, it definitely was. The interview lasted about 15 minutes, and it was spectacular. Comedy, career tips, and back-and-forth conversation. It seemed like we were old friends listening to us. Not bad for a kid that was watching NFL RedZone–and missing church. I knew he had an interview later on CTV Edmonton and I didn’t want him to be late, so I segued into the exeunt. After a few more laughs, I walked out and ate my lunch. I couldn’t wait to put the pod together. After some scrapping and audio matching, I finished and was able to publish it on Tuesday. The views have since reached 15, and I’m hoping for more. That day, for sure, I knew once I hung up, I scored two things: a great podcast–and a signed copy of Number Two.

Subscribe on YouTube–Alexander Tumalip.


Sweet Treats Recipe: Princess Leia Cupcakes

Star Wars, the American epic space opera, premieres with a new movie on December 18, 2015, called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With the movie soon to be in theaters, there is a rapid increase of Star Wars merchandise from Luke Skywalker t-shirts to mock lightsabers. So in honor of the new Star Wars movie, here is a recipe of Princess Leia Cupcakes.
Box Cake Mix or Favorite Homemade Cake Recipe
White Buttercream Frosting
Red Food Coloring
Oreo Cookies
Black Wilton Frosting
Mix up your cake mix as directed or you can also use your favorite homemade cake recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line your cupcake tin with cupcakes holders and set aside. Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake liners (fill about ½ way up) and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
Generously frost each cupcake with a thin layer of white icing.
Using a thin writing tip take your black icing, start one side of the hair first, from the center down. (You will want to create a middle part) Add the other side of the hair and then add the eyes.
To make the mouth use a small amount of your white frosting and add one drop of red food coloring to make pink. You can also use these heart candies to make a cute simple mouth if you have any on hand.
For the hair buns, use a dab of icing to stick Oreos to the sides of the cupcake liner. To get rid of the ‘white line’ from the creamy center of the Oreo simply run a thin layer of black frosting down the center of each Oreo.
To find this recipe and more, go to: http://paintbrushesandpopsicles.com/star-wars-princess-leia-cupcakes/

Under the Hood: A Sojourn in Canada

The first flight: Honolulu to San Francisco. We departed at 8:45pm.  That was the official start of my holiday.

The flat, windy plains gave way to the grey sky looking  down on our car driving onto the Alberta-2 Highway. Winds gusted up to 42 km/h (26 mph) on the freeway down the trail to Banff, leaving the two-storey airport in the distance. That was the ideal trip to Calgary, with Banff the first stop on our list. My parents wanted a departure from our normal spot in Canada; normally it’s the foot of the scenic Lions Range in Vancouver with some snow and rain in Whistler. Arriving in Banff, we could only see the Canadian Rockies in the distance.  The snow-covered peaks seemed to urge us toward them.  On this 3-degree night (39 F), we stayed away. The charm of Banff was amazing: the town reminded me of a scene in a John Wayne film.  Yet, it had the modern charm that could make Elton John blush, like Old Western meets Sony 4K.

The food was great. Many restaurants around there (many meaning sparsely few, except with two BeaverTail stores on the same block) served typical liquid lunch food with a touch of Canadianity to it. I even caught the first night of hockey on SportsNet! And watched my favourite Canadian football team, the B.C. Lions murder the Saskatchewan Roughriders!  Later on the week, we went the Banff Gondola, which took you to the top of the Rockies–literally–and looked down on the town from the lookout point. It was a great view, needless to say that the wind was blowing and the temperature had to be near 2 degrees (37 F). It was amazing to be in Banff and I thought we would never leave. But we did, and we once again were in Calgary. I always wondered what that thing was outside my hotel window, and in fact it was the Calgary Tower. Traveling up the elevator, all 525 meters of it, I finally saw Cowtown from where I wanted: above it all. However, there was still one more thing to do: Canadian football.

We took the C-Train on a perfect day, temperature around 21 C (60 F) toward McMahon Stadium, homes of the Calgary Stampeders and Dinos, the local university team. It was also host to the ’88 Calgary Olympics and the frigid Molson Heritage Classic in 2003, in which I’m pretty sure everyone had frostbite and bathed in coffee and cocoa after. This was, in fact, the rubber match: Edmonton vs. Calgary, in a battle for who may win the Western Division. The Eskies won the last battle 27-16 at Commonwealth and the Labour Day Classic, played at McMahon, was won by the Stamps 16-7. Now it was all on the line. Cowbell and horn in hand, I walked up to Section U, Row 48, Seat 11. I was facing the names of some of the greatest names in CFL history: Jeff Garcia, Doug Flutie, and Warren Moon, just to name a few. The seats filled in as the swirling 33 km/h wind (22 mph) whipped around the smoke from the entrance of the Stamps. Pretty soon, it was time for kickoff!

The game was entertaining. There were only two touchdowns (majors, as they’re often referred to) in the game–one by Eric Rogers of Calgary, and Kenny Stafford of the Eskies. Other than that, the kickers literally battled as Rob Maver had an unusual off-night, missing the corner three times and had a punt of 28-yards. Shaun Whyte of Edmonton had a 30-yard and 43-yard field goal, but he also missed the corner twice. The final score: Edmonton 15, Calgary 11. As we departed, I watched the Lions crumble in a 29-26 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers back at our hotel room in downtown Calgary. As we flew back, I received the news that water main had broken. Now let it be known that I was planning to come to school in about another 11 hours. Around 5:45am, I found out that the water went down again, so no school. At least I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family, though. With that said, it’s time for the top 3 things to do in Calgary, Banff, or Canada in general:

  1. Stop, Look, and Eat: There are a lot of good restaurants in Canada, which do New Canadiana justice in taste and smell. But nothing beats the evening bar rush like a poutine or a BeaverTail. Poutines are french fries on steroids, basically, with your standard brown gravy and cheese curds–cheese that’s pressed back into blocks. And what about a BeaverTail? That’s a whole wheat pastry stretched into a beaver’s tail (hence the name) and topped with basically anything from chocolate to fruit and ice cream, even.
  2. Get into Hockey. Seriously: It’s good. The local farm team is in Calgary for the Flames, and their called the Hitmen. But seriously, now, hockey is awesome. If you don’t even know what’s happening, it’s exciting, and 18,200 other screaming fans won’t mind either.
  3. Enjoy: You will probably never have the same things at home here in Hawaii or anywhere else. So, take all the pictures you can and tell everyone what you ate, saw, and did in Canada. Even though you may hate your parents on vacation for doing humiliating things, just play along and enjoy it. Not many people like me can afford to travel frequently like this!

Want more? Check out my Instagram @thetumalip and see all my pictures under #TumalipHoliday. I might be heading to Montreal in March, so stay tuned!



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