Russ' Rumblings-Just my 3 cents
Elvis Vakapuna. Photo: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
And the bias continues! I thought this ended years ago with the advent of state tournaments. Apparently NOT! This is the 3rd state tournament in this school year alone that Kahuku has been robbed of a true top seed.
First it was our volleyball girls. Then it was our football team. Now it's our basketball boys.
My understanding is that a number 1 seed earns the right, by it's regular season success and media influence, to have the easiest path to a championship. Am I mistaken? Does the Hawaii High School Athletic Association use a different formula?
Our volleyball girls had an impressive pre-season followed by an undefeated run through the OIA regular season. They capped that with another amazing run through the OIA playoffs seizing the OIA Championship. Coupled with being ranked # 1 in the state for the majority of the year, deservedly so they were seeded # 1 in the HHSAA State Tournament. When the seedings were first released and I saw Iolani on the Kahuku side of the bracket I shook my head in amazement. Really?! Iolani should be on the Kamehameha side of the bracket no matter how many times they battled in the ILH regular season and playoffs. Bias reared its ugly head. Iolani beat us in the state semi-finals. Might've been different if we had another team to play in the semi-final and had to meet the winner of a Kamehameha vs. Iolani semi-final. But we'll never know.
Then our football boys capping an amazing season, in which they played the # 1 team in the nation, were awarded the top seed in the state football tournament. Wouldn't you know # 3 ranked Punahou was on the same side as our top seed Red Raiders along with # 5 Kapolei. While St. Louis awaited the winner of the # 4 Farrington vs. # 6 Waianae. Bias rears it's ugly head again in the fact that a true seeded tournament would've had Kahuku playing the winner of a Farrington and Kapolei match up with St. Louis having to play the survivor of a Punahou vs. Waianae game. What would've been the outcome had Punahou been on the St. Louis side as they should've been? Might an inspired Farrington team been able to beat Kapolei? If they were seeded as most tournaments are seeded I would have no arguments. But they weren't and we'll never get the opportunity to know if things might've been different.
The most recent slight of hand happened in the boys basketball state tournament. And again, there's a pattern forming here, top seeded Kahuku is given the shaft by having Iolani on their side of the bracket. Seemingly, Lahainaluna had an easier path to the championship than did Kahuku. Then again, the Lunas beat Iolani for third place. What if that game was in the semi-finals and the outcome the same? The Lunas might've been in the final. Thank goodness our basketball boys could not be denied and destroyed all the notions of bias by beating everybody and their own game. However, I hope you see my point.
There has to be a formula in place so that there's no room for bias. That way everything is fair and no one will have any excuses to complain. Then everything will be settled in the gyms and on the courts & fields . . . unless the referees start showing bias again . . . my bad that the subject of another blog post!
And I remain #RR4L!