Teams that win postseason bowl games do not suffer from memory loss. They know who they are. They know how they got there. They know the meaning of the word "execution" and apply their achievements in the regular season to the offseason down pat.
They know how to limit turnovers. They know how to run their offenses and make stops. And they know how to adjust. These are program-defining wins that let a country know who it is.
On Friday, Dec. 24, the University of Hawaii Warrior football team made the biggest mistake it could ever make this season: forgetting who they were in the 2010 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
Their forgetfulness and lapses in carrying out the game plan set the stage for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane to utilize their power of self-actualization en route to a 62-35 blowout win at Aloha Stadium.
Wasn't this the same Warrior team that earned a share of the WAC title and finished the regular season with a 10-3 record?
Wasn't this the same Warrior team that was touted by many prognosticators across the country to prevail over Tulsa through quarterback Bryant Moniz, wide receiver Greg Salas, tailback Alex Green and its defense?
Wasn't this the same Warrior team that was nationally ranked coming in?
For goodness sakes, wasn't this the same Warrior team that knew who it was for most of the entire year? We all thought so.
But if that were the case, the question must be asked: Why did it pick the worse time to suffer from gridiron amnesia in front of a partisan Hawaii crowd with just a smattering of visitors from Oklahoma?
Good question. Perhaps the only viable answer to that is...it just did.
It ran into a lamppost in the form of the ball-hawking and blitz-happy Golden Hurricane defense and special teams, who forced five interceptions and one muffed punt, while making Hawaii's offensive linemen seem like overgrown Pop Warner rejects. Oh, the shame.
Even worse, it got seduced by an unassuming witch doctor in the form of Dr. G.J. Kinne and his right-hand man, Mr. Damaris Johnson.
Kinne, a relentless gunslinger in his own right, passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns. Johnson ran for 100 yards and a touchdown and also caught four passes for 101 yards and a score. Johnson had 326 all-purpose yards on Friday.
And as a result of forgetting how to deliver and adjust on both sides of the ball against Tulsa, Hawaii became its own worst enemy by forgetting who it was.
If one were to picture the 2010 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl as an audition for the 2012 Mountain West Conference football season with Hawaii on the hot seat a la American Idol, it would be a certainty that Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson would not give the Warriors any sympathy—because they don't deserve it.
If current Hawaii athletic director Jim Donovan were to consider giving coach Greg McMackin a contract extension, he would be wise to do one of two things: the minimum (hey, they earned a championship in a sinking conference, so that has to factor in, right?) of one year, or not extension until the current contract ends and the Warriors actually spare themselves another case of amnesia and win the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
The last thing Donovan should do is give "Coach Mack" a full extension. It should not happen.
No, not with such a blasphemous display as this.
No, not with mistakes after mistakes piling on top of each other.
No, not after letting the powerful winds of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane make a well-deserved mockery of your national ranking.
And certainly not after committing that most atrocious of sins: Hawaii Warrior football forgetting itself on Christmas Eve.