“The fan support was awesome – it was amazing,” said UH Head Football Coach Norm Chow after addressing the nearly 600 fans at UHAA’s tailgate event prior to the game against Navy. Loyal UH fans journeyed from all over the U.S. to support the football team’s longest road trip of the year to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Fans gave Chow a long and spirited round of applause at the tailgate, uncharacteristic for a coach of a team that has had its share of struggles this season. UH alumni and fans are loyal and proud and it certainly showed that cold, wintry afternoon.
With temperatures in the 30s by game time, fans came out in droves to eat, party and share their UH pride at one of the best tailgate events in UHAA history. Tailgaters enjoyed the East coast barbecue lunch, beer and wine, and the sounds of Aloha Boys, originally from Hawai‘i and now living in the DC area. Prizes were given to lucky tailgaters, and camaraderie was a common feeling all day long. Special thanks to ‘Ahahui Koa Ānuenue, GEICO and Rainbowtique, who co-sponsored all of UHAA’s tailgates this year. Also, a big mahalo to Panda Travel and Worldwide Travel for allowing their travelers to join the tailgate.
On the Friday night before the game, UHAA hosted its now established Rainbow Warrior Bash at Hamburger Hamlet’s Crystal City location in Arlington, Virginia. More than 100 fans showed up in their H gear to get together with other UH alumni from Georgia, Texas, California, DC, and Hawai‘i who gathered for the game against Navy. Aloha Boys also performed at the Bash, and impromptu hula was prominent throughout the evening. The night ended with the crowd singing “America the Beautiful” and the traditional “Hawai‘i Aloha.”