HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Sundays, the New Hope Metro church is where people gather for worship. But on this Saturday, it was a place where people got together to watch the gridiron showdown between the University of Hawaii and USC.
The church opened at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in January. "We figured the beginning of the football season, we just wanted to bring the community together, and what better time than the first game of the season," said New Hope Metro pastor Elwin Ahu.
"People are having a good time," said Ahu's son, Brandon Ahu. "People brought food together, we wanted to watch the game, extended family kind of thing, bring your friends out and just enjoy it over here."
Just like any other football watching party, there was a lot of food, cheering, excitement, and some friendly competition.
Elwin Ahu explained why he was wearing a UH T-shirt with USC athletic shorts. "My son (Brandon) went to USC -- and I call it the "University of Spoiled Children" -- and I graduated from the UH law school. And although we do this for the church, there's a little internal rivalry happening."
The game was a bit painful for the Warrior fans in the house, but they know its a new team under first-year coach Norm Chow, and that they're up against the number one team in college football.
"I think the first thing I see is a lot of discipline, and I really appreciate that," said UH fan and student Duane Fukumoto, who wore a Warrior jersey. "They're playing with a lot of pride."
"UH is doing pretty good," said Brandon Ahu, who was wearing a USC jersey. "Score's not so great, but you see them showing up on the field. We're just having a good time here together."
"We're here across the ocean and hopefully they can feel the aloha no matter what's going on there in California," said Warrior fan Teri Yamasaki, who was wearing a green t-shirt with "Chow Time" on the front.
"We'll welcome them when they come home."