Local Connection: Ben Jay

Local Connection: Ben Jay

By: Rick Blangiardi

Bravo to new University of Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay for taking head on the issue nicknames of our intercollegiate sports teams more uniform.

For years, we've had this whole situation all wrong because of our lack of consistency. Our teams have been called Rainbows, Rainbow Warriors, Warriors or Rainbow Wahine.

Four of the seven men's teams are Warriors and the other three - swimming, diving and basketball - are Rainbow Warriors.

Starting July 1, all the men's teams will be Warriors and all women's teams will be Rainbow Wahine.

Branding of sports teams is important, beyond the dollars involved, and ever since the June Jones era, it's been all over the place. The logos, the colors  and team names were changed with seeming disregard to the history and traditions of the University of Hawaii.

I applaud the idea of returning to the basic green and white colors of the past but tradition is tradition, so I respectfully disagree with the removal of the name "Rainbows" from the men's nicknames. I would have selected Rainbow Warriors for the men and Rainbow Wahine for the women.

The Rainbow name is very powerful and spiritual in Hawaii. Maybe I am just a nostalgic guy but keeping "Rainbows" in all names is the perfect choice.

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