Monday, July 29, 2002, and for Warrior fans it's 33 days and counting to Eastern Illinois. But for now it's golden fried chicken and curry stew on the menu at today's Quarterback Club luncheon at the C'est Si Bon banquet hall at the Pagoda Hotel. My review of today's featured food items? The chicken was good, very good, but before anyone has a chance to hang this writer about a food review we'll get back to the stuff sports sites should be about, sports.
Man, was the place packed. Television cameras set to go for the evening's sports reports, writers with their tape recorders on pause ready to record and then write today's late breaking news or tomorrow's sports news. On the agenda today were Madeline Dreith, director of community development for the U.S. Tennis Association-Hawaii and Henry Somerville, Hawaii Pacific University tennis coach. All this for tennis you say? Hey, I know people in Hawaii like tennis, but to be honest I really don't think tennis and fried chicken were the reasons for the larger than normal Quarterback Club luncheon crowd.
I look around and I see them. Football fans. Football starved fans. Hungry football fans just counting the days, the hours and the minutes to the opening of fall camp and game day. In this football hungry town where Warriors' football is king, to the delight of this noon time crowd, the two main speakers today were none other than Warrior QB Tim Chang and Warrior QB coach Dan Morrison, aka TC's Godfather as the General Les Keiter would later call him. The place was just swarming with fans wanting to shake Tim's surgically repaired throwing hand and wish him well. In this article we focus on the man with the Bionic Hand, Mr. Tim Chang and we transcribe what was said at today's Quarterback Club gathering.
Les Keiter: Well, king football as you know is just around the corner. Four weeks away as the opening UH game, and training camp begins next week, and the big question that has prevailed in Honolulu for a long time all over the islands. How's Tim Chang's arm? That wrist? Well, we're gonna hear it from the horse's mouth. We first had Tim here when he was still Timmy with St. Louis and I remember a couple years ago when he won one of the major awards at our banquet of champions as Timmy Chang. He became Tim Chang and he's now a gentleman who is carrying a host of good fans all over Hawaii. To bring us on an update on that wrist and how he feels about the upcoming season will you welcome Mr. Tim Chang.
Tim Chang: Aloooooha!!!! (Crowd responds back, Alooooha!!!) It is my honor to be here amongst you fine people. Seen a lot of familiar faces from other state banquets you guys had and I guess the big question is, how is my hand and how is it doing?
It all started…..third game of the season……we were playing the Rice Owls, and we had a good lead….but it was coming....the fourth quarter had just started and we lost the lead completely…it was a 21, 21 tie and one of their defensive ends flushed me out of the pocket. Running to the right on the sideline, threw the ball because I knew somebody was just hounding me and my last minute instincts were, you know....put out your hand....brace yourself. And ….you know, it wasn't the right move at all, and uh, I've been out for the whole 2002 season…..um, 2001 season.........and you know, the team did well.
There was a lot of learning, a lot of learning experience that I had to go thru to deal with this and uh…. you know, right now I'm fine. I'm doing really well. My hand is doing really well. Physically I'm capable of doing all the things I've done before. About falling down again? I really don't know if I'm going to brace myself again like I did before (Crowd bursts out in laughter). But physically, where I've been? To coming in from my freshman to my sophomore season, I'm there and I'm much more than what I've ever done, what I've ever been before…I feel really confident about my status and….I feel really confident in my teammates, and I know I'm not the only one out there working and they're working really hard for this upcoming season and we are real excited, real excited that we're playing the game again and uh, it's been a long time.
January third is when I had my surgery. I know it's January third cause I was in California and the Rose Bowl was being played and I was on….I was in la la land because I had just gotten out of surgery. I remember watching the game and just sitting there and my hand was just throbbing in pain. I got out of the cast in eight weeks. We took it really slow. The doctors did a fabulous job. I went to California to get my surgery done and the doctors did a remarkable job. You know, just marvelous. You know, I couldn't ask for, I couldn't ask for anything better. It was one of them injuries that you know if, if my hand didn't heal, I….I probably wouldn't be standing in front of you guys today and talking about it and preparing for this up and coming season. But you know God blessed them and they did a….. I can't say much more, you know I…I…..they…they gave me a second chance, and I'm gonna make the most of it and I'm just happy to be here.
I got out of the cast in eight weeks. It took another…about two months for me to even start lifting weights. My ligament needed to be healed back on my bone because it just separated completely. Separated completely and then needed about four months in all to really back. So I started lifting weights in May. I never stopped lifting weights. As soon as I could throw the ball I threw it. And uh, I've never stopped….so….you know I'm real excited, I'm really hungry. I missed all spring this past year……and um…..I'm ready to play…..basically.
If coach Jones doesn't want to play me, you know (crowd breaks out in laughter)…..uh, that's up to him. I don't make the call, but you know the man makes the call and I know when August eighth starts, you know I'm gonna have to go out there and compete like everybody else and I know nothing will just be given to me, so. You know I'm up for the challenge and I know my teammates are really, they're real excited to start the season.
I know we have a rough schedule. We go away five games during the season. You know they're not easy teams. Fresno State, Rice. We have never beaten Rice when coach Jones has been here. We go to Boise State. BYU. I know they're really looking forward to us (crowd breaks out in laughter again). And you know, we got Alabama, San Diego State, Cincinnati at home. It's really gonna be an exciting year and it's up to us, what kind of challenge, how we're gonna take it and what we're gonna do with it. You know, we can run with the baton or we can just leave it where it's at. But, I know my teammates are excited and I know they're working really hard right now as we speak. So we're really looking forward to this year and I hope to see all of you out there.
Tim Chang ended on that note and then opened it up to questions.
Up next, Tim Chang answers questions from football starved Warrior fans.