Gorgeous Super Bowl Sunday in Miami Beach.
Got back from the “JAFCO Bowl’’ at Flamingo Park, organized by 16-year-old Jake Sokol, the Ransom Everglades student who five years ago initiated the annual flag football tournament between Miami-Dade County youngsters as his Bar Mitzvah project to benefit JAFCO – the Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options non-profit organization that provides services to abused and neglected children in South Florida.
Sokol and the young players seemed to have great fun Sunday, but not as much fun as the six Hurricanes who did community service and repped the University of Miami in coaching them up.
The Hurricanes represented: quarterback Brad Kaaya, offensive lineman Hunter Wells, receiver David Njoku, defensive tackle Ufomba Kamalu and walk-ons Grant Coffman (kicker/punter) and Collin Alford (running back).
“Every one of these kids love UM,’’ said Sokol, who said the game has raised about $25,000 since its inception. “It’s just a great charity and a great thing to see these players represent the University of Miami in doing something for the community.’’
Kaaya ran back and forth on the field as if his future hung on every play. Midway through the event, Kaaya already had lost three members of his flag football team.
“One broke his finger,’’ Kaaya said, “one tripped another kid and got kicked out, and then the other one didn’t show up. We’re getting blown out right now, so we’ve got to come back. I’m real competitive. I hate losing anything.’’
Said Kamalu: “I’m just coaching kids, showing them plays. This is my first time doing this. When the kids make big plays we’re so invested in it. It’s just so fun coaching them.’’
So, now the most pressing subject of the day: The Super Bowl.
I asked Brad Kaaya, “Tom Brady or Russell Wilson?”
Kaaya: “Tom Brady. In the game today, Tom has played in a lot more of these, so I’m thinking Tom.
“Overall, Tom. I mean, he makes more happen. Whereas Russell Wilson, he’s still a good quarterback, but a lot of times I feel like the guys he has in place around him often times can really help him out a whole lot. Tom Brady, over the years he’s made it happen. He’s had six different receiving corps and he still makes it happen.’’
Kaaya said he’s picking the Patriots to win but “it’s going to be a really good game. I think it should be.’’
Kaaya said he’ll probably watch the game with all his “boys.’’
Greg Golden, “Coach Golden’s nephew,’’ Kaaya said, has “a real nice ’’ TV setup for viewing games, though he said he wasn’t sure where he’d watch the Super Bowl.
Kamalu said he wanted the Seattle Seahawks.
“They make plays,’’ he said. “They have a lot of playmakers on offense and defense. I think they’re going to find a way.’’
Njoku predicted the final score Sunday would be 31-26, Seahawks.
Wells is going with the Pats.
Finally, on “Deflategate, ” the recent NFL controversy involving the New England Patriots being accused of underinflating footballs used in the AFC Championship against Indianapolis, Kamalu and Wells called it, basically, a bunch of hot air.
“Does it really matter, two PSI’s? How does it matter? Two PSI’s is not that much – if it were five or something, alright.”
Wells: “A deflated ball is not going to help them tackle. Deflategate. They trying to say it’s like Watergate? Come on!”
Lots of laughter – and a morning well spent.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN