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Anna Grant has nothing on this guy....
Warrior Superfan Dies After Game
by Bobby Command
Ernest Dung Aana was a University of Hawaii football fan to the end.
Despite suffering from a severe illness and doctors telling him that the trip would likely kill him, the 70-year-old fan traveled from his Kauai home to New Orleans to see his beloved Warriors play the Georgia Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl.
"He told the doctors that nothing they could do -- not even breaking his arms -- would stop him from going to the Superdome for Hawaii's first BCS game," said his son, Enoch Aana, a Kona resident who owns Pele's Bath and Body at the Kona International Market.
The doctors were right. Aana, who was on his way home Jan. 3, began experiencing pain while in flight and died later that day in an Atlanta hospital.
"I saw a picture of him at the funeral home," Enoch Aana said. "He had the biggest smile on his face -- it's comforting that he was so happy."
Enoch Aana said his father had felt a lump in his abdomen and was tentatively diagnosed with an aneurysm. That was right after UH's 35-28 win over the Washington Huskies, which moved them to 12-0 and clinched a berth in the prestigious Bowl Championship Series game. At that point, Aana decided to purchase eight Sugar Bowl tickets for himself, his daughter, Carmel Doyle, and her family, of Pensacola, Fla.
However, further tests revealed terminal liver cancer. Aana decided to keep the news to himself until his family gathered during Christmas, where he broke the news to his family at the home in Papakolea on Oahu.
"He called us into his room and told us," Enoch Aana said. "The doctors said it was high risk, and we begged him not to go, but he was such a big Colt Brennan fan that he felt he needed to go and support the team and Colt."
Enoch Aana, who said he is a friend of Brennan's girlfriend, Shakti Stream, said Brennan found out through Stream about Aana. "She told me Colt said he regretted not being able to meet my father," he said. "He wanted to be at my father's funeral, but he is training for the Senior Bowl now."
Aana, a retired dispatcher for the Honolulu Police Department, was a season ticket holder -- his wife, Sharron, was an employee at UH-Manoa for more than 30 years -- but had to give them up when the couple retired to Kauai. "Then, on the day they started selling tickets, he found out he could not get any because he was not a season ticket holder," Enoch Aana said. "Then the athletic director (Herman Frazier) sent all the other tickets back."
Enoch Aana said his father located and purchased tickets online, but they were in the middle of the Georgia rooting section. "The University of Hawaii sent them $400 because they felt so bad," he said.
On the day before his father left, a priest accepted Aana's final confession. His father was excited, "even during his last goodbyes," Enoch Aana said, "knowing he might never return to Hawaii."
Despite the sadness of losing his father, Enoch Aana said he is gratified that his father was able to see the Warriors play in the Bowl Championship Series game, even though they lost, 41-10. "It was a bittersweet ending," he said. "It also shows you how dedicated our fans are."