The islands beckon. So does the responsibility.

By the time most of you read this, I should be heading to the airport for to head five time zones away for Hawaii to prepare for the University of Central Arkansas Bears’ benchmark season-opener against the University of Hawaii.

I ran into several people over the weekend who were still pinching themselves that it is really happening.

Like Justin Acri, who will do play-by-play over the UCA radio network, I’m telling folks it is a business trip, just like journeys I’ve made to Livingston, Ala., Cleveland, Miss., Monticello and Itta Bena, Miss. I’ll acknowledge there’s a few more things to do and much better scenery in Honolulu. In my years here, I’m been on plenty of forgettable, long road trips in the line of duty. I figure I’m due a memorable one.

This trip, and the time of the game (midnight central), offers both a special challenge and a special opportunity.

It’s a chance give our readers and viewers several of the capabilities of our refurbished and interactive Web site, www.thecabin.net. It also gives me a chance to use the various aspects of our new technology.

I’m going to attempt to write it, blog it, tweet it, photograph it — report it in as many different mediums as possible.

Beginning late Tuesday (or early Wednesday), depending on logistics, I win begin a daily blog on our Web site from Hawaii. I’ll try to update that two or three times a day as well as providing regular tweets on twitter so folks can follow me and the Bears as they prepare for the game.

The kickoff time, well past our deadline, should provide us a chance to show what we can do online. After each quarter, I plan to update my blog with a short analysis of what is happening, so our viewers can get a bit of an inside look. The initial game story (the game should end about 3 a.m.) will be posted on our Web site, so whether you’re up late or arise early, you can read one of the first (and most complete report). 

Further game coverage will be in Sunday’s print edition of the Log Cabin.

During the process, I may even post a column or two online that you won’t find in the daily edition, which will feature its share of coverage.

I’ll do my best to provide our readers and UCA fans, who cannot make the trip, as much of the flavor of the island experience as I can in print and cyberspace.

The tricky part for me will be functioning in one time zone and working in another.

That’s why the online element will be critical because the breaking news will occur after the newspaper’s daily deadline.

But in one sense, those are nice problems to have.

One of my biggest concerns is making the trip and not coming back with the flu. Of course, I can catch the flu here.

But I’m already getting in the habit of washing my hands more.

(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or david.mccollum@thecabin.net)