Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Best Running Back I Never Saw (But Wished That I Had)

Mosi Tatupu has died. Mosi played for the New England Patriots during the 1980's and has been called the greatest running back ever to hail from the Hawaiian Islands.

It was my misfortune to have gone away to college and not to have seen him play for the buffanblu. To the Hawaiian postwar generation there was nothing more important than high school football, and it would have been a thrill to watch him run over Kam School, St. Louis, and Iolani defensemen.

In college I read accounts about his exploits in month-old copies of the Star-Bulletin and Advertiser. They had stories of Mosi plowing through the line of scrimmage with three defenders on his back, a man playing against boys.

Throughout his playing career Mosi Tatupu was everyone's favorite player.
“As a teammate, he was one of the best. He was one of those guys that made life fun whether it was in the locker room or on the practice fields," former [Patriots] quarterback Steve Grogan said. "He had a smile that radiated. The fans appreciated him because he was a lunchpail kind of guy and did whatever was asked of him — whether it was on special teams, on the goal line, in blocking or catching situations. I think Patriots fans really appreciated that.”
A popular high school coach, Mosi Tatupu at age 54 still had a lot to give. R.I.P.

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