Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Samoan influence in the NFL Playoffs

At the start of this year 23 Samoan 4 Tongan and 8 of Hawain ancestry has made the final cuts in the 2006 NFL football Season.

In the current NFL championchip games there are three pacific islanders playing for seattle seahawks and five for Pittsburgh steelers

So from the original 35 NFL players 17 made the playoffs and 8 has made championship game if the Steelers and Seahawks win then I would guess it would the first time to have eight pacific islanders in the Superbowl.

In terms of Samoan players they come from a population of around 200,000 Samoans living in American Samoa, Hawaii and US.


The samoans I know come from Manu Samoa and make up around 300,000 Samoan where nearly one half live in New Zealand. They are nearly rugby mad as Fijians. I don’t know were the Tonga NFL player come from unless it was from the Tongan that has migrated to the States.

The teams with a large number of pacific islanders seem to do better. One thing that New Zealand rugby has recognized is that if you want your island players to be at peak performance you can’t treat the islanders the same as pakehas. I am guessing that is why fonoti has regressed so much. He would be a good pickup for Steelers, Jaguars or the Seahawks.



As I have live and played with Samoans and Tongans my take on why they do so well in both Rugby and NFL is not speed but natural instinct for being in the right position, hitting, aggression and strength. I have already posted how Samoan nearly make up half the New Zealand all blacks and I would guess their only handicap in the NFL would be their height. Interesting though that Polamalu and Tatupu are both less the 6ft.


My favourite NFL pacific islander is Marcus Tuiasosopo. Hopefully tui will get a chance to play next year.The picture on the left is of Junior Seau one of the most dominant samoan NFL players in the last ten years


The names of the Pacific Islanders that in the NFL playoffs were as follows

NFC

NAME

TEAM

ANCESTRY

Gabe Reid

Chicago Bears

Samoan (AS)

Itula Mili

Seattle Seahawks

Samoan (Kahuku)

Lofa Tatupu

Seattle Seahawks

Samoan

Wayne Hunter

Seattle Seahawks

Samoan

Joe Salave'a

Washington Redskins

Samoan (AS)

Mike Sellers

Washington Redskins

Samoan


AFC

NAME

TEAM

ANCESTRY

Jonathan Fanene

Cinncinnati Bengals

Samoan (AS)

Makoa Freitas

Indianapolis Colts

Hawaiian

Vince Manuwai

Jacksonville Jaguars

Hawaiian/Samoan

Chris Naeole

Jacksonville Jaguars

Hawaiian (Kahuku)

Chad Owens

Jacksonville Jaguars

Hawaiian

Junior Siavii

Kansas City Chiefs

Samoan (AS)

Kimo Von Oelhoffen

Pittsburgh Steelers

Hawaiian

Chris Kemoeatu

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tongan (Kahuku)

Troy Polamalu

Pittsburgh Steelers

Samoan

Shaun Nua

Pittsburgh Steelers

Samoan (AS)

Zach Tuiasosopo

Pittsburgh Steelers

Samoan






Two years ago Fijians, Tongans and Samoan joined together to make a rugby team called the Punja’s Pacific Islanders. This was a proud moment for all us Pacific Islanders as we nearly beat Australia, South African and New Zealand. It was an especially tough game against the All Blacks which seem to always get the cream of Fijian, Samoan and Tongan players.


I am not sure why there are no Fijian NFL players probably the same reason that there are no manu samoa NFL players. Rugby is a better game:)


Update
I am starting an 2006 NFL Mock Draft that will also focus on Samoan, Tongan and Hawaian player in this years draft.

11 Comments:

Anonymous mv said...

sweet article, been looking for writeups on pac-islanders in the super bowl. Seems media is not talking too much bout this

People always look at football as a black white thing, and for the most part it is, like there is a black coaches association but where do guys like norm Chow go?

Anyways here's to Lofa, Troy and others

7:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its great to see Samoans in the NFL. I wouldn't mind seeing more though, especially on offense (running backs and wideouts)
Other notable Samoans include
Brandon Manumaleuna (Chargers)
Pisa Tinoisamoa (Rams)
Toniu Fonoti (Bucaneers)
Marques Tuiasosopo (Raiders)
Tupe Peko (Packers)

3:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm English and played rugby all my life. The Polynesians would be fantastic in the NFL. As a race of people I think they have a unique combination of size and speed. They're also lovely people off the pitch, but completely mental on it. If you could put the Scot or the Irish on 'roids from age 5 you might get something similar!

9:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly, BIG UPS...to all the bruddahs in the NFL, you guys are outstanding...be true to your roots...peace and love!

1:09 pm  
Anonymous Susan Ruiz said...

as a friend of the Tuiasosopo family, you might want to fix your posting stating Zach is playing for Pittsburg...it's Marcus. Zach plays baseball...keep your eyes open for the cousin Trenton, things to come.

11:40 am  
Anonymous lala said...

mrs. ruiz you are wrong. zach was on the practice squad for. raiders, steelers, and the eagles.... are you a friend of a friend...lol

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tana Umanga a Samoan was the captain of the All Blacks for several years. He helped garner the next Rugby World Cup for New Zealand. He called on his Samoan ancestry when he was presented to the Queen of England as part of the public relations lobbying
all countries vyeing for the world cup had to be part of.

10:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was Matt who plays professional baseball and was signed when he was 18 to a million dollar contract. He now plays third base for the Seattle Mariners.

12:33 am  
Blogger jackieluvsjesus said...

proud to be an islanders..thanks for al these updates on pacific islanders in the nfl..i support my pacific islanders nfl players 24/7..
its that island blood that runs in me..#
100% islander#

8:26 am  
Blogger jackieluvsjesus said...

lovin my pacific islanders in the NFL...

8:27 am  
Anonymous kepaoa@aol.com said...

I am a Samoan who was born in Pago. And I have coach Varsity high school football in California for a few years and enjoyed it. But what I would give to coach a Samoan high school footbaal team. Maybe some day I will return back to my Island and give back what it has giving me already. The Samoans have a well know reputation of being a hard hitters in any sport. But hitting is not all what the game has to offer. Godbless

11:30 am  

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