No matter how short the list is, Punahou running back Mosi Tatupu is on it if you’re talking about great Hawaii athletes.
Mosi died in his sleep at home on the mainland today. He was only 54, but had suffered from a variety of ailments in recent years.
Two Hawaii high school athletes always got that “man among boys” label … Mosi and Sam Johnson, who played basketball at Moanalua.
I got to know Mosi a little, at the Pro Bowl in 1986 and ran into him every now and then when he came back to Hawaii to visit. And then, 2006, when his son Lofa was in the Pro Bowl.
He was popular with coaches, fans and players.
Here’s what one of his Patriots teammates, Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, had to say about him:
“You probably couldn’t ask for a better teammate than Mosi. It was the way he approached the game. He worked hard. He practiced hard. He had a way about him. He always had an upbeat attitude, he was happy all the time and just pleasant to be around. He had a special connection with the fans and his teammates. Everybody loved him.”
Here’s a story about the Mosi Tatupu Award.
http://archives.starbulletin.com/97/09/22/sports/story4.html (in case that link doesn’t work)
-By Dave Reardon