Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I will never forget 1986. It was the year I got into watching the NFL, and as an 8-year old kid, I turned this love of the NFL into a passion for football cards. The first football card I ever got was with my McDonald's Happy Meal, and it was Patriots running back Mosi Tatupu. At the young age of 8, I had no idea what the big deal was about special teams, I was just happy I could pronounce his name.
He always seemed like a good guy, and doing what I do now you find that many of the players you grew up idolizing weren't worthy of adulation. Tatupu was, and with all of memories being shared by former players, teammates and coaches in the media today, I asked former Patriots running back Tony Collins to share his memories of Mosi with me via e-mail.
"He was my friend. Our lockers were right next to each other for 7 years," said Collins. "(He was) someone that you could count on. Great player and (an)even better teammate. Had the heart of a lion, (I'm) proud to have played with such a great person. I will miss my friend."
As the memories from that generation of Patriots pours out in media outlets everywhere, there is one common theme, he was a good guy. It's not that I expect anyone to say anything negative about him, but the fact that his former teammates have said similar things, and with most of them it seems like you can feel their sorrow in their words. Tatupu touched alot of lives, and he will be missed by many. I am glad to say I still have that card, my only regret is that I never met him to get it signed. Rest in peace, Mosi Tatupu.