Nov 18, 2012

Manti T’eo

Manti and his best friend Robbie Toma at Senior Day

Our local FOX affiliate has been running :  Manti T’eo:  The Making of a Legend.  In case you haven’t heard of him, Manti is a line backer for Notre Dame, number 5 on defense (for some crazy reason, there is a number 5 on offense, the quarterback).

Manti is a gracious giant.  He is his parent’s son.  He has a huge heart and the entire Notre Dame community counts him as theirs.  So do we in Hawai`i.  Manti played at Punahou to singular acclaim, he is a Heisman candidate and an honorable man.

Manti is a perfect example of how we herald our own in Hawai`i. He will forever be “Hawai`i boy” or “former Punahou defenseman” when he is a famous NFL player.  There is no doubt he will be.

Sometimes this seems a bit jingoistic of us.  We love sports in Hawai`i, so we always make sure we remind people:  Sid Fernandez was always “former Kaiser High School standout;”  Shane Victorino is always “Maui boy;” B.J. Penn is “Hilo boy.”  When Sid Fernandez departs this mortal coil, his obit will start   “Former Kaiser High School standout Sid Fernandez”.  He could be 110 and it will say that…  If you become famous and you have set foot in Hawai`i, you are ours:  Bette Middler . Tammy Duckworth.

Back to Manti : he is the most recruited athlete ever to come out of Hawai`i.  30 schools made him offers.  More than Mosi Tatupu.  More than Junior Tseu.  His GPA was 3.5.  He is an Eagle Scout.  He volunteered at the Foodbank and Special Olympics, to name just two.

Today is Senior Day at Notre Dame. Manti passed up the NFL draft as a junior so he could be here for Senior Day and the “Notre Dame experience.” In his freshman year, they lost big.  This year, they are leading Wake Forest 38-0 in the 4th.  There is one minute left to play.  Manti just showered his coach with gatorade.

The truth is we have so many talented people in and from Hawai`i.  Lucky we live here.   Looking forward to seeing “Punahou standout Manti T’eo” play in the NFL.

Even the leprechaun donned a lei for Manti


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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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