CULTURE

Famous Hawaiian Football Stars

Hawaii is a collection of beautiful islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the most thought of spot for the perfect vacation. Hawaii is often associated with beautiful beaches, a tranquil sky, and majestic volcanoes. What it is not often associated with is the NFL. However, Hawaii has been shown to produce many great NFL players throughout the years. These are the top five players that call Hawaii their home.

Charley Ane

Born January 25, 1931 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Charles Teetai Ane Jr. made a name for himself at the University of Southern California for his excellent performance on the team. Ane left USC a year early to pursue a career in the NFL.

Ane’s determination and skill got him drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fourth round of the 1953 NFL Draft. Ane spent seven consecutive years with the team, only missing one game throughout his career. Ane saw the Pro Bowl in 1956 and 1958. Ane also help the Lions gain three division titles and two NFL championships. In the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft, Ane was selected by the Dallas Cowboys. His loyalty to the Lions and the fear that the new Dallas Cowboys could not be a successful team pushed Ane to retire instead of becoming a Cowboy.

In honor of all his hard work and determination, Charley Ane received several inductions. He was inducted into the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame, the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame, and the USC Athletic Hall of Fame.

Max Unger

Born April 14, 1986 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Maxwell McCandless Unger spent 2005 through 2008 as a team member of the University of Oregon’s Ducks. Unger played offensive line and started in all four years. In 2008, he achieved All-American.

In 2009, Unger was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. His efforts helped the Seahawks reach and win the Super Bowl XLVIII. He made a return to the Super Bowl in 2014. Despite Unger’s talent, the team was unable to take the win. In 2015, Unger was traded to the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and is still there today.

 

Dominic Raiola

Born December 30, 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dominic Raiola was one of the most loyal players the Detroit Lions ever had. He started his football career as a player for the Cornhuskers at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from 1998 to 2000. His Hawaiian talent garnered him the honor of being the first freshman offensive lineman to start a game since 1991. After his junior year in 2000, Raiola was honored for being the best center in college football with the Rimington Trophy.

Raiola joined the Detroit Lions’ lineup after the 2001 NFL Draft. The Lions chose Raiola in the second round of the draft. Although his career brought a few fines for obscene gestures and unnecessary roughness, Raiola was a major force for the Lions. Even though Raiola’s talent could have gotten him more fame and championships with another team, he remained completely loyal to the Lions throughout his career. In 2014, Raiola was given the honor of being the first player in Detroit’s history to start 200 games during the Thanksgiving Day game. His loyalty devotion to the Lions make him one of the most memorable players in the NFL.

 

Matt Blair

Born September 20, 1950 in Hilo, Hawaii, Matt Blair was a highly sought-after athlete by several college teams. He chose to attend Iowa State where he helped the team make it to the 1971 Sun Bowl. This garnered him the title of the teams most outstanding defensive player. Due to a knee injury, Blair did not play the 1972 season but returned his senior year in 1973. During this year, he earned All-American honors and was invited to play in the Hula Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl due to his excellence on the field.

Blair joined the Minnesota Vikings in 1974. He was the second-round pick for the Vikings in the NFL Draft. His career with the Vikings produced six consecutive Pro Bowls and two visits to the Super Bowl. In 1980, Blair went on to set career highs in many categories. He is one of the most understated overachievers in NFL history.

 

Olin Kreutz

Born June 9, 1977 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Olin George Kreutz began his career with the NFL after being chosen in the third round by the Chicago Bears in the 1998 NFL Draft. Kreutz willingly left the University of Washington and his spot on the Washington Huskies to move to the professional team after earning Pac-10 honors in his junior year.

During his 13 years with the Chicago Bears, Kreutz was selected to six Pro Bowls. He was considered the most consistent offensive linemen on the team and started 182 regular season games. His Hawaiian fire helped get the Bears to Super Bowl XLI.

In 2011, Kreutz left the Bears and signed with the New Orleans Saints. He was only with the Saints for six games, missing two of those games due to a knee injury. Kreutz decided to retire from football because he said he lost the passion for the game.

 

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Close
Close
Close