Scott Fujita, JA Superbowl Champion

Posted in Sports, Thoughts by minoroots on 02/08/2010

No, that's not Fujita. Just FYI.

Congratulations to the Superbowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints.

I’m not much of a football fan, but even I can tell this was a great game and that the Saints deserve all the credit for the victory. Clean game with minimal penalties? Just two 1st downs resulting from penalties—check. No controversial calls? Only one review resulting in a great 2-point conversion—check. Game-changing trick play? Improbable on-side kick to start the 3rd quarter—check. Near-perfect quarterback play? Payton Manning (1st half) and Drew Breeze (2nd half)—double-check.

Breeze’s performance was 100% worthy of his MVP trophy. Great vision, poise, accuracy, and a cannon of an arm that threw some incredible thread-the-needle type completions. 32/39 completion rate? Seriously? And a great guy to boot, judging from his pre and post-game interviews. Can’t help but feel happy for the guy.

And for those of you who are blaming Manning today for the Colts’ loss… please. You’re telling me that a guy who goes 31/45 for 333 YDS with 1 TD and 1 INT is to blame? Granted the lone interception ultimately sealed the game for NO, but that’s not what caused the loss for Indy. He had 2 receivers drop potential TD passes and was held out of the game for 70 minutes (!) real-time b/c the defense couldn’t get the ball back. You can’t possibly blame the loss on Manning. The Saints earned it.

As for the title of this post, I was enlightened by Doug about the Saints’ co-captain, Scott Fujita—a 6-5, 250 lb linebacker with a Japanese last name (what?!)—and found out more about him through an article on ESPN The Magazine from a few months ago. It’s a great story. Here’s a little clip:

He opens a picture of his parents, reaches out to touch their faces on the screen. Given up by his birth mother when he was 6 weeks old, Scott was adopted by Helen and Rod Fujita and raised in Camarillo, Calif. Helen, a retired secretary, is white. Rod, a retired high school teacher and coach, is a thirdgeneration Japanese-American. He was born inside an Arizona internment camp during World War II.

Fujita opens more photos. There’s one of him holding hands with his wife and college sweetheart, Jaclyn, on Senior Day at Cal; this was a few months before the Chiefs took him in the fifth round of the 2002 draft. There’s another one of him playing Pee Wee football, the chubby-cheeked, blond-haired, green-eyed kid with the Japanese name on his jersey. There’s another of his paternal grandmother, Lillie, who once overheard him introducing himself like this: “Hi! I’m Scott. I’m 4. And I’m Japanese.”

“I swear I’m not delusional,” Fujita says, chuckling at the memory. “I know I don’t have a drop of Japanese blood in me. But what is race? It’s just a label. The way you’re raised, your family, the people you love—that means more than everything else.

Could pass for a hapa, no?

Congrats to this Yonsei for his Superbowl Ring. Read the full article here.


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