Spam musubi, is it a tasty snack, or a performance enhancing food?

Spam musubi, kids. It’s a one-way ticket to sports success.

If mom asks you what you want for lunch, don’t say McDonald’s. Say, “Spam musubi.”

When dad packs the picnic basket before a trip to the beach, remind him. “Don’t forget, pop: Spam musubi.”

The nori-wrapped, rice-and-Spam filled treat can turn chumps into triumphs, champions into legends. With one bite, Anfernee Hardaway could play two full games without injury, and Roseanne Bar could run the length of a Subway six-inch without breaking a sweat.

Ask Officer Darla Abbatiello what she fed her son the morning before he ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns in just two quarters.”

“Spam musubi, I think,” she said. “He always eats that stuff.”

Abbatiello’s middle child, Jordon Dizon, ran for a total of 4 touchdowns and 229 yards in the Waimea Menehunes’ 34-20 season opening victory on Friday. He was unstoppable. Unbreakable. He was taken out early in the third period after Waimea solidified a comfortable lead. There was little doubt he was good, but with Spam musubi in his diet, there was no doubt at all.

Now, I’m not certain the Surgeon General would say Spam musubi is a wise supplement to every meal – not unless they miraculously discover there are benefits in having a clogged colon. But hey, 200 plus yards in one half?

We all need to make sacrifices – even our vital organs.

And while Dizon’s impressive feat makes you wonder what his mother fed him that morning, you have to ask yourself, “What did Coach Jon Kobayashi feed his offensive line?”

Even with a talented Red Raider defensive unit up front, the Menehune line was able to provide Dizon enough room to showcase his harrowing agility. As the gridiron saying goes, “holes don’t dig themselves,” and surely in Dizon’s success at least this much applies.

Quarterback Jon Palacio might have had a bite of the super snack. With five completions for 113 yards, Palacio proved Waimea has a dynamic offense not restricted to its running game.

Dane Koga’s electric 28-yard TD can be attributed to one thing – at least, one thing other than speed, good hands and ability – and that’s Spam musubi, of course!

And with interceptions from Koga, Jay Parinas and Tyson Fernandez, a heavy trace of Hawaii’s favorite canned food could be found in the Menehune secondary, as well.

Personally, I’ve never tried the stuff, which is probably why I can hardly bench the weight of a gerbil and I consider washing dishes a full-bodied workout. But I hear it is a staple food on the island, something many people eat in various ways. I don’t know how much they eat it in Lihue, but I know Spam musubi wasn’t missed in the Red Raider cafeteria.

Despite the loss, Kaua’i exhibited many traces of the popular food. Kekoa Crowell, even with the turnovers, proved he is no throwing shmoe. The sophomore was quick and decisive in carrying the Raider offense. He completed 10 passes for 172 yards, and rushed for two fleet-footed touchdowns. The interceptions and occasional miscues? Never mind. He’s the kind of guy Raider head coach Kelii Morgado needs: a strong runner with good size and a rifle arm. Remember, this was his very first varsity start.

Wideouts Ikaika Bernard, Garen Itamura, Kevin Cadiente and Justin Arakaki each had a bite of the 172 passing yards, along with a bit of Spam musubi, of course.

And I wonder what Levi Fajardo ate that morning, before the defensive back picked up a Dizon fumble and ran it back 86-yards for a touchdown? Was it again the underrated dish naysayers call a poor-man’s meal?

I think so.

What my doctor said about Spam musubi: “Yes, Mike, it is true that the carbohydrates contained in the rice could provide a burst of energy for athletes, but I wouldn’t say it’s performance enhancing, or even very healthy.”

What! Is my doctor telling me football is about talent, speed, agility and hard work in practice? Is he trying to tell me Dizon ran for that many yards without the help of Spam musubi?

Doctor: “I don’t think the football player needed any help, Mike. You, on the other hand…”

Oh well. I guess I’ll stick with Froot Loops in the morning.

I’m not sure I’d like Spam, anyway.


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