Tua carries the aloha spirit with him to the new-aged NFL

  • Vasha Hunt / Associated Press file

    Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa announces his intentions to declare for the 2020 NFL draft in January in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Judging by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s successful deflection of several Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texas football players testing positive for COVID-19, the NFL will have a season.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot is a bonafide superstar in an era when running backs are disposable.

Elliot is indeed COVID-19 positive.

However, this fact was well-buried, because Goddell and President Donald Trump both made public statements about signing Colin Kaepernick.

Couldn’t find much about these COVID-19-positive players without scouring the Google search engines.

Talk about a political play-action pass.

A team should sign Kaepernick because he is better than two-thirds of the NFL’s backup quarterbacks.

Whether they play in bubbles or empty arenas, the season appears it will happen regardless of outside catastrophes, because the NFL lives in a bubble of their own.

Under whatever bizarre set of circumstances the NFL plays this year, we will get to see one of Hawai‘i’s best players start what hopes to be a promising career in professional football.

The anticipation for Tua Tagovailoa’s debut with the fledgling Miami Dolphins team is high.

For further evidence of this, all you need to do is look at the NFL’s top jersey sales.

Tagovailoa has drawn early comparisons to Steve Young and Michael Vick, and his new jersey has outsold Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay jersey and Rob Gronkowski’s Bucs jersey.

Brady has five of the top-10-selling jerseys of all-time, but he didn’t outdo the former St. Louis product out of Honolulu.

At the top of the charts is Tagovailoa’s aqua-and-white Dolphins’ jersey, then falling behind his are four different variations of Brady jerseys.

This column isn’t about the NFL or Tagovailoa’s successful jersey sales. It is about one of the islands’ own giving back to the community that helped make him the success he is today.

Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall draft pick who signed a four-year, $30 million contractual agreement with the Dolphins, is already making the islands proud.

Tagovailoa’s agent announced last week they are establishing a $300,000 scholarship endowment at St. Louis High School in Honolulu.

The endowment will provide four new scholarships for Hawai‘i students.

According to an article in the Birmingham News, Tagovailoa’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, noted that part of his plan for prospective clients is giving back to their high school and creating a charitable foundation.

The article further states that the endowment will include “four scholarships to be awarded to students from Hawai‘i over the next four years, with the scholarship named in honor of his grandparents: Seumaninoa Tagovailoa. Taulia Fa’avi, Leaniva Tagovailoa, and Pa’iau Fa’avi.”

“My hope is that these scholarships will give deserving Hawai‘i students the same opportunities Saint Louis School gave me,” Tagovailoa said in the announcement. “It is a blessing to honor my family and high school through this gift.”

The concept of aloha takes a while to learn, but understanding the context doesn’t.

What Tagovailoa is doing for his island is pure aloha, and his contribution to the islands will far outlast the popularity of his surging jersey sales.


Jason Blasco, sports reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.


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