Son following in father's footsteps
Catching up with Mosi Tatupu
MILTON -- He was the epitome of a fan favorite.
Mosi Tatupu enjoyed 13 seasons with the New England Patriots as a fullback and special teams player. Tatupu captured the hearts of many New England fans with his heart and passion on the field. To this day, Patriots fans still shout out "Mosi's Mooses," which was the name of his fan section at Foxboro Stadium.
"They are great fans, but just to have your own section is an honor," said Tatupu. "I am sure if everybody had their own fan section like I did they would play just as hard as I tried to play. It inspired me to play harder because they were cheering for me and backing me up."
Tatupu still lives in the New England area. He is an assistant football coach at Curry College in Milton, where former New England teammate Steve Nelson is the head football coach.
"I enjoy it a lot and just completed my second year," said Tatupu. "We had a fantastic year going 11-0 and we won the conference. Then we got in the playoffs for the first time ever.
"Coach Nelson is great. He does a great job coordinating coaches making sure everybody teaches technique, fundamentals and the schemes."
Personally, Tatupu has enjoyed an incredible start to 2004.
Not only did the Patriots win Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, but his college alma mater USC is fresh off winning the AP National Championship after their convincing 28-14 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
What makes this national championship even sweeter for Tatupu is that his son, Lofa Tatupu, was a starting linebacker for the Trojans.
"He knows how I feel about him and I couldn't be more proud of him," Tatupu said. "He was given the opportunity and took the opportunity making the best of it. Coach (Pete) Carroll didn't have to give him a full ride right away, but after seeing the film and seeing him in person, he put two and two together and took a chance on him. He did and it worked out for both parties.
"It's great because it has me following the old school again. Coaches had changed and a lot of administration had changed, but since my son has been there I have come full circle in meeting some of the people. I already knew coach Carroll from his stay here."
Lofa led USC with 12 tackles in the Rose Bowl, helping the Trojans secure a share of the national championship.
"It's just ironic that in his first year he gets to win a national championship and split it with a team as I did when I first went there my freshman year," said Tatupu. "We split the National Championship that year (1978) with Alabama."
With the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, Tatupu recalls when he played in Super Bowl XX and the magical playoff ride, which featured New England making playoff history.
Despite the Patriots falling to the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX, New England became the only wild card team to ever make the Super Bowl. They won all their playoff games on the road, defeating the New York Jets, Los Angeles Raiders and the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship game.
"We had our fun and I think we made New England proud of us being the first team in there," said Tatupu of his Super Bowl experience. "It just didn't finish or end well. The magical year was just about getting into the playoffs first as a wild card and then going on the road for three straight weeks then winning.
"Life is always good and you make it to be good," said Tatupu. "My son is happy and I'm happy for him. All around the Red Sox went to the playoffs and it resembles the year we went to the Super Bowl because the Red Sox had an outstanding year too."
If you would like to hear where a former New England Sports Star is these days, please e-mail Jon Goode at firstname.lastname@example.org.