The Chicago Bears selected a defensive end in the sixth round of the draft who will torment the sportcasters next season if he wins a starting job.
He is Mekeli Ieremia from Miosafutu, Western Samos. An elder in the Mormon Church, he says of his enthusiastic style: "Football should be like going to a movie for the fans. They pay and they deserve a show."
His notion of a "show" is raising his fists over his head in euphoria after sacking a passer, as he did 40 times in his last two years at Brigham Young University.
He told Chicago sportswriters that he was overthrown out of a game against Colorado State after knocking the Rams' starting quarterback and his replacement out of the game while sacking them.
Ieremia insists they were clean hits but the officials might have been influenced by one of his pregame statements, in which he voiced the wish that Colorado State coach would do the quarterbacking that day.
Ieremia is 6-foot-2 and 244 pounds but has timed in 4.8 for 40 yards. His father, a Methodist minister, did not permit him to play sports at a Mormon high school in Western Samoa, saying "It's a waste of time; you should be shoveling."
Shoveling what? The Chicago interviewers asked. "Planting pineapple and banana trees, digging ditches," the athelete said.
Ieremia was working in a Samoan hotel when James Lipscomb of Tarrytown, N.Y., an explorer-author-photographer on the around-the-world cruise in a 70-foot schooner, put in at Miosafutu.
Through an interpreter, Lipscomb persuaded Iremia's parents to let their son join the crew, and he learned English while abroad. Lipscomb sold his ship at Singapore, about nine months later, and took Ieremia back to New York, where he entered him as a senior at Sleepy Hollow High School in Tarrytown. Ieremia set records at javelin, discus and shot put and, after his first and only year of high school football, he was awarded a scholarship to Brigham Young.