Third in a three-part series on the impact of Polynesian players on American football.
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Moses Manu destroys the American ideal.
Embarrasses the image of the plucky U.S. athlete.
Try this for a fast track: Manu earned himself a major-college football scholarship last month after taking up the game as a high school senior. That, after first learning football through a two-week crash course at home playing Madden 2003.
"I just got into it," Manu said this week, about half a world away from his native Tonga. "I got good at the game. I knew everything. I knew what a first down was. I knew routes, quick slants, curls."
And football isn't even his favorite sport. Manu grew up playing rugby in New Zealand and Australia. After moving with his family from Sydney to Los Angeles three years ago, Manu scoured the Internet for a rugby team to join.
He found the prestigious Santa Monica Rugby Club, hopped on his bike and began pedaling from his home in Inglewood.
Through L.A. traffic, mind you.
"It took me 1½ hours," he said. "I missed the game so much. I took a street directory with me and stopped every half hour to check. When I told the coach what I did, he was surprised."
Continue the rest of the article: "Tongan Manu trades controller for chinstrap"