Today will be like no other Father’s Day for Lofa Tatupu.
That’s because the Seahawks’ middle linebacker is a father for the first time, as his son – Kai – was born in February. It’s also because Tatupu’s father, Mosi, died last February. He was 54.
Lofa discussed the loss of his father with Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times in August, saying, “It has been tough. Not to be able to call him during camp. I might tear up. I’m sorry.”
Tatupu was still coping with the loss of his father just after the birth of his son.
“I still think about him every day – every day,” Tatupu said during an interview with Seahawks.com that was done before the lockout began in March. “And now that I have a son of my own, I realize what our relationship meant to him.”
Tatupu is one of four Seahawks whose father also played in the NFL.
Don Hasselbeck, the father of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, played tight end for the New England Patriots (1977-83), Los Angeles Raiders (1983), Minnesota Vikings (1984) and New York Giants (1985). Hasselbeck was a member of the Raiders team that beat the Seahawks in the ’83 AFC Championship game, and he caught a touchdown pass in the second regular-season meeting with the Seahawks that season.
David Whitehurst, the father of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, played the same position for the Green Bay Packers (1977-83) and Kansas City Chiefs (1984). Charlie discussed that dynamic with Seahawks.com during training camp last summer, offering, “He taught me how to play football. When I went to high school, I was so much more prepared than everybody out there. In college, I was ahead of the game.”
Zach Dixon, the father of defensive end Raheem Brock, not only played in the NFL; he did it for the Seahawks (1983-84). Dixon attended the Seahawks’ regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field in January, and Brock treated him to a 2½-sack performance. “It felt great to play in front of my dad,” Brock told Seahawks.com in this story. “For my dad and my whole family to see this atmosphere and the 12th Man, and for us to go out there and play like we did, it’s a great feeling.”
There’s even an extended-family connection, as Ring of Honor defensive end Jacob Green is the father-in-law of Red Bryant – who is playing the same position and wearing the same number (79) as Green. They discussed their relationship in this story. Said Bryant, “Mr. Green is really excited. He’s really proud, and I’m proud that I’m making him proud.” Yes, Bryant refers to his father-in-law as Mr. Green.
With all that said, Happy Father’s Day.