Pat Bigold

The Way I See It

By Pat Bigold

Tuesday, August 10, 1999

Steelers fan think
‘Fu’ should start

THE Pittsburgh Steelers' Web site discussion board has been alive with fan debate about who should take the place of injured Jerome Bettis at running back.

Local boy Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala's name often comes up but no Steeler fan seems to be able to spell it.

"I think the replacement will be Chris 'Fu Man in the backfield," said one fan calling himself "steelerprd."

Another, calling himself, "steeler-fan-in-virginia," wrote, "I think FM will be backup to Bettis."

"Pittphantoms" wrote, "I expect Fu-amatu to be more of a speedy version of Bettis without the moves."

Yet another (BurghFan) wrote, "I'd look for a combination of BOTH Amos Zereoue and Chris Fuamtu'ma'alafala (or however it's spelled)."

By the way, even though 30th-year Steelers color man Myron Cope says Fuamatu-Ma'afala ranks up there with the best people he's known in Pittsburgh, he doesn't give him any points for being a nonsmoker and nondrinker.

"I do both," said Cope with a cackle.


When you see a player the caliber of Barry Sanders walk away from football, despondent about losing, it makes you think about the importance of team chemistry.

Chemistry is the most elusive quality a team can possess.

The only way it comes together is to have a gifted leader -- not just player -- on the field or sidelines who can unite the thoughts of a group of men .


Notice how that embarrassing brawl between the Saints and the Chiefs began over the treatment of Ricky Williams during joint practice drills?

Saints offensive guys retaliated for late hits on their franchise guy.

Could it be they really feel deeply for this kid who has separated himself from the good life with an incentive-based contract? A contract that one nationally known magazine columnist called unreasonable.

Incentive-based contracts, on face value, would seem to be what we need more of these days. Certainly, we have too many fat cats who can't seem to find the motivation to chase the ball of yarn once they've been well-fed.

But then you also have to consider the point SI's Rick Reilly makes when he says that in Williams' case, he might have been had.

Before a guy signs a deal like that, he'd better make sure he's playing for a team with better odds on the field than the Saints.


Anthony Carter is finally in the NBA, and his former college coach, Riley Wallace, says he thinks he's going to stick.

Wallace thinks Carter, who led the Rainbows to back-to-back 21-win seasons in 1996-97 and 1997-98, has the best chance of any former Hawaii player in the past 10 years to actually make a "career" out of the NBA, rather than a Gatorade break.

"He's the best of them," said Wallace. "I think AC is going to be a NBA player. There are a lot worse players out there in the league."

Wallace recalled that ex-Rainbow Reggie Cross, a second-round draft pick of Philadelphia in 1989, went to Europe and never played in the NBA. Trevor Ruffin, who left Hawaii in 1994, spent time with four different NBA clubs. But he is no longer in the league.

Even if he doesn't re-sign with Miami next year, Carter could stay in the NBA. Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Donnie Nelson said last week that he'd like another crack at signing him when he's a free agent again.

Pat Bigold has covered sports for daily newspapers
in Hawaii and Massachusetts since 1978.

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