Mosiula Faasuka Tatupu (April 26, 1955 – February 23, 2010) was a National Football League special teamer and running back from American Samoa who, during a fifteen-year professional career, played for the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. His tenure with the Patriots lasted from 1978 to 1990. He made the Pro Bowl in 1986.
High school career
Tatupu was a standout player at Punahou School where he set many Hawaii state rushing records. He graduated in 1974.
Tatupu attended the University of Southern California, playing in the 1978 Hula Bowl and finished his career with 223 rushing attempts for 1277 yards (5.73 yards per attempt avg.). The Mosi Tatupu Award, given annually to the College Football Special Teams Player of the Year by the Maui Quarterback Club and the Hula Bowl, bears his name.
Drafted in 1978 by the New England Patriots (8th round, 215th overall), Tatupu played fullback and became an ace on special teams. He rushed the ball 612 times for 2,415 yards and 18 touchdowns; in the 1983 season he led the league with 5.5 rushing yards per attempt. He caught 96 passes for 843 yards and two touchdowns, against the Colts in 1981 and the Falcons in 1983. His season high for rushing yards came in 1983 with 578 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while in 1984 he set a personal best with 16 catches for 159 yards. In 1987 against the Raiders Tatupu threw a 15-yard touchdown to Tony Collins.
He was used mostly on special teams kick coverage. He did have seven kick returns for 56 yards in his career.
Tatupu was the head coach at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Former New England Patriots Center Pete Brock was one of his Assistant Coaches.
Tatupu was most recently the running-backs coach at NCAA Division III school Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, a program previously led by former New England Patriot Steve Nelson.
Tatupu died in Plainville, Massachusetts on February 23, 2010.
His son Lofa Tatupu played linebacker for the University of Southern California and middle linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.Nephew Joe Tuipala also a NFL linebacker from 1999-2005.
In pop culture
In The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror III" Mosi Tatupu's name is used during the "King Homer" segment. This segment is a parody of the 1933 film King Kong. During this segment, the character of the chief of Ape Island is shown to say "Mosi Tatupu, Mosi Tatupu", which in their language means "the blue-haired woman will make a fine sacrifice". The blue-haired woman is Marge Simpson who is playing Fay Wray to Homer's King Kong. One of the most popular players to play for the New England Patriots, Tatupu even had his own section of fans at Foxboro Stadium, "Mosi's Mooses," who all adorned moose heads and continually chanted his name throughout every game he played at home.
- ^ "Super Bowl Dream Passes From the Father to the Son" from The New York Times. Accessed January 26, 2006.