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Steelers' Chris Kemoeatu grappled with a career choice

January 28, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu, left, is recorded by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Super Bowl week in Tampa.

TAMPA, Fla. -- When he steps on the field Sunday, Pittsburgh’s Chris Kemoeatu will be living his sports dream.

The sports dream, that is, when he doesn’t have to wear a thong.

Kemoeatu, a 344-pound guard, grew up in Hawaii and once dreamed of becoming a sumo wrestler. He chose football in hopes of getting a scholarship, which he did, following in the footsteps of his two older brothers.

But, he acknowledges, sumo was tempting.

“I thought about it,” he said. “I came from a high school where in 1998 or 1999 we had sumo as one of our sports. We had a team that came up to Japan in 1999. I’m a big Akebono [Taro] fan, and he’s actually a friend of my family.”

Taro is the first sumo wrestler not born in Japan to reach the highest rank in that sport.

-- Sam Farmer

Photo: Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu, left, catches the attention of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during Super Bowl week in Tampa.  Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

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