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US football player Eugene Amano proud to be Pinoy

March 6, 2013 1:30pm
National Football League (NFL) player Eugene Amano credits his Filipino heritage for his success in the United States sporting world.

In an interview with Sports Pilipinas' Isabel Oli, Amano said being hardworking, a Filipino trait, has made him a successful player in the competitive NFL league.

“I've learned Filipinos, they're a very hard working group. And that's one of the aspects that I brought into the game,” said Amano, who has a towering height of 6'3" and a weight of 310 pounds.

The 31-year-old Amano, born in San Pedro, California, said “I work hard at everything that I do and that's what sets me apart is my work ethic.”

Amano plays the center position for the Tennessee Titans and bears the No. 54 on his jersey.

“I play center so I snap the football to the quarterback and we block for the runningback and we protect the quarterback,” he explained.

It's Amano's job to protect his teammate who carries the ball with any means possible.

“What makes our offensive line so unique is we got to work as a cohesive unit,” he added.

When asked what his favorite part of American football was he replied “the whole violence aspect.”

“You know you get to hit someone and you get to impose your will so to speak. It's a very fun position to play,” he said.

Fortunate career

Amano feels blessed to have been playing for the NFL for nine years when the average career in the league is only four years.

“I've been very fortunate to play for as long as I have,” he said.

However, Amano feels that playing in the brutal NFL world has affected his health somewhat.

“It takes a toll on you. I definitely feel a lot older than my age. Im only turning 31 and I feel a lot older,” he admitted.

Giving back

Amano has never visited the Philippines before he was invited to check out a Gawad Kalinga housing project in Rosario cavite.

“It's an eye opening experience coming out here to seeing this place with me being Filipino and not being back in the Philippines for 30 plus years,” he said.

Due to this experience he now plans to create his own housing village which he plans to donate to the needy and homeless.

Following footsteps

Amano also hopes that someday, more Filipinos will follow in his footsteps in being NFL players.

He wishes that American football will also be appreciated by Filipinos.

“Filipinos are very athletic naturally. If other Filipinos just learn the game they could succeed as well,” he said.

In one of the earlier episodes of Sports Pilipinas, the Philippine Punishers, a Filipino rugby team was featured and this was shown to Amano and he found this encouraging.

“I think it will in time grow and the interest level will grow [as well] here in the Philippines,” he said. - VVP, GMA News

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