CHICAGO, IL - MAY 01: Gabe Carimi, the 1st round draft choice of the Chicago Bears, throws out a ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago White Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field on May 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gabe Carimi;
Many rookies dream about day they get drafted for their fame and fortune that comes with being a star in the NFL. They'll buy a car, clothes and maybe some jewelry or present for their family. They'll get a spot at the hottest restaurant in town, and they'll be recognized everywhere they go. Considering how hard players work for this dream to come true, they should get to enjoy the fame and fortune, but kudos to the players who look beyond that.
The Bears were smart enough to draft two such players: Stephen Paea and Gabe Carimi.
Paea is from Tonga, and his family moved to America for better work and educational opportunities. His older sisters stayed behind. His brothers are now scatted around the U.S., and Paea, who was drafted in the second round, wants to get his whole family all in one place. He also wants to enable his parents to retire:
"I just envision my family in a nice house. Not just my family here now -- my daughter and my wife -- but my brothers, my siblings and my mom and dad. I just want them in a nice house with nice vehicles living what we call the American dream. To be able to retire both my parents, get my sister from Tonga to here and all of these things, it's gonna make me a happy a person. Then I'll be able to perform even better on the field. When the off-field issues are taken care of, I'm a monster on the field."
Carimi was drafted in the first round by the Bears, and as an observant Jew, he immediately made his mark on Chicago's Jewish community. In late May, he appeared at the Great Jewish Family Festival, inspiring a new set of Bears fans:
"You don't realize it until you see all the kids interested (in you) and you get these letters saying they look up to you," he said. "My parents brought me up with the right values and taught me how to always handle myself in any situation."
With guys like Israel Idonije and Charles Tillman on the team, it's not surprising to see the Bears want to add more nice guys to the roster. Paea and Carimi should fit right in.