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About Stephen Paea's War Cry

The announcers on Sunday were a little bemused and baffled by Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea's warm-up act, but those of us who have seen the rugby movie Forever Strong, starring Gary Cole and Sean Astin, know he was performing a haka, an ancestral war cry originated with the Maori of New Zealand.

"It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment," Wikipedia notes. "The New Zealand rugby team's practice of performing a haka before their matches has made the dance more widely known around the world."

And guess what? Paea was born in Auckland, New Zealand, where he played rugby as a boy.

First, Paea's haka.


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From Forever Strong.

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What It Means.

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The Forever Strong trailer, which does a terrible job conveying the plot.


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Forever Strong is based on the true story of Highland High School rugby, in Salt Lake City. Gary Cole's character, coach Larry Gelwix, is a real person.

When Gelwix left the school two years ago, the team dissolved, but now it's back.

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Here they are doing their haka for the Utah United team in the 2009 finals.

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This was a new haka they introduced in 2008 at the nationals in Pittsburgh.

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The Bears should incorporate a haka into their pre-game routine. This could totally be a thing.

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A profile of Gelwix and Highland rugby.

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Comments welcome.

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