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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.


From Forever Strong.


What It Means.


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


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.


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


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


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


A profile of Gelwix and Highland rugby.


Comments welcome.

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