Did you know that there is a Polynesian Football Hall of Fame? Until today, I have to confess that I had no idea. But there is, and two former members of the Minnesota Vikings have been announced as finalists to be a part of their class of 2020.
The first of the two nominees is defensive end Alapati Noga. . .but you can call him Al. Noga was a first-team All-American at the University of Hawai’i, and was drafted by the Vikings in the third round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He spent the first five seasons of his seven-year NFL career in Minnesota, and was part of the Vikings’ incredible defensive line during that time along with Chris Doleman, John Randle, and Henry Thomas. He accumulated 29.5 sacks in his five years in Minnesota, including a career-high 11.5 in 1989. He also spent some time with the Washington Redskins and the Indianapolis Colts before moving on to a few seasons in Arena Football.
The other is offensive lineman David Dixon, who spent 13 years in purple with the Vikings. Dixon was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in the ninth round of the 1992 NFL Draft out of Arizona State, and didn’t really latch on with the Vikings until 1994. (He spent time practice squads in New England, Minnesota, and Dallas in 1992 and 1993.) He wound up spending 11 seasons with the Vikings from 1994 to 2004, and during that time started 134 of the 152 games that he appeared in. He was the starter at right guard for the 1998 team which, for a time, was the highest-scoring offense in NFL history.
The other nominees for this year’s class are
- Tony Banks, QB
- Malcolm Floyd, WR
- Chris Kemoeatu, G
- Frank Manumaleuga, LB
- Haloti Ngata, DT
- Niko Noga, LB (and Al’s brother)
- Dominic Raiola, C
- Charlie Wedemeyer, California high school coach (Los Gatos HS)
The four finalists that will be inducted will be announced on 23 October, and the enshrinement ceremony will take place during the Polynesian Bowl on 17 and 18 January.
Best of luck to David Dixon and Al Noga on (hopefully) being enshrined in the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame!