Sunday, April 21, 2013

Akiyuki Kaname opts for a simpler career in Canada

Akiyuki Kaname opts for a simpler career in Canada

By Jenn Martin
The Daily Magi
October 20, 2037

One of the most stories alumni in Mitakihara Magi football history, quarterback Akiyuki Kaname elected to eschew life in the National Football League for a career playing under Canadian rules in the CFL. Kaname became the starter for the BC Lions under first-year head coach Rip Anderson and is on the verge of leading BC to its first-ever perfect regular season this weekend at BC Place Stadium against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Adding to the incentive is that for the first time in CFL history, the 125th Grey Cup will be held at the Sakura Bowl in Mitakihara Town. For Kaname, it will be a homecoming to savor...complete with a return to his stomping grounds and his family.

"It will feel like I have never really left Mitakihara," said Kaname, the son of Mitakihara University founder Dr. Madoka Kaname and legendary head football coach Tatsuya Kaname. "I live with my wife Chiwa and our two kids in White Rock, and my wife told me that I shouldn't be playing abroad in the States because of the travel.

"Besides, my parents still spoil me a bit, I don't need millions of dollars to keep me afloat. Just five or six figures. Basically, all that I need to pay the bills and stuff. My wife elected to be an elementary school teacher in White Rock, so we're good.

"My team is one of the strongest teams in the league because we have some good players that used to play for the Magi, including Hunter Lester, Pat Jones, Chris Davis and Danny James. A lot of players from Mitakihara are now playing in the CFL because they have elected to claim dual citizenship.

"The Canadian game is a lot faster and wide open. It's a quarterback's league, and that allows me to utilize my arm a whole lot more. It's not like the code I used to play, where there's more running involved. Here, it's all about passing the ball on the swing or deep, with the receivers and slotbacks running complex sets of routes.

"I like the CFL a bit more than the NFL, but if I get a chance to play in the NFL, I'll give it a try. But for now, I'm content playing close to home."

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