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Friday, May 20, 2011
BBAO: Bears' Toeaina bonds with Paea

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Not long after the Chicago Bears drafted Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea, one of his new teammates reached out to him. Defensive tackle Matt Toeaina, who like Paea is of Polynesian descent, called to welcome him to the team.

Since then, the two have spawned a friendship that continued Thursday during a workout in the suburban Chicago area. Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com was there to cover it.
Paea: "It meant a lot getting that call. It showed he couldn't wait for me to get here because he's going to be my buddy now. We play the same position, we play for the same team, and we're both Polynesian. Getting his call, I really appreciated that, and it's going to create a great friendship."

Said Toeaina: "I reached out to him to congratulate him on the accomplishment of getting drafted in the NFL. I'm definitely excited to team up with him. In our Polynesian culture, it doesn't take much to get introduced, especially out here in the Midwest because there aren't too many of us. To see another Polynesian is like seeing family. You immediately gravitate to another Polynesian."

Toeaina was raised in American Samoa and Paea hails from the Tongan Islands.

Continuing around the NFC North: