NFL News of August 1, 2003

Shinzo Yamada NFL Buccaneers 2003 Tokyo

A few hours after arriving in Japan, Jets quarterback Chad Pennington ventured out for sushi with Buccaneers center John Wade, a former teammate of his at Marshall.

Dewayne Robertson and others less adventurous than Pennington wound up eating in a nearby McDonald‘s.

Saturday’s game is intended to promote the league throughout Japan, but there clearly are still a few cultural chasms that have yet to be traversed. Tampa Bay Coach Jon Gruden…joked that Shinzo Yamada, the Japanese player who will join the Bucs for the game, had saved the day because he was able to lead kicker Martin Gramatica to the restrooms at Narita Airport.

The story drew laughs from the English-speaking reporters and, after it was translated, total silence from the Japanese reporters.

Bucs defensive lineman Warren Sapp, one of the best-known N.F.L. stars, was addressed by an American reporter based in Japan as Mr. Wapp.

— Judy Battista, The New York Times “Jets and Bucs Get a Small Taste of Tokyo”

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