When the 2020 NFL Draft gets under way on April 23rd, Joe Burrow is widely expected to be the first overall pick after leading Louisiana State University to the National Championship, winning the Heisman Trophy and having one of the best seasons for a quarterback in college football history.
Burrow’s 15-0 isn’t the only perfect championship a Tiger has achieved, however.
John Tenta, who played football and rugby at LSU and was part of its wrestling team, went 24-0 during his six-month stint in professional sumo, winning the jonokuchi, jonidan and sandanme division titles in the process.
He also sported a large tattoo of a tiger that played a major role in his quitting the sport without warning.
Despite success inside the ring, Tenta never took to the sumo lifestyle, with its overbearing pressures and expectations.
Known first as Kototenta and later Kototenzan, the big Canadian chafed at having to deal with resentful stablemates and being dragged out late most nights to entertain Sadogatake stable supporters, even when training began at 5 a.m.
When Tenta discovered that the doctor scheduled to remove his tattoo had never performed the procedure before, and that he could expect to miss several months of action — sending him tumbling back to the foot of the rankings — he decided the sumo life was no longer for him, snuck away from the stable and joined a professional wrestling promotion.
Years later he became a star in the WWF (now WWE) under the name Earthquake and was involved in a high-profile feud with Hulk Hogan.
The current Sadogatake stablemaster was one of the younger-but-senior stablemates that Kototenzan didn’t see eye to eye with.
Thirty years later, when Vancouver Island native Brodick Henderson was looking for a stable, Sadogatake, who admitted to still harboring doubts about the toughness and resilience of Canadians, made it clear he had no interest in the future Homarenishiki.