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Notes: Aidan Hutchinson visited an NFL latte artist in Japan

Okay, maybe he was an acceptable pick in lieu of Jamaal Williams to be an anime award presenter after all.

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Crunchyroll Anime Awards - Red Carpet Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage

Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was in Japan to present the “Best Continuing Series” award at the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards in Tokyo with Chiefs wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster on Saturday, March 4. While Jamaal Williams (a.k.a. Swagg Kazekage) is widely recognized as the most hardcore Lions anime fan, maybe Hutchinson is up there too? It looks like he knows how awesome Hiroyuki Sawano music is, so that’s good enough for me.

While in Tokyo, Hutchinson made a trip with Dragonball Z superfan Smith-Schuster to a very cool cafe that does incredible latte art (much of it anime and cartoon inspired). Little did he know there was an NFL connection there! Cut off in the bottom of the embedded tweet’s image is a note that says “Found out she also does NFL latte art for the Super Bowl... small world”:

If you’ve seen the cool line drawings in latte foam during CBS pregame show broadcasts or Bill Cowher’s Coffee with Coach segment, then you already had a taste of the material featured in CBS’ Super Bowl coverage in 2021 (when it was Bucs-Chiefs for the 2020 season). The latte art on the Super Bowl show back then was fantastic and featured in a story on Yahoo Japan’s news site, which has a bunch of pictures and short videos from Runa Kato’s (no relation) Twitter account.

Although the NFL has done latte art stuff in the past, what the artists at the small cafe Reissue in Harajuku produce adds depth to the art by going three-dimensional. The website Sprudge has a pair of articles with a ton of background information on Reissue and its artists if you want to see what the hype is all about. There’s an extended profile on Runa Kato (the manager at Reissue) from October 2022 by Brianna Fox-Priest and one on cafe artist Kohei Matsuno from August 2017 by Hentgee Lim.

The pair of NFL stars took pictures with the cafe manager, who posted a warm thank you message to her own social media account:

There is a ton of incredible work on both Runa Kato’s Twitter account and Kohei Matsuno’s Instagram account. I spent quite a while scrolling through it all, and recommend checking it out. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:

  • We just had Kent Lee Platte on the PODcast to talk about RAS and the Combine, but if you want even more of Kent (and who doesn’t want that), you can get a second helping at the Dungeon of Doom podcast with MLive’s Kyle Meinke and Ben Raven. Their latest episode with Kent as a special guest is available on Spotify.

  • Spotted in the wild:

  • USA Today’s Doug Farrar ranked his top 151 free agents, and there are two in the top half: DJ Chark (17th) and Jamaal Williams (55th). Former Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones was 69th on Farrar’s list.

  • Just a quick reminder: the NFLPA image below making the rounds is for “cash spend,” not “salary cap” position. For the salary cap numbers, the NFLPA has a linked Public Salary Cap Report. The NFL Players’ Association cares about the cash spend values because it wants its members to be paid; there are rules in place to put a floor under teams’ payrolls so nobody cheaps out with a bare bones roster way below the cap for an extended stretch.

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