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”:
リヴァイ兵長のラテアートは加藤瑠菜さんの作品っぽい。加藤さんは #NFL_latteart で著名な方。ハッチも世界は狭いとビックリしたようだ pic.twitter.com/wGElXpU6Pv— 鶴嘴温助 (@turuhashiNK) March 2, 2023
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.
皆さん、お疲れ様でした✨#SuperBowl #NFL #TOPS #NＦL_Latteart pic.twitter.com/75py7vNYQm— 加藤瑠菜@Latteart☕.◦*.＊。 (@RunaPocket) February 8, 2021
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.
ㅤㅤㅤㅤ＼ cackle cackle ／ pic.twitter.com/ymPfZZOD2a— 加藤瑠菜@Latteart☕.◦*.＊。 (@RunaPocket) February 9, 2023
The pair of NFL stars took pictures with the cafe manager, who posted a warm thank you message to her own social media account:
They came to my cafe to drink latte art.☕— 加藤瑠菜@Latteart☕.◦*.＊。 (@RunaPocket) March 10, 2023
They're such great players.
And there is a kinder and dignified than anyone else!
This miracle makes me grow ✨
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:
- It feels like nobody ever talks about John Cominsky, so it’s nice to see that Ben Raven from MLive has a free agent profile of him. In it, Raven writes that The Commish is “one of the team’s most important free agents.”
- 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:
How I know this Lions team different…. Thursday am in southern Ca and Goff, St. Brown and company are running routes at my kids high school. #OnePride #Lions #DetroitvsEverybody pic.twitter.com/sHrra6tZQl— Steve with a V (@StevenTucker11) March 9, 2023
- 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.
- Lions safety Tracy Walker has an answer for Erik’s question of the day:
Cuz need to come back to the d. It’s only right https://t.co/JjogvIF43D— Tracy Walker #21 (@TracyWalkerIII) March 10, 2023
- 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.
Hugely beneficial aspect of adding D.J. Moore for Chicago yesterday:— Brad Spielberger, Esq. (@PFF_Brad) March 11, 2023
They add $20M in 2023 cash spending without chasing bad money in free agency. Still need to spend some more, but a great way to kick things off https://t.co/ZX4byzQ8k1