Matt Toeaina

Sense of loss drives Ravens' Haloti Ngata

Sense of loss drives Ravens' Haloti Ngata

In Polynesian culture, a celebration, by definition, is not a private affair. Word of good news spreads as if it were carried by the wind, touching uncles, cousins, brothers, friends, sisters, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends and strangers, and without hesitation, people simply show up.

This, it seems, is how it came to pass that on the morning of April 30, 2006 - on one of the most anticipated days of his young life - Haloti Ngata found himself completely and totally surrounded.

This was not a surprise, exactly, but still. His family members say they expected a small crowd would want to be there with him on this day, the first day of the NFL draft, and a day where everyone he...