Carlos and Monica Alonso are parents to three sons: Carlos, Kristian (who is better known as Kiko) and Lucas.
And all three are athletically gifted in their own ways -- with Carlos, the eldest, playing baseball, middle child Kiko mostly in football, and Lucas in football and baseball in youth league levels -- it was Kiko who was built for the NFL.
Carlos, the eldest, is 5-11.
Lucas, the youngest, is 5-8.
Kiko, the middle child, is 6-3.
"My eldest is all heart. I mean, he's an athlete but he is in Triple A for a reason," Carlos Alonso says of Carlos. "Lucas is very smart. He's a very smart kid. And he's gifted physically, too. But with him it's just the size, right?" Lucas wants to coach and I hope he follows that if that's what he wants.
"Kiko was a freak. You could tell he was different. God was kind to Kiko."
Well, I'm sure God has a plan for all three Alonso brothers. But Kiko's path has brought him to the Miami Dolphins, where he is the team's new starting linebacker. And you know the football story. Great rookie year in Buffalo. Tore his ACL his second season with the Bills. Traded to the Eagles last season. Traded to the Dolphins this offseason.
We shall see which Kiko Alonso the Dolphins get on the field. I know he's healthy. I know he's meticulous about nutrition. His mom Monica tells me Kiko is such a "workout addict," one of the main questions he had about going on vacation with her to her native Colombia was where would he be able to work out everyday.
Oh yeah, I'm not talking Columbia as in Missouri. I'm talking Colombia as in South America. That is where Monica was born. Carlos was born in Cuba.
(I was born in Cuba, in case you didn't pick up on my thick accent and terrible second-language grammar).
Anyway, the Alonso family story from Cuba and Colombia to Puerto Rico to New Orleans to New York to Massachusetts (where Kiko was born) to California (where Kiko first played football in ninth grade) to Oregon (where Kiko played in college) to Buffalo to Philadelphia to Miami is the subject of my column in Sunday's paper.
This is the column.. Please check it out.
It is intriguing how life seems to wind and weave through a family's history and Alonso winds up in the same place his grandfather landed when he first left Cuba in 1961. And for Kiko, unlike his grandfather, Miami seems a pretty great place so far.
One more thing ... about Kiko's name. It is indeed Kristian but as he tells me when he was a kid the other kids in school had trouble with it and teachers always expected him to be a girl because they thought it was Kristen.
So he pre-empted the issue by simply telling everyone to call him Kiko. Problem solved.