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5 things you may not know about Cairo Santos


Cairo Santos has been one of the Bears' most consistent players during his second stint in Chicago. Here are five things you may not know about the kicker:

(1) He's been stranded in London due to visa issues.

Santos is the first NFL player from Brazil. His early career was marked with headaches involving his switch from the student visa he used while playing at Tulane.

While playing for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015, Santos made six extra points and a field goal against the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London. The team had to leave him in London for three days before he got permission to return to the United States.

Luckily, few players are better situated to kill a few days in the British capital.

"It turned out to be a fun time, though," said Santos, "as I was able to catch a few Premier League games during those days."

(2) He's named after his father—who was named after the Egyptian city.

Cairo is an unusual first name, even in Brazil. Santos was named after his father, who was in turn named after the city in Egypt due to his grandfather's eclectic interests.

"It was my mom's idea to also name me Cairo," said Santos, "but my grandpa, my dad's father, was fascinated with the Egyptian culture. Therefore, he wanted to name his first son Cairo."

(3) He prefers Carnival to Mardi Gras.

Santos could be considered an expert in the most extravagant ways to celebrate the beginning of Lent. Brazil is famous for its days-long Carnival, while New Orleans, where Santos went to college, is the American capital of Fat Tuesday debauchery.

Having had a front-row seat to both celebrations, he sides with his home country's festivities.

"Both provide a great time for sure," said Santos, "but I prefer Carnaval because it involves more music and dancing, whereas Mardi Gras was more about watching the parades."

Santos makes a point of getting back to Brazil in the offseason.

"I typically go back twice a year to visit family in Brasilia and São Paulo," said Santos. "I enjoy having churrasco (Brazilian BBQ) with my friends and family and spending time in the sun around a pool or beach."

(4) He grew up on pop-punk music.

He may have grown up in a different hemisphere, but musically-speaking, Santos can relate to most Americans born in the early 1990s.

"Blink-182 is still my favorite music to listen to," said Santos. "It brings [back] so many memories growing up in the early 2000s in Brazil."

Santos says that 'Feeling This,' from the band's 2003 eponymous album, is the song that he has listened to the most times in his life.

(5) He sees a future for American football in Brazil.

Brazil boasts the sixth-largest population on Earth, along with a robust sports culture centered around soccer. In recent years, it has also become a top international producer of NBA talent. While Santos remains the only Brazilian in the NFL, he sees the sport starting to take hold in South America.

He would like to see the NFL cultivate a fanbase in the Southern Hemisphere.

"I've had the opportunity to be an influence in that growth being the first Brazilian born player to play in the NFL," said Santos, "and I expect that we could see a game being played down there like we see the International games in Mexico and London."

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