Dallas Sports Nation – February Spotlight – Section Manager of Stars Nation: Craig Nakagai
Hi! My name is Craig Nakagai and I contribute to Stars Nation Twitter.
*This is Craig Nakagai’s 1st WegENT Spotlight Selection
Hi, my name is Craig Nakagai and I am the Section Manager for Stars Nation.
When I was growing up, the first thing I wanted to do was become a professional baseball player. Of course, I soon learned this requires some keen hand-eye coordination that I did not possess so that dream didn’t last long, unfortunately. While my professional sports aspirations faded, my love for sports, in general, did not. Two of my earliest memories as a sports fan come from two of the largest moments at the end of the Millenium. I got to watch as the Dallas Stars celebrated their first Stanley Cup championship. It was such a cool scene and one I wish to this day I could have a greater appreciation for because I was unaware of the magnitude of the win. The other moment that really helped expand my love of sports came in one of the most iconic moments in US Soccer history. Brandi Chastain shooting home the penalty kick to win the World Cup for the United States. Her celebration was so pure and just unfiltered, I still get chills to this day watching replays.
I started with Wegryn Enterprises mostly as a, “Why not try?”, sort of inspiration. The Dallas Stars season had just started and it was a season full of hope after another disappointing season. Dallas had hired Jim Montgomery and the expectations were high. I was going through some rough times and was truly contemplating what my future was and if I really wanted to stay in Dallas. After watching the Stars rally from a 3-0 deficit against the Ducks, my most hated team, it was sealed. A few weeks later I saw the post that Stars Nation was looking for bloggers. I viewed it as a chance to take the risk of exposing myself to criticism, and compliments, something I felt I needed to do in order to grow as a person. I am eternally grateful for the chance Ricky, Josh, and Adrienne gave to me.
My aspirations for life change on a weekly basis. The overall goal though is the same, I want to help make the world a better place. The idea of becoming a college professor is the idea I continually return to because my methods and ideas can gently be referred to as outside of the box. I prefer to find unorthodox solutions and the idea of teaching each day would present new challenges. The problem I often struggle with is I get bored with repetitive tasks. I feel like being able to teach the future though is something that would keep me engaged. Unless of course, someone wants to pay me a million dollars to yell about sports, then, of course, I would never turn down that opportunity! But seriously, making a lasting impact on the world is the one thing I hope to accomplish by the end of my time here on Earth.
Dallas Sports Nation February Spotlight – Section Manager: Rodney Hays
Hi everyone! My name is Rodney Hays and I am a Blogger for FC Dallas Nation.
*This is Rodney Hays’ 1st WegENT Spotlight Selection
Hello, my name is Rodney Hays and I’m an FC Dallas blogger for Dallas Sports Nation. I’ve been a sports fan all of my life, even before the advent of ESPN and 24-hour sports coverage. Every day I had a ball in my hand and played whatever sport was in season at the time. But soccer? I knew very little.
Sometimes we would play soccer in the schoolyard at recess. Mostly it was boring because 20 kids would be on the field at the same time all trying to kick the ball. I played soccer for the first time officially in fifth grade. Our first practice, our coach had to carry a rule book around because he didn’t know the rules either. We didn’t win much that first year but we had fun and we all got orange slices after the game. A couple of years later, we played for our first league championship. We lost and I don’t want to talk about it. Buy me a beer sometime and maybe I’ll tell you the story.
As the years went on, I grew away from the sport and stuck with the Big 3 American sports — football, basketball and baseball. I thought soccer was boring and slow, always low scoring with most of the games ending in ties. Then in 2010, I watched my first World Cup. I thought the games were interesting. I enjoyed everything except those freaking vuvuzelas. In 2014, I watched it again. Even after the final, I started watching some English Premier League games. In 2018, I watched almost every match. It was a blast. As they say, the game started making sense to me. I understood more of the nuance and why it’s called, “The beautiful game.”
Through all of that, I never really became an FC Dallas fan, even though I have lived in Frisco for almost 20 years. Then in 2018, I met one of the FC Dallas players and learned a little more about him and his family. I went to a game and watched him play. I was hooked. I think it took knowing a little more about all the players and what they do to prepare and sacrifice each day to play the game they love. That makes me love it more. I want to bring some of those stories to Dallas Sports Nation so that other fans can fall in love too.
A couple of months ago, I saw an ad on Twitter about Dallas Sports Nation looking for fans to be bloggers. Although I don’t know a lot about the Xs and Os of soccer, I felt like there might be other new fans of soccer, who want to learn along with me. So I applied. I have only been blogging here for a couple of months but I’ve already enjoyed working with the other bloggers and going more in-depth with FC Dallas.
I’ve been a writer and journalist for more than two decades but I would love nothing more than to write about soccer and my favorite team, FC Dallas, as a career. Until then, keep checking back every Tuesday to see what I’m learning about on my soccer fandom journey.