Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Click. Scroll. Click. Scroll.

My life seems to be defined by this action nowadays. I spend hours upon hours on the Internet reading, browsing, learning, and playing games.

The Internet is a beautiful place. There are more pages than anyone could ever read in their entire lifetime. The Internet allows us to read stories and make connections with people from all over the world. With our unprecedented access to information it’s crazy to think about how the generations before us managed to live without it and what the next step will be for our future. We are decades away from the idea of printed text being something that’s talked about in our digital history books. The thought of opening a static encyclopedia will be a ridiculous idea for young students.

My grandparents refuse to own a computer and I think about how they are disconnected from society. Part of me feels sad because they’ll never know (and don’t care to know) about the all the wonders of the Internet. But there is also a part of me that feels sad for our generation. When I think about the things my grandparents know and the things that they care about I realize that our generation is disconnected in a different way.

Do you know the names of your neighbors? What about the name of your town’s mayor? What local events have you been to in the last 6 months? We are a generation that has access to movies, music, and news for distant lands at our fingertips… but we are strangers in our own hometown.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dat Nguyen and why I like the Dallas Cowboys

When I first started watching football I was in high school. I heard about a player named Dat Nguyen. He is the very first Vietnamese American player in the NFL.

Dat Nguyen is a Texas native and played his whole career there. Early on he was nicknamed "Fat Nguyen" because he was too small (5'11") despite his muscular frame. He went to Texas A&M where he has the record for most starts and most tackles, and he was the undisputed leader of the "Wrecking Crew" defense. His college accolades were numerous: Chuck Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, Jack Lambert Award, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, 3 time First-team All-Big 12. He was later inducted into the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

After his awesome college career, he went to the Dallas Cowboys where he made an impact immediately. He led team in tackles 3 times (2001, 2003, 2004). The 2003 Cowboys defense was the most efficient defense in the league by a large margin. On March 3rd 2006 he suffered a neck injury which hindered his 2005 performance and eventually ended his career. He later went on to coach the linebackers for the Dallas Cowboys and is currently coaching defense at his old college Texas A&M.

Facing adversity because of his size and performing at such a high level Dat is truly an inspiration, for all athletes, Asian-American or otherwise.

So he was the reason I started watching the Cowboys. After he left, I guess I kind of just fell in love with the organization. I got used to watching them play. The eccentric owner, the most cheerleaders in the league, the over-the-top stadium. I know all the players and nowadays I watch and root out of pure stubbornness.

Other Cowboys fans talk about the glory days... but I wasn't around for that. I didn't get to see Aikman, Irvin, and Emmit. Instead, my memories as a Cowboy fan are littered with fumbled snaps and blown leads. It's pretty rough being a fan with all the blind-hate, eye-rolls, and guffaws I get when I tell people I like the Cowboys. I get harassed about how NFL Films called us "Americas Team" and how my quarterback can't perform in the clutch. Maybe sometime during my lifetime I'll get to enjoy a Cowboys championship and tell the haters to kiss my ass. Maybe we won't though... and it doesn't matter... COWBOYS FOR LIFE.