the dallas cowboys just hired dat nguyen to the very confusing title of defensive quality control/linebackers coach. the linebackers coach title i get, but defensive quality control? once upon a time i was a quality control person at a robot factory (don't ask) and all i did was look over circuit boards to make sure that all the right transistors were in the right place. so maybe dat will get to look over defensive players before games to make sure all their junk is in the right place.
but i digress, i'm pretty sure that this makes the first vietnamese person ever hired to be a coach in the NFL. unlike their black colleagues, there is little fanfare accompanying this announcement. i understand that the history of black players in the league is different, but still, an milestone of sorts for the vietnamese community. i guess norm chow was the first person to break the asian color line, but still, come on people! this is a historic moment!
not that i'm mad, cuz i'm really not. but i do think that this is a nice illustration of how asians are perceived as being more assimilated than other racial groups. this is even more of a paradox because of the fact that in general, asians are stereotyped as being decidedly un-athletic. this is a fading stereotype with asians excelling in fringe sports like ice skating or skateboarding, but again my point is, this is an interesting moment in the NFL, but it is not perceived as one because nguyen is part of a racial group that is treated differently from other racial groups.
anyways, as a person of vietnamese descent, i am pretty happy that this has happened. dat nguyen doesn't get his due as a trailblazer for asian-americans, being one of the first to play in a major team sport in the US. so let me be one of the first to hail his contributions to asian-american history.