Kenny the Gamer: Texas-Ex, NFL safety Vaccaro finds new Destiny

kenny vaccaro 5.png
kenny vaccaro 5.png

Kenny Vaccaro’s always been a gamer - from Brownwood to the University of Texas to the NFL.

“Once I dig my teeth into something, it’s like one of those Pit Bulls.” the former All-American strong safety told CBS Austin. “I’m not gonna let go until I achieve what I want to achieve.”

That doesn’t change in the off-season, where he treats his new craft just like the NFL.

“All eyes are on me - 4th quarter, 4th and inches, Tom Brady, what are you gonna do?” Vaccaro said setting the scene. “You gonna lock up your guy or are you gonna get routed up? Am I gonna make the shot? Or am I gonna get killed? Same feeling.”

Vaccaro’s off-season field is the virtual battlefield in the video game Destiny 2.

His position: Content Creator. His team: the wildly popular gaming brand SoaR.

“My quest to earn respect in the gaming world is a challenge I relish.” Vaccaro explained. “I don't wanna be known as Kenny Vaccaro, former All-American at Texas, first round draft pick, Tennessee Titans safety, I wanna be known as SoaR Savage.”

SoaR Savage (Vaccaro’s gamer name) streams in front of an audience of fans. Afterwards, he puts in extra work just like he would in football.

“I take the same mentality I have in a football game into Destiny and that made me better.” Vaccaro said. “I started watching film. I’d go back and watch my film all the time and be like ‘man, I should’ve made that play right there’ or ‘man, I shouldn’t have pushed right there’”

He’s even started giving back to the gaming community by hosting monthly tournaments, where he fronts as much as $5,000 of his own money for the winner.

“I wanna be the guy that maybe changes a kid’s life one day.” Vaccaro told CBS Austin. “Maybe he doesn’t wanna play football. Maybe he’s not athletic enough, but maybe he’s a ‘GOAT’ on the sticks.”

About to turn 29, his football future isn’t guaranteed. Whether it’s continuing to compete or investing in a team, gaming figures to be a big part of his post playing days.

“I consider gaming a sport. I think the future of the world is gonna be Esports.I think you see a lot of people investing so much money into Esports. Magic Johnson, Drake, they’re putting hundreds of millions of dollars into Esports.”

For a guy with two dream jobs, it’s the perfect work-play balance.