About Me

Welcome to the Navy Sports Nation! If you are a fan of Naval Academy sports, you’ve come to the right place. Stop by any time to engage in the topic of the day. I’ll try to take more of an in depth look at Navy sports and their terrific athletes.  Feel free to share your comments. In fact, you can think of this as your virtual Navy Sports bar. 

Karl Darden - Navy Sports Nation Founder
Tennis is one of the many sports I enjoy. This was taken at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Who I Am

My name is Karl Darden. I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and am a certified Navy Sports Junkie. I grew up playing baseball, but retired after my senior year in high school. When I was at Annapolis, I realized that to pursue an engineering degree (Ocean Engineering, in this case), I would be better served sticking to the intramural sports. So that is what I did. It turned out to be the right decision.

After graduation, I went to flight school and became a helicopter pilot. I continued to play multiple sports for my squadron teams at various commands. I was impressed with the level of competition. Naval Aviation had more than it’s fair share of athletes that came from pretty good programs around the country. 

Life After the Navy

I left active duty after nine years and remained in the reserves for 11 more until I retired. About three years into my reserve service, I went to work for Johnson & Johnson, holding various sales and sales training positions. I also spent nine years as a sales manager before finishing up my career with them in 2016. 

All during that time I tried to keep up with what was going on with Navy Sports. Before the internet, that was really only possible with football and maybe basketball. But that all changed, and the advent of social media served to really fire up my passion for Navy sports. 

Several years ago, I just began making a few observations following the most recent Navy football game and posting them to our class Facebook page.  Over time, those observations morphed into a detailed analysis. A couple years ago, some of my classmates asked me if I had ever considered starting a blog. That got me curious, so I decided to look into it. And now, here we are.  

Why Navy Sports Nation?

I’ve read several other blogs that cover service academy sports. And there are some really good ones. But I started the Navy Sports Nation blog to get a little deeper into how a particular result came about or why it did. I am a curious person by nature, and if I look hard enough, I can usually find an interesting angle that will be worth exploring. 

The other reason I started this blog was to shine a spotlight on some really good athletes in sports that fly just under the radar. They make just  as many personal sacrifices as those from the higher visibility sports, so I figured they deserved some love too. So here, you can read about many different Navy sports including rowing, rifle, and soccer.

Navy Sports Nation’s Goal

Very simply, I started the Navy Sports Nation to get fans thinking a little more. I believe there are enough fans out there who are interested in a slightly different perspective when it comes to content even though they enjoy what they are consuming now.  

And I think there are Navy fans interested in learning more about the lesser known sports and the outstanding athletes who play them. I am pretty certain that you will not find some of the content you read here on some of the other sites that cover service academy sports. 

Ultimately, my goal is to entertain you in a thought provoking way. So please, check out the blog, and feel free to comment on anything you like. 

Until next time . . .

Karl Darden
Founder of the Navy Sports Nation Blog

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