Frankie Hejduk - Tough Love

Once a month, C Magazine sits down with a prominent Columbus figure to discuss how they spend their time out of the office—or off the field. This month, we sat down with Columbus Crew veteran captain and cool California dreamer, Frankie Hejduk. Few people in town produce the same pure energy he does.

When was the last time you felt intimidated by a player?
To be honest, I don’t think I ever have. Once you start thinking about how good they are, you have lost half the battle.

What’s one thing you truly hate?
Hate is a strong word for me. I don’t really hate anything—I don’t like hating. That’s not at all what I’m about. I like to love.

What do you love most about leading a team?
The love and the camaraderie you have with everyone. You know in your mind that you love them just as much as they love you. We’re an extension of a family, and what you would do for your family off the field is what we should be doing for our family on the field.

Three words to describe a “nutmeg”
See you later.

If you could change one rule about soccer, what would it be?
Anyone who stops the play of game for injury has 15-20 seconds to get up and either limp it off and forget about it, or is immediately removed from the game for three minutes.

The measure of a man is his ability to _______.
Keep his word.
Do you have any kids?
I have a 12-year-old son, Nesta, a 2 ½ year old son, Coasten, and a 5-month-old daughter named Cali.

Do you have any kids?

What’s the finest compliment you’ve been given?
Whenever someone takes the time out of their day to respect the way I’m going about my life amazes me. If you really think deep down inside about what they’re exposing to you—that’s what life is all about.

What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?
Surfing on 15-foot waves. The most dangerous time I ever surfed was in my hometown San Diego at a place that’s not really known to be a super gnarly, crazy break. But on that particular day, it was big and it was hairy, and I was scared, and it was dangerous. The ocean was mad at something that day, and there were a couple of waves that just cleared the whole bay basically.

If you could recruit athletes from other sports to play soccer, where would you look first?
Basketball point guards because they’ve got to be a two-way player. They’ve got to see things that others don’t see. Their skill, their quickness and their footwork offensively and defensively.

Why do soccer players always take their shirts off?
It’s such an awesome thing to score a goal that you actually lose your mind for like five seconds!

One treat in Columbus you can’t say no to?
Barley’s Christmas Ale.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Definitely a pro surfer. Soccer was just something I did for fun. I grew up in a beach town a mile from the beach—a little hippie town where everyone had VW buses and cruised around.