What is the big deal, you say? The big deal is that last year, when everyone, EVERYONE was picking New England, the Korean dared to pick the Giants based on the scoreboard that he saw in a dream. And the Korean was right, as he always is.
Can he keep the streak going? The Korean's pick will come in a bit, but the annual rant must come first.
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
Do you want to spread football to other countries? Then bring a goddamn franchise to Los Angeles.
Do you know how many Koreans watch MLB as Dodgers fans because Dodgers brought Chan-Ho Park? (The Korean hates him because he's an overpaid prick, but that's a different story.) Do you ever wonder why there are 1.6 billion Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets fans? It is thanks to the very skilled guy named Yao Ming, and this scrub named Yi Jianlian. Manchester United, the world's most successful sports franchise, opened up a whole new market by signing Park, Ji-Sung. Do you see a trend?
Currently Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the teams in this year's Super Bowl, is probably the only NFL team that any Korean knows because Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward is half-Korean. Thanks to Hines Ward, Steelers playoffs games were showing on Korean television. Think about how amazing that is. Your league has made zero efforts to advertise in Korea, but people in that market are watching NFL, even though they know practically nothing about the sport.
A hypothetical LA team would naturally recruit heavily on Asian and Hispanic population to appeal to the local demographic. Even if it does not, it will attract Asian American and Hispanic American fans, who will naturally transmit their love of football through their frequent traffic with their homelands. Sooner or later, people in Asia and Central/South America would be watching football! It's that simple!
You somehow seem to be married to the idea of spreading football in Europe. The Korean has to ask: Why? Why obsess over that London game, when 16 years of NFL Europa plainly showed that Europeans do not care about football? Both MLB and NBA realize that Asia is the future of professional sports. Asia has an up-and-coming economy, and its people are receptive to new forms of entertainment.
The Korean will repeat: BRING A FRANCHISE TO LOS ANGELES. It will pay off in more ways than you can ever imagine. The Korean will write the same rant every year until you comply.
Ok, rant over. Now for the pick.
The Korean likes the ace receivers of each team, i.e. Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald. With Hines Ward goes Pittsburgh offense. Whether or not he can go 100 percent would mean a lot for the Steelers.
Fitzgerald -- the Korean is simply in awe whenever he sees Fitzgerald. He knew Fitzgerald would be good when he came out of college, but the Korean did not see that Fitzgerald will be the best receiver in the NFL. Also, Fitzgerald is smart and articulate; the Korean has a soft spot for smart and articulate athletes.
But at the end of the day, defense wins championships, unless you have Peyton Manning. (The Korean went with Colts over Bears two years ago on that theory.) The Korean simply cannot see a consistent run game coming from Cardinals against Steelers run D, and the Cards would be wise to more or less abandon it. Do you trust Warner to throw 35 times in the game without a disastrous pick or two from Polamalu? The Korean does not either. That makes this one an easy pick.
Steelers 24, Cardinals 13.
2008 pick: Giants 27, Patriots 20
2008 result: Giants 17, Patriots 14
2007 pick: Colts 24, Bears 21
2007 result: Colts 29, Bears 17
-EDIT 2/1/2009 11:32 p.m.- Steelers 27, Cardinals 23. The Korean was totally right about a pick thrown by Warner being the game-changer. But the Korean also underestimated Larry Fitzgerald's ability to single-handedly carry the team. At any rate, 3-0!
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.