Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ask a Korean! News: Super Bowl 2009

So far in AAK! history, there has been two Super Bowls, and two Super Bowl picks by the Korean. The Korean is 2-0 in those picks.

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.


The Korean

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


  1. I'll take the Cardinals and the points. Mostly cuz I still hate the Steelers from the 70's for beating the Cowboys before I knew better than to be a Cowboy fan.

  2. Steelers fans are dangerous.

    However, I say that having once followed the Ravens for a few seasons.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Okay, let me try that again...I know NOTHING about football, slightly less about Koreans, but damn you're funny.

  5. Good point Korean (about expanding football through a franchise in LA, which by the way, not having a franchise in LA is non-sense).

    As far as Europe is concerned, I don't think Europeans don't care about football, I think the NFL did a terrible job with its attempts to expand the market. And the media are to be blamed, definitely.
    I can't talk for all of Europe, but in France, football is one of the fastest growing sport, if not the fastest. Today, there are as many people that play football as people that play ice hockey in France. Still, hockey is at least vaguely known by French people, football is not.
    Why? Because hockey is on the map. The media talk about it, at least a bit. Football? Never. I'm not even talking about the NFL, actually, France 2 shows a few games live (Conference championships and Superbowl) and for some strange reasons, all the news will give the result of the Superbowl tomorrow.
    But the French championship? Almost nobody even knows there's such a thing as a French championship.

    And international competitions. The NFL must get involved in the World Cup so that people start caring about it.

    That being said: Go Steelers!

  6. Great post - I'm living in Korea right now, and you're right - the only NFL coverage Korean media gives is to the Steelers b/c of Hines Ward.

    About Chan-ho Park - you mentioned that he's a prick, but he was the guest on the huge hit show 1박2일 (강호동-hosted show on KBS), and he came across as a 진짜 수순한 사람. (Yes, I realize editing and all that can distort reality, but I still invite you to check those episodes out if you can get your hands on them.)

    And my brain says go with the Steelers, but my heart just loves the Cardinals cinderella story (Kurt Warner's resurgence, etc.)

    Cards 17 Steelers 14

  7. Dear Simon,

    수순한 사람

    What does this mean? My one K/E dictionary lists 수순 as a noun only meaning a schemed move (in baduk).

  8. Oh, and I don't really have a favourite, but Steelers 34-14.

  9. And one more thing - heck of a post!

    Why the NFL tries to fit a square block in a round hole....I can't figure it. They should put more effort, as you say, into getting a franchise to LA. Heck, create one if one doesn't move. How there can be no team there in the second-largest market is beyond me.

    Europeans I would guess will continue to look upon NFL-style football as nothing more than an aberration. The game there is futbol, as AAK! noted, and that's the way it's going to be.

  10. David,

    The Korean should really ask you a few questions -- he was always curious about a few things about the French. At any rate, it's really interesting that hockey has some hold in France.


    No, Chan-Ho Park is a prick and nothing will change the Korean's mind. Chan-Ho treated the LA gyopos like dirt when he was with the Dodgers, and when he could not live up to his ridiculous contract with the Rangers, he had the nerve to get back to LA and cozy up to gyopos like nothing happened. And the crying game he pulled with the WBC press conference... god. He needs to go away.


    Simon most likely meant to type 순수한, which means "pure" or "innoncent"

  11. As a big football fan and resident of the LA area, I would love to have a franchise back in LA. However, it will be an uphill battle. I think a big reason why the Raiders and Rams didn't have great success here is because there was little fan base. In fact, with the exception of the Lakers, most professional games in the LA area usually have more fans of the opposing team than the home team in the crowd. Try going to a Kings hockey game against the Red Wings and you will see a sea of red. When the Yankees are in town against the Angels, there is no sea of red. Most people who live in SoCal are transplants from more eastern cities in the United States; hence they have no loyalty to an LA team. At best, they are fickle with the success of the team.

    To this day, the Raiders have a heck of a following with the Latino community in SoCal, but I don't think they would pony up the cash to see the games.

    All of this may change now that the Latino and Asian communities are a little stronger in the area in terms of finances and numbers, and if the team recruits a few key players from within these demographics. But, I contend that it will still be an uphill battle.

  12. On a side note, I had an interview a few years back with a prominent architect. On my tour of the facility, I noticed several designs and models for sports stadiums. Evidently, Paul Tagliabue (NFL Commissioner until shortly thereafter) was quite interested in helping NFL franchises with updating the look of football. One of the designs was for a stadium in LA, which I was told was just a matter of time. Much like The Korean commented, if they couldn't get a franchise to move, their intention was to start a new one. Of course, that was prior to Roger Goodell and the recent fiscal environment. But, I think he played a big part with helping get the University of Phoenix Stadium built. And, have you seen how the new Dallas Cowboys stadium will look?

  13. I must say that I am most surprised by Korean's hatred toward Chan Ho Park, who seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders as far as representing the Koreans and Korean Americans is concerned.

  14. Great post and pick! Being a Steelers fan is awesome because even when they aren't winning, there are Steelers bars all over the world.

    Of course, it is much more fun when they are winning!

  15. Mad love and respect to the Steelers organization and its fans. I live in Dallas and have to read/hear everyday about the joke of a franchise that the Cowboys have become. I am envious beyond words that the Steelers have an owner that stays out of the spotlight, a coach that has a firm grip on his team, and dedicated players that work as a cohesive unit.

  16. Man, that was a heart-breaker for me. But it was a fun game to watch, and the Steelers deserve a lot of credit.


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