Saturday, February 05, 2011

Ask a Korean! News: Super Bowl 2011

By now, you know the drill. First, the updated annual rant.
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? Do you ever wonder why there are 1.6 billion Houston Rockets fans? It is thanks to this guy named Yao Ming. 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 is probably the only NFL team that any Korean knows because Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward is half-Korean. Thanks to Hines Ward, this Super Bowl featuring the Steelers will surely be broadcast live on Korean television, and Korean people will stay up late to watch it. 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
The Korean cannot be happier with this year's Super Bowl matchup. Because of the lack of an NFL team in Los Angeles, the Korean has no NFL team to be a fan of. So he aimlessly casts about his allegiance to any NFL team that might give him a hook, and Steelers and Packers are as good as any. On one hand, Steelers has Hines Ward, the greatest Korean American athlete in American pro sports. On the other hand, Packers are led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the greatest QB in California Golden Bears history who surely reached superstardom through this impressive playoff run. As a bonus, Packers also has linebacker Desmond Bishop, another graduate of Cal. No matter which team wins, the Korean has already won.

Can you come back to play for the Golden Bears 
for just one season Aaron? We freakin' suck without you.

A fun tidbit about Rodgers. The Korean went to Berkeley the same time Rodgers did. At the time Rodgers was on the Cal football team, the team's punter was an extremely good looking blond Australian with a kicking accent. The joke around the school was that Cal was the only school where the punter gets more girls than the quarterback.

But the greatness of Rodgers is no joke. Packers' excellent corps of receivers will thrive in the domed stadium in Dallas, and Packers' underrated defense will shred the gimpy Pittsburgh O-line.

The Korean's pick:  Packers 24, Steelers 20.

The Korean's Glorious History of Super Bowl Picks That Are Never Wrong  
Was Wrong Only Once Because Peyton Manning Chokes Like a Bitch

2010 pick: Colts 31, Saints 21.
2010 result: Saints 31, Colts 17

2009 pick: Steelers 24, Cardinals 13
2009 result: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

2008 pick: Giants 27, Patriots 20
2008 result: Giants 17, Patriots 14
[Come on, the Korean still deserves some props for this.]

2007 pick: Colts 24, Bears 21
2007 result: Colts 29, Bears 17

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

-EDIT- The new streak begins!
Packers 31, Steelers 25. And despite the loss, Hines made a few key catches to make Koreans proud.


  1. Stay up late to watch the Super Bowl? As I painfully figured out, about six months ago, the Super Bowl will start at 8:30 am Monday Korean time. I start work at 8 am Monday Korean time, and many Koreans start sooner.

    You're right overall. Even if no one gets football, Hines Ward would get the NFL on TV every now and then, and maybe even bump a golfer or two off of the news.

    That said, I hope an NFL team in LA doesn't come at the expense of another team, particularly one in a shrinking market like Buffalo.

  2. While it is odd that the second largest media market in the US has no NFL team, I wouldn't put too much stock in any LA franchise deliberately chasing Asian or Latino players just to put bums in the seats.

    The NFL is a product that generally sells itself. Whatever problems it had in LA, it's doubtful that they could be remedied by appealing to ethnic pride and racial identity. Particularly among those whose allegiance to and knowledge of the game is wafer thin.

    Those three players you cite as evidence of creating ethnic buzz were all recruited from foreign countries that have established development leagues. I don't doubt that their ability to appeal to non-traditional markets had something to do with their signings, but it was their talent or potential that inked the deal. Let's not forget that the same LA Dodgers offered Lee, Seung-yeop a minor league contract when he came knocking.

    Finally, North American football is just that, nobody plays it outside of the continent and the potential pool of players is the United States and, to a much smaller degree, Canada. While I don't know the exact regional and ethnic demographics of high school football players I would guess it is heavily weighted to places like Ohio and Texas, and fairly light on children from parents containing at least one Amy Chau.

    Besides, don't you know that Toronto is going to get a franchise before LA?

    Packers 27 Steelers 16

  3. LA had two teams (Raiders and Rams.) Neither team had much of a market share because poor minorities can't afford to go to a football game.

  4. Yeah the game will be shown Monday morning live, though some bars will show it on Monday night.

    I couldn't tell you how popular Hines is in Korean circles, but I don't hear him referred to as other Korean sports stars are. The only people that will watch Green Bay kick butt are expat football fans.

  5. I don't know anyone who watched the game here... and Hines' name (or his existence if not his actual name) is about as much as most Koreans seem to know about the sport. Koreans, or lets say, people outside of North America, just don't seem to give a darn about the sport. And I kind of understand, as I never really got the appeal either...

  6. There was a Korean placekicker once and I do remember my Dad's friends in the U.S. suddenly becoming St. Louis Cardinals fans just because of him. They didn't actually watch the sport, but every time he came on the screen they'd put down their drinks and watch him kickoff or kick field goals... then they would resume their drinking.

    Needless to say it did nothing to spread the sport in Korea, I bet.

    There is a professional league in Korea, but given that the champion of that league plays vs. the college champion and has actually lost several times shows you what level that league is at. There are probably some American high school teams that could do well in the Korean pro league, but that's only because the sport hasn't taken off here at all.

    Hines Ward and Co, I could not find live on TV, must be on a cable station that I don't get.

  7. I thought the problem is that the NFL wants the City/County of Los Angeles to use public/tax money to build a brand new stadium (and then charge astronomical ticket prices, which only a few can afford on top of that) and the County/City said: "No. You're a private business. You can raise the money yourself, or use the Coliseum."

    In many other markets the taxpayer has been saddled with sales tax increases to pay for these private stadiums. Yet ticket prices have been so high that only >0.5% of the metro area actually uses the facility everyone is forced to pay for.

  8. haha what a joke. Serious Gary Radnich was just talking about this on Bay Area Comcast radio on tv.Basically it is the same with Jeremy Lin and the Warriors in the NBA. First off I highly doubt Korea has a high amount of fans of American Football to consist of a huge market. It is not the same as baseball, soccer, or basketball. Also I am pretty sure that the Chargers will be moving to LA or the Raiders will be going back. Also its stupid to jump on a sport you really have no clue about just cause national pride. Sorry I wouldn't pay my hard earned money to watch a sub par athlete sit on the bench just cause he has slanted eyes and yellow skin.... I am white and I went for the Steelers even though a white athlete from my area is the starting QB for Green Bay. Also John Jones was homeless man in San was he is the starting reciever for the packers.....guess what I still routed for the steelers. Just stupid to build so much national pride for something that is nothing....let alone it sets us back 25 years in the acceptance era. The reason why there is no NFL team in LA is because they have not had an above par venue and the Raiders at the end couldn't fill the seats of the olympic stadium it had built. Also by the way Koreans are not Chinese....of all people you should know that. What the hell does Mr. Ming have to do with koreans wanting football in LA? I missed something there.

  9. Lay off the pot before you comment on blogs Sam. Then you will start making more sense.

  10. Did you go to Cal for undergrad, law school or both?

  11. each nfl team is a franchise owned by some wealthy, white billionaire. they choose where the team goes, not the commissioner.

    and i agree with the bit about yao ming creating a lot of rocket fans.


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