It’s that time of the quadrennium again…a time to spend hours watching teams from countries I can barely find on a map play soccer football. Right now I’m watching New Zealand and Slovakia.
- The games here are at 8:30 pm, 11:00 pm, and 3:30 am, which are pretty reasonable times, as such things go. Fortunately, two of South Korea’s first round games are at 8:30.
- The theme of the media saturation campaign is “Shouting Korea”.
- Samsung, Hyundai, and the other huge corporations are all running commercials in which the other team is rendered utterly unable to even play by the enormous and forceful sound of the Korean fans shouting. This, of course, is quite ironic since those stupid vuvuzuelas drown out any and all shouting.
Other than the “Korea Shouting”, the commericials feature either Park Ji-sung or Kim Yu-na. Park Ji-sung is understandable, since he’s undoubtedly the best soccer player in Korea, but Kim Yu-na? She won the women’s figure skating gold medal in February, and seems to have been co-opted to be a generic Famous Korean. In one commercial, she literally just sits on a piano bench and sings. I wonder if they put her in the commercials just because she’s far better looking than Park Ji-sung.
Watching sports on tv is much nicer when you don’t understand much of what the announcers are saying. In Korean, they just use the English word “heading” for any kind of head shot, and they yell “SHOOT!!!” for any shot on goal.
Last weekend we went to a textile festival and stayed in a little place out in the countryside on Saturday night, during the first Korea game. This place had several little cabins, and the owners lived in a big house. The owners let everyone into their living room to watch the game. It was Tae and I, along with our friends Carol, Tracy, and Ginny — and about fifteen Korean guys. It was really fun watching the game with them (more so since Korea won) and a unique experience for us.
OKay, it’s halftime now for New Zealand and Slovakia. Still scoreless, but New Zealand is not playing well. After Australia’s game, this does not seem to be the Antipodean’s World Cup.