July 1, 2010
My apologies for the delay of this post. Been busy and traveling, but I also intentionally waited until the Round of 16 was over. I'm so awesome.
I arrived in Lisbon (for work) the day after Portugal's loss to their Iberian neighbor Spain, and I can actually see particles of depression floating in the air. The mood is somber and people are glum like they just came back from a funeral - all on the verge of tears. I was hoping for a more festive atmosphere...
Korean Word of the Day
Jen-Jahng : Darn it!, Bummers! An expression people blurt out loud when things don't go their way.
June 27, 2010
What a horrible day to be Korean-American. Both Korea (my motherland) and United States (my birth place and current home) crashed out of the World Cup today with losses to Uruguay and Ghana, respectively. Now I'm just waiting for the IRS to call me to tell me I did my taxes all wrong, and that I owe the government everything I own.
June 25, 2010
Wow, I can't believe South Korea and Japan both made it to the knockout stage! This is the first time these two have gotten past the group stage outside of Asia, and we did it together! Yay~ Asian~ Power~!!! (Wow, that came out ridiculously g... uh, cheesy.) According to the American Way (American Airlines' on-flight) magazine, the two nations were under the category "Just Happy To Be Here". ...Well, take that, American Airlines! If it weren't for the frequent miles I've accumulated, I'd boycott you. And yes, even though Iran and Saudi Arabia have been here before, this is the first for any East Asian country. Not a bad week for Asia.
Although, I do wish South Korea was facing Paraguay (Japan's opponent), instead of Uruguay. Both these South American countries have performed well to win their respective groups, and are heavily favored to beat the Asians - but the Uruguayans look a little scarier. ...You know that question we've all asked each other numerous times in junior high? Who would you rather face - Freddie Cruger or Jason? In this game, Michael Myers would be Brazil, and the creepy girl from the Ring would be Argentina.
June 23, 2010
We've done it! We have finally reached the knockout stage of the World Cup on foreign soil!!!! We've been waiting for this moment for the longest time. Yes, I am thrilled and yes, I am proud. Extremely. But at the same time, I wasn't too thrilled or proud about some aspects of Korea's game today. It's kind of like a marriage - you love and cherish her, yet there are some things that bother... Oh hi, honey... Oh no, not talking about you... Oh no... Of course, I love everything about you! In fact, you're perfect!!
...OK, where was I?
The two sides fought extremely hard, and provided one heck of an entertaining bout. Even the referee, who was dressed like a cashier at McDonald's officiated the match very accurately and fairly, in my opinion. I also craved a Big Mac throughout the entire 90 minutes - Hmm... is that a subliminal message McDonald's has planted?
June 21, 2010
I have no comment on Portugal's enthrashment of North Korea - I just came up with that word. Man, I'm awesome.
Seriously - it was sad to see a Steven-Seagal's-career-esque collapse in the 2nd half, especially after how well they performed against Brazil. Now I have to endure headlines that will try to be clever like, "Portugal Sinks North Korean Battleship" on every news stand I pass by...
(Quick note: I just read in a South Korean news site that North Korea aired the full match LIVE! I'm kind of shocked...)
June 19, 2010
This is going to be a short post, because the more I write, the more depressed I will get. Also, in Part 1, I said I wouldn't be a sore loser if Korea lost, so I will stick to my word. And even if I wanted to be a sore loser, the match was so one-sided, that I would end up sounding completely irrational. (...You know, cuz I'm never irrational. ...Although, the Lakers do suck.)
June 17, 2010
June 16, 2010
As a kid growing up in both South Korea and the United States, I was never really poor, but at the same time, my family wasn't rich, either. I'd say we were somewhere slightly below the middle - my parents worked hard to provide food and shelter for me and my brothers, and we lived rather frugally. I inherited my older brother's underwear, and my younger brother inherited that same underwear from me. ...Oh, did I say we lived frugally? I actually meant "dirt cheap".
Although I had everything I needed to live on, I was often jealous of kids who had things - those who lived in nice big houses, with their own cool rooms with Star Wars decor. But I was most jealous of their many awesome (and often expensive) toys. I remember going to a friend's house and discovering Nintendo for the first time - I believe it was Mike Tyson's Punch Out which they were playing. I stood there thinking to myself, "Wow... at this very moment, I am living in the future!" ...Yeah, I didn't have too many friends growing up.
June 15, 2010
Since there isn't a North Korea correspondent for ESPN Soccernet, I feel obligated to write at least a few sentences on the Brazil - North Korea match. Putting the most current political drama and differences aside - for those who are not aware of the (sad) history and situation of the Korea Peninsula, I do want to stress that NK is still South Korea's brother, and I do look forward to seeing a unified Korea sometime in the near future. I will be rooting for them for their remaining World Cup matches, and hope you will get behind them, too.
In fact, I predict North and South Koreas in the World Cup final!!!! ...Haha, just kidding. Just checking to see you were paying attention.
June 13, 2010
The first victory of the 2010 World Cup was delivered by none other than the South Koreans, in a 2-0 rout over the 2004 European champions Greece.
From the moment this group was drawn, we knew that advancing to the knockout stage was not going to be an easy task. Everyone assumed that Argentina will take the top spot, but it seemed the votes were split 33/33/33 on which of the remaining three would take second. Thank god it's not as hazy as Group A (which now looks about 25% all around), but after Group B's first set of matches, the picture is now less Jackson Pollacky and more uh, Pixar. (For my lack of depth in art... Hey, had to put my excitement for the new Toy Story movie in here somewhere.)
Be honest: Did you ever think S Korea would perform this well against Greece? I don't think any expert could have been so sure about this outcome in Port Elizabeth.
Daniel Cho is a contributing writer for ESPN Soccernet and covered South Korea during the 2006 World Cup. He is back for more, and hopes there will be better results to write about this time around. He is also a musician who has worked with Coldplay, Regina Spektor and Katy Perry.