Monday, January 31, 2011

The Evening Show Fun, plus: Korean Soccer

Yes, readers, I finished one week at The Evening Show.  Every night, I do a segment that's about 15 minutes long, and it's called "The Bigger Picture."

It's a call-in show where listeners call and share their opinions.  Last week went really well, but because it's a call-in show, the show's only as good as the callers.  So, readers, follow me on Twitter, and friend me on Facebook (yep, it's a verb now) and follow my tweets and status updates.

Question of the day today: how will Team Korea do now that Park Jisung has retired from international play?  He'll no longer be representing Korea in competitions like the Asia Cup, or World Cup qualifiers...

on the other hand, he's had a pretty good run, with he and Lee Young-pyo being the only remaining players who were part of the 2002 World Cup team that went to the semi-finals.

Are you a soccer fan?  Are you a Team Korea fan?  Who's going to take Park Jisung's place, are there young guns ready to fill his shoes?

Leave a comment, or shoot me an e-mail if you want to call into the show.


This Is Me Posting said...

WHOA, WHOA, WHOA. Cheated to the semi-finals. CHEATED.

They didn't beat Spain in 2002 (two completely legit goals were called back, one on top of Korean fouls that could have been penalties: and yet moved on because of bought refs. That's disregarding the fact that they outright attacked Italian and Spanish players and also pulled a yellow card on Totti when it should have been a penalty kick in his favour ( forcing the Italians to play man down the rest of the game.

Call it as it was, Rob. They cheated plain and simple. Korea is a disgrace to international football and the less we see of them, the better. The only player from their team that I've ever liked was Park Ji Sung 'cause he was the least dirty and amateurish of the lot. Now that he's gone, there's absolutely no place for a Korean team as long as they continue to play the awfulness that they do.

The Korean national team has done the impossible, in my opinion: They made people respect Italian football by creating a team that incurs more wrath than the Italians. I'd rather watch the Italians dive all game than watch the Koreans cheat more. Their game against Japan in the 2011 Asian Cup had at least three Korean plays/ers physically throw Japanese players on the ground. This is football, not Taekwondo. If they don't know how to play the game, they should leave the pitch.

I can't wait to see this team of cheaters fade back into complete and deserved obscurity. Nothing in football brings me more joy than watching them lose, nothing would make me happier than to see them banned from international play until they learn to play the game.

Roboseyo said...

I wasn't there in 2002, I didn't watch the games, though outside Korea and Koreans there seems to be a general consensus that that 2002 run got some help from the refs.

Fair enough.

the thing that interests me about the 2002 cup run is no so much the game as it was played, but the imprint it left on the national psyche, which was a different thing entirely.

All that being said, I always enjoyed watching Park Jisung play, but I think the young guns will hold up their end admirably.

This Is Me Posting said...

The imprint it left on the national psyche was two-fold:

1) To get ahead in sports, it's okay to cheat
2) Koreans think they're actually good at football and truly believe that they deserved to have been where they were in 2002

Whenever I talk to Koreans about the World Cup, I tread VERY lightly because if I mention, even in the slightest, that they cheated, I'm suddenly racist and xenophobic and don't know what I'm talking about despite the fact that I've been following football since Mexico's World Cup and that pretty much every non-Korean football fan that followed the 2002 World Cup is in agreement to how much they cheated their way through. To add insult to injury, calling me xenophobic or racist is about as far from the truth as possible.

Hell, even the ref for the Spain-Korea game had to retire amid controversy:

"After the match there was international condemnation of the refereeing conduct and decisions. Allegations were rife that the match was fixed, something that the FIFA officials brushed away. Ghandour was rumoured to have received a car from the FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon, a South Korean, in exchange for favouring the home side in the quarterfinals. These allegations prompted Ghandour to threaten legal action. Eventually Ghandour chose to end his career under a cloud of suspicion."

The way the game was played should matter to your talk because it reflects Korea's tradition of playing dirty at national sports when the limelight is on them.

Just like the 1992 Seoul Olympic boxing scandal. Just like almost every speed skating event. Just like Kim Yu Na crying about the Japanese bumping into her during practice time until Orser told her to stop acting up. Hell, in the only country where StarCraft is raised to the level of a national sport, guess which one is marred in a cheating scandal.

The real topic should be less about what football did to the national psyche but rather why it's okay for Korea to cheat or display the poorest of sportsmanlike conduct at national events especially when it's on home soil.

As I said, Park Ji Sung was the only thing worth saving from that team (a player, mind you, who would have never had a chance to shine if it wasn't for Hiddink). His goal against Greece in the 2010 World Cup, for example, was a thing of beauty.

That being said, now that he's gone, there's no need for a Korean national team if they continue to play as they do. Notice who won the 2006 World Cup? Italy. 2010? Spain. Could Korea even win the Asian Cup? No. They bring nothing but controversy and bad playing and outright thuggish sportsmanship. They've superseded Italy as the team to hate yet if we do, we'll have an army of zealous Korean fans threatening us for not praising their football. The sooner they're gone from the national stage, the better for everyone.

So, I have to disagree with you: It's important to talk about how they cheated through the 2002 World Cup, because that's inherently entwined with their once-every-four-years fervour over international football, poor sportsmanship and zealous yet mindlessly rabid fans (posers?) following "Korean heroes."

Note, however, that I keep quantifying. If ever they start to play real football, with skill and sportsmanship... basically if they had a team of Park Ji Sungs, I'd be willing to give this team a second chance. Until then, I root for everyone else when they play Korea.

This is Me Posting Is An Idiot said...

You are an idiot. Tell me a team that has not benefited from being the home team. Ask the Italians in 1990 World Cup - or the English / Geoff Hurst goal in 1966 final. Or the Spaniards in 1982, Mexicans in 1986, Ohno in 2002 Salt Lake - the list goes on and on.

To cite Wikipedia as a reference source - that shows how legitimately backed your arguments are.

You just can't take it that Koreans are good in football. Koreans did beat Italy, after all in 1966.

Roboseyo said...


hi there. You're free to disagree with This is Me Posting, but TIMP is a longtime reader and has been respectful to me and other commenters in my comment discussions. Please extend the same courtesy. Disagree, but choose a different commenter nickname that isn't also a personal attack.


This Is Me Posting said...

@This Is Me Posting Is An Idiot

I'm not sure what your username is trying to tell me. Perhaps you should clarify a little more.


RE: Wikipedia - Fair enough. It seemed to me that Wiki had it described succinctly and I did take the time to review the cited reference that it linked to - something you obviously failed to do. Here's the quote from the BBC story which you can check for yourself here (

The Spanish sports daily "AS" accused Ghandour of accepted a Hyundai car as a "gift" from Fifa vice-president Chung Mong-Joon.

This was to influence him to give crucial calls in favour of South Korea. Ghandour threatened to sue for libel at the time.

But months later, he admitted that he has made 'some controversial decisions' in his career.

The wiki quote summed that up quite nicely, I think. Next time, please do your own research.


1966 - A World Cup WELL before my time. Awesome. At least that goal was legitimately controversial and need modern technology YEARS LATER to prove that it wasn't a goal.

Both of Spain's goals against Korea in 2002 needed INSTANT REPLAY. Your argument holds no water, is completely hypocritical if you're Korean and supports Korea's cheating in 2002. Well done.

As for Korea's win against Italy in 1966, I do believe that was NORTH Korea, if I'm not mistaken (which I'm not). I have absolutely no problem with the North Korean team. They play far more honourably than South Korea does and they played as well as they could in the group of death in 2010. Congratulations on taking credit for another team's victory, by the way.

1982 - Are you fucking serious? Spain scored ONE goal the entire 1982 World Cup in a 2-1 loss to West Germany and finished DEAD LAST in it's group. It was a humiliating outing for the host country.

Are you REALLY going with this argument? Like, really?

1986 - This was the second time they made it to the quarter finals, but they progressed no further. I can't find anything online about bias and I was really young at the time, so if you have a better memory of it than I do, I'd be willing to look over any games you'd like me to look at for proof of bias. Just let me know which game they benefited from and why and I'll take it from there.

1990 - The Italian team was really strong that year. Of course they had home field advantage, but they would have placed either way. Italy finished first two WC prior and 2nd in the following WC. You're talking of a WC calibre team here, at a strong point in its history. What's your point? Controversy here, please?

2002 - Fair enough. I understand your point that there might have been home field advantage there. Personally, I believe Kim Dong-Sung blocked Ohno. Feel free to disagree with me. Still Dong-Sung acted with more class than the rest of Korea and subsequent Korean skaters. Korea is a dominant force in speed skating, I would never deny that, so there's a place for them in international speed skating competitions. My point - again - was "why [is it] okay for Korea to cheat or display the poorest of sportsmanlike conduct at international events especially when it's on home soil"? The reaction of Korea's fans and subsequent Korean speed skaters following the 2002 Olympics would fall under the "poorest of sportsmanlike conduct." Because Korea's conduct was disgraceful and an insult to sports the world over. Cause more bomb threats, please. Shut down more websites, please. Threaten more athletes with death threats, please. Walk out on more athletes while they're performing, please.

So, thank you for bringing this up and proving my point.

This Is Me Posting said...

Lastly, no I can "take it." Because Korea is awful at football. Awful. I'll say it again so that we're perfectly clear: South Korea is awful at football.

They tend to lack defensive strategy and have weak support from the midfield with the exception of Park Ji Sung. (Incidentally, I also thought Lee Chung-Yong & Park Chu-Young played really well in the 2010 WC and in typical Korean fashion, Korean "fans" and media tore into Park Chu-Young when he accidentally scored an own goal off a bad bounce. I had to defend Park Chu-Young's play from Korean "fans" because Korean "fans" don't understand the slightest thing about football and how bad bounces work. No, better to tear into a guy for making a mistake.) They are a team that relies heavily on, and thus far, wins on luck (like they did against Nigeria in 2010). Their biggest problem is having quick strikers that have no one feeding them the ball properly.

Scratch that: Their biggest problem is that they grab, hit, and throw players as if football were a Taekwondo match. Korean players are dirty. In the video of the 2002 WC, you can see Korean players elbowing people in the face, kicking people in the head and holding onto jerseys in front of linesmen. They play with their elbows high and they tackle high. In the 2010 WC, I noticed a slight improvement during their opening match, but they fell back into their same old patterns of manhandling in the later matches.

I counted at least three throws by the Koreans on Japanese players in the 2011 Asian Cup in the second half alone.

That's not football.

Don't tell me what I know. And don't presume to think you know more than me about this topic because you are sorely mistaken, buddy.

If you want to prove to me that the Korean national team deserves to be in international tournaments, fine. Back it up with arguments instead of insults. You've done nothing so far but proven my points exactly. You're digging your own grave - and the grave of the Korean national team - even further.

Roboseyo said... I've written about poor sportsmanship from my host country in the past (see above) and I am a firm believer that in sports especially, what goes around, comes around. In the comments to that post, readers have provided lists, and links to lists, of other incidences of poor sportsmanship.

Sports stirs up passions, but the incidents listed in those comments are the support people usually bring up when making the case that TIMP is presenting.

I think it's great when Koreans get excited about their sports heroes... but if Korean players are finding success in a way that leaves a sour taste in the mouths of sports fans from other countries, that's a real shame.

This is Not Me Posting said...

This is Me Posting - thanks for making a generalization about Korean football and its fans. It's people like you that perpetuate the racist generalization.

If you watched Koreans play the Australians in the Asian Cup, where was the "they grab, hit, and throw players as if football were a Taekwondo match." Didn't see any of that. Physicality is part of football - that is why players like Roy Keane, Nicky Butt, Gattuso all have a place in football. Why aren't you mentioning the elbo that Kim Tae-Hyung got in the Italian game and the italian player was not even carded. Now, Korea may not be the best, but they did beat Greece, draw against Nigeria and got into last 16 where they lost to Uruguay. I don't think you can call a team that got into last 16 in a World Cup that they did not host - an "aweful" team.

Lots of your "generalizations" without any backing up proves you know nothing about football and proves my point as well. Just as Korean players were phsyical against the Japanese, so were the Japanese players against hte Koreans. It's called "football".

Sure, there are Korean fans that are idiotic - internet does bring out idiotic fans. But do I call Americans idiotic for all the crap you see on the net? Now, I work in HK with lots of smart and idiotic people from all races. I do not generalize an attribute of one idiot to the race of such idiot - which is what you are doing.

Burndog said...

Wow! What a horrible and worthless debate. There's a Korean Football podcast on iTunes called The Outside View. It covers the K-League and the national team.

There's also a show on your own radio station called Weekend Sports (or some such) and they discuss football regularly (and without the melodrama that has played out above). You should have one of the chaps from that show call in...we talked about the Ji-Song Park retirement when I was a guest on their program back in the first week of January...they know their stuff!

This Is Me Posting said...

@This Is Not Me Posting

Took you two whole posts until you called me a racist. Thanks for proving my point. I love that it's completely impossible for me to dislike the Korean football team and their fans. No, no. I have to be a racist. Of course.

People hate the Italian team all the time. People hate England's football hooligans all the time. Are those people racist against white people? Didn't think so. But if someone doesn't like a KOREAN team, well... fuckin' racist. Makes perfects sense to me.

Get a better argument, please.

Since watching Korea play is not at all high on my list of priorities, I skipped the Asian Cup semi-final. If you'd like, I'll go and watch it but one game does not justify past transgressions. It's like saying: "We're not ALWAYS a bunch of jerks on the pitch!" Way to set the bar high.

Also, which Korea-Italy game? The one in 2002 where a Korean defence man tripped and hit Totti in the face and got him ejected? The one which then allowed Korea to play man down for the rest of the game and win? That one? So, you would say that that Korean player tackled high with his elbows up? What was your point again?

Beating Greece: I've already spoken about this. I already said this was a better game for them and praised Park's goal. Please try to pay attention.

Tying Nigeria: I've already spoken bout this as well. They tied on luck (two missed open net goals by Nigeria including one that I still can't believe happened: which does not make them a good team. It makes them a lucky team.

And yeah, I can still call them awful (no e, by the way).

Please tell me what I "generalized" without backing up. I thought I was pretty thorough with points, video links, article links and reasoned commentary. If you'd like to tell me exactly which part I generalized, I'd be more than happy to debate that with you.

The Japan-Korea game was a physical game, granted. But I felt Korea much more so. Feel free to do some research and prove me wrong.