What a January -what with all the astonishing transfers lately. While the Bundesliga is still not back from winter break, other parts of Europe still provided some action this weekend -let’s take a look.
Before we being – to ring in the new year, the Tavern has a new contributor: introducing Tim Lee, he’s from Canada ‘ay (love Canada – during the dark ‘Bush league’ years, I contemplated moving to the North). Tim’s instructions: to summarize the roundup with twitter-esque brevity. Tavern studio Canada delivered! Here’s Tim:
Weekend Roundup January 17 & 18
A tremendous thank you to Tim Lee. As before when Jae and Jinseok joined the Tavern, I hereby solemnly promise not to treat Tim as poorly as I do the Tavern statistician (Ban Ki-Moon is set to visit with me to ensure I am abiding by the UN charter on human rights. Bloody liberal – what about my human right -to violate the rights of others, eh?). To add more to Tim’s report, last Tuesday in a Spanish cup match Kim Young-‘Kiu’ surfaced and played the last 13 minutes in a surprise 2-0 loss to Racing Santander, a 3rd tiered team. Though he was fast, Kim hardly got the ball – with the team as a whole playing poorly to knock themselves out of the tournament.
Tagging on to Park Chu-Young’s ‘appearance’ on the bench for Arsenal, I had earlier tweeted about using newly trained Jedi mind control skills to get Park into a game. Epic fail. I wasn’t about to try that again, having fired my resident Tavern Jedi master/trainer/gardener (I still want my money back you phony F*#)$_@# …jedi master my ass). During the 2nd half, as Arsenal was enroute to victory over Fulham, I got this tweet:
@taeguk_warrior care to conjure up your newfound Jedi powers one more time today?
— DANIEL YOON (@THEXDANIMAL) January 18, 2014
So tempting. But if I failed to exert Jedi mind control over Wenger via twitter, it would be another humiliating fail, in full view of the public. Still, what the hell, I went for it:
@THEXDANIMAL I’ll try but Jedi mind control difficult with Arsene the Wenger. Here goes: you will put Park Chu-young in the game …
— Roy Ghim (@taeguk_warrior) January 18, 2014
The game was over in a flash. Wenger used 2 subs and no Chu-Young. M&#($F*)@#!$ —no more Jedi tomfoolery. I’m done with it. From now on, I’m going to a voodoo priest. Coincidentally I just happen to have an Arsene Wenger doll…
BTW, yesterday writer John Duerden wrote a piece for ESPNFC, advocating for Asian pro football to look to the MLS as closer cousin in DNA, rather than European football leagues as a practical model to emulate. While I’m not exactly enamoured of the MLS and the quality of football here, he does make some good points. I’m not in 100% agreement with him, but ok – Lee Young-Pyo is learning a lot, studying the Vancouver team structure and the MLS from all angles, hoping to take what he learned in Canada (a nod to our new writer Tim – Vancouver the city fucking ROCKS!) – to help give some direction to the Korean FA and the K-League. The latter is struggling for attendance in it’s establishment of proper support. Like I said, I may not agree with everything John said, but worth reading to digest over…
Epilogue: epilogue in a blog post? Anyway, it just turned January 20th in the early morning hours. Happy MLK day in the US. It is worth noting the struggle for civil rights in this country has been a long and arduous one, a sacrifice of not just one man, but of millions of people we will never hear about in most history books. The Dream is not yet complete. As a Korean-American, I didn’t grow up with the idea that we were people of color in this country. It took me quite a while to come to that realization. It was in fact when I joined an art punk band while living in Portland, Maine – Derek Jackson, our frontman and crazy rad singer – called me a fellow person of color. He’s an African American. We had bi, queer, straight, white, black, yellow – all part of one of the most insane patchwork-coming-together-in-a-band I have ever a part of. And you know what, it was a blast. I’m not with the band, Hi Tiger anymore, having moved the Tavern down to Maryland. Still, Dr King’s dream is real, it’s on, it’s still evolving, but it takes work. Having the ‘race’ conversation – it might be a party buzz killer, but it’s worth crashing the party for. Who are we as Koreans, part of the diaspora spread out from post war chaos, and how do we fit in as members of this experimental United States of Everywhere but nowhere? How is it I can celebrate the peace activist that embodies Dr King’s philosophy and the freedom fighter Ahn Jung-geun who assassinated a Japanese colonialist governor, Hirobumi Ito, in 1909? China, a government very short on their human rights record, opened a museum in his honor as a massive extension of Korean president Park Geun-hye request for a simple monument errected at Harbin Railway Station in Heilongjiang, China. Ahn also happens to be a celebrated anti-Japanese fighter over there. The Choson Ilbo described the memorial center, and the negative reaction last November by the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who referred to Ahn as a ‘Criminal.’ Liberation struggles have used different strategies. Violence and non-violence, war and peace. There are many paths. And yet, Korea is at technical peace with Japan. Trade is normalized. War has only manifested itself in friendly haniljeon football matches. Here’s the tie in: football. Koreans still have grudges towards the Japanese – at least in the context of their brutal occupation/annexation/aparthied installed in Korean in the early 20th century. And yet, Shinji Okazaki and Park Joo-Ho are good friends and have partnered in producing goals for Mainz. Now Koo will be partnering with Shinji and Park. Could the Dream apply in this different context – that people of our tribes get past the horrors and injustices of the past – forgive yet never forget – but move forward and work together for the common good of humanity (that is, win football games in Germany). At least when it applies to Mainz, let the goals tally roll, whether it be Japanese or Koreans who score. BUT When it comes to the haniljeon, I will wish the other team good luck – I will cell text some friendly trash talkin’ with my Japanese friend in Colorado, and then I will sit back to find a fuzzy stream on the ‘internets’. I will work for the Dream, I will die for the Dream, but for 90 minutes, fuck the dream, we is going to kick some Japanese ass…and after that, everything is alright – the Dream is back online. The text post-game will continue the friendly trash talk (emphasis on friendly). I will shake my head when listening to the right wing nationalists on all sides of the China/Korea/Japanese border with their hot air. And I will continue to wonder…and to Dream. Have a good night and Happy MLK Day ya’ll.
…you still here? Oh yeah, you might be wondering about my old band in Portland. Got you something. The old Tavern owner used to be a rocker (Check out the shirt I’m wearing).