Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Collegiate and "Professional" American Football in Korea: Teams, Rivalries and Fans

Here's the question:
You wrote about the KAFA league earlier, but what about college football? Any rivals or fans?
The KAFA is an association that's actually bigger than I thought. It's comprised of the TKAFA (Taegu Kyoungpook American Football Association)SAFA (Seoul American Football League), BAFA (Busan American Football League), KNFL (Korean National Football League). From what I can tell though, the only thing that really matters is the Adult Teams (사회인팀) which consists of six teams and the College Teams (대학팀) which consists of 34 teams.

There are a bunch of  teams in the leagues (Korea Times has a little write-up that should clarify how the whole collegiate league works), but from the looks of it, they don't all play. Of those that do, the best two college team  meet each other in their championship game, the Tiger Bowl. The winner from that game will go on to play the "adult" team winner of the Kwangeto Bowl in the Kimchi Bowl (Korean Super Bowl). Judging by this video, however, the Kimchi Bowl (played in Namjangju) gets very little attention. This year, the Pusan National University Eagles beat the ADT Caps 34-13. Get excited Busanians!!! 

As far as rivalries go, I imagine they tend to follow the academic trends which means all SKY schools hate each other and the rest of them just try to beat the better school. So why no fans or real interest? Most Korean men join the military after two years of college. That gap certainly hinders genuine dedication to the game from both fans and athletes. The Korean system isn't great for college sports at this point in time. Additionally, it reminds me of what the Korea said,  

"...although Korea often has amazing displays of fan support for their athletes, it is fair to say that Koreans are bigger fans of their country rather than being fans of a particular sport."

Simply put, college ball simply isn't nationalist enough.


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Unknown said...

Hey you have write exciting figures about the game i don't know before that the college teams were also go for adult team after winning. Watch Football Games

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