About this blog
My blog is about going to the match. Usually football, but sometimes baseball, basketball, even ice-hockey if there’s nothing else going on. I first went to watch my football team, Middlesbrough, nearly forty years ago and they are still the only team whose result I care about. I travel about though and so don’t see the Boro very often these days.
I started this blog when I was living in Korea and I decided that I’d keep the link with Middlesbrough by following Jeonbuk Motors. The reason for that was that one of their strikers used to play for us. Every now and then, often during a World Cup, an Asian player will catch the eye of the scouts and managers of the clubs in the West. He will head off for a better paid contract, a chance to play in a more prestigious league and the cynicism of the fans of his new club who will readily assume he has been bought mainly as a ploy to increase football shirt sales in his home country.
In January 2007 Middlesbrough made its long-awaited strategic move into the Asian replica kit market by signing Lee Dong Gook. He wasn’t a big success though and a year or so later he was gone. He had struggled to make much of an impact, scoring just two goals and, I suspect, selling even fewer shirts. But the Lion King, as we were told he is nicknamed in Korea, was the only tenuous footballing link to home that I could find and so it was him and his team Jeonbuk that I thought I’d make a point of watching. It gave me a name for the blog too.
Truth is though, I couldn’t really get worked up about whether they won or lost. It wasn’t like following your own team where a late goal can make or break your week. It was great watching the match, but I’d generally forgotten the score before the players had left the pitch. It was a shame really, as Jeonbuk had been pretty successful in the time I’d been out there and it would have made a pleasant change to support a team that had a chance of winning something.
What I found more enjoyable was the ‘ground-hopping’ thing, watching games in as many as possible of the different stadiums throughout the four divisions. That’s surprised me really, as whilst I’ve always liked ‘doing stuff’ I’ve never really seen myself as someone who ticks things off a list before.
However, once I get into something I tend to do it to excess and so I worked my way through the football stadiums, the baseball stadiums, the basketball arenas, even the horse racing tracks. I like live sport and I like seeing new places so there’s a certain logic to it. If that wasn’t enough, I’m into hiking too and did my best to get around all the National and Provincial Parks.
I write about the matches that I’ve attended mainly so that when the memories fade I’ll have a record of where I’ve been. I know from the number of visitors that the blog gets that it isn’t something with a wide appeal. In fact almost all of the hits come from people searching for bears, pomeranian dogs or celebrities in various states of undress. That’s ok though, Korean fourth division football isn’t really a subject with much of a following.
When I left Korea in 2013 and took up a new job in South Africa I intended to just let the blog float around in cyberspace and start a newAfrican one. There’s only so much change I’m comfortable with though and I like the format of this place. So, it’s now just a sporting blog, rather than a Korean sporting blog. It’ll mainly be African football that I write about, but if I get the chance to see a game whilst on my holidays somewhere else then that may very well find itself here too.
So, thanks for visiting, even if you did somehow arrive here whilst looking for photos of Paris Hilton without her blouse on.