K-Advent Day 3 – Kick-off!!!!!
Football can be a complex sport at times, the offside rule for example can be a tad frustrating to not only comprehend but to have to explain for the third time to the less ‘football-savvy’ among us. Other occurrences such as why do Jeonbuk get so many penalties and why Suwon Bluewings signed Hygor are worthy of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock himself. That being said though most things are pretty straight-forward and the simple practice of starting the match is definitely not a mind-blower so quite why Korean stadium announcers feel the need to inform us of kick-off by screaming over the PA system is beyond me. The fact that at several grounds the kick-off is accompanied by some pyrotechnics should be enough for even the most uninitiated member of the crowd to suss that something might have happened.
It does seem all a little OTT, and dare I say it, American. One does feel that said announcer could highlight some of the more obscure or important aspects of the match-day experience, “The ball beer girl is currently serving cold beer in the North Stand” for example. As well as stating the obvious the announcer seems to also be responsible for the more banal football chants heard ringing throughout the stadium. From the hugely optimistic “Goal, Goal, Goal” chant every time the home team wins a corner to the rather bland team name chant e.g. “Seongnam, Seongnam” which is all too often drowned out by the ‘Ultras’ singing over them. It may not be the greatest nor most respected job in the world but at least they get to watch football for free ….. although there are times when you wish you were getting paid to watch the K-League.
It should be noted that in a country that has automated construction workers directing traffic they still feel the need to employ somebody to tell us a game of football has started.