K-Advent Day 11 – Half-time Events
Half-time events have changed quite a bit since we at 48 Shades HQ were cutting our teeth on the terraces back home. I especially remember my half-time normally consisted of being sent to fetch a fresh bovril by my soon-to-be brother-in-law, a practice I gladly passed on to his nephew some 18 months my junior, I guess even back then I was laying the foundations for the cut-throat world of chaebol office politics. Not to be left behind in the wake of other sporting events the K-League has also embraced the concept of ‘we need to give them something to cheer about as that last 45 mins was rank rotten’. Most of the K-League Classic teams have some kind of HT giveaway competition with some aiming to reward your knowledge of football, some your dancing prowess and in FC Seoul’s case the ability to stick a finger in the air while smiling gleefully like a demented chipmunk on helium.
The prizes on offer for these events are generally some kind of club merchandise such as a scarf or hat, although FC Seoul push the boat out and give away the amazing prize of GS vouchers, an act that surely comes under the heading of ‘we want the chaebol money just not their name in our team’s name so we can pretend to be a club of the people’. At Seongnam they have a HT dance-off in which the winner has the opportunity to win a 42-inch TV or a scarf, no difference there obviously. This dance-off also gives the cameraman the chance to audition for the next World Cup as he spends most of the interval scouring the crowd for females. But for us at 48 Shades Tower you can keep your merchandise, your shameless product-placement vouchers nay even your TVs as there is only one thing we want at half-time and that is a tractor!!! Yip you read it right a tractor! Not content with trying to steal our hearts by being the ‘Army’ team Sangju Sangmu also like to parade tractors around their stadium on any given half-time. It may sound like one step away from banjo music but it is a a tad quaint and does sum up the differences between the top and bottom teams in Korea.
So if you are planning on heading to a K-League ground near you soon then remember to at least stay for the HT event as who knows if you are lucky you might just be driving a shiny new combine harvester home to tea, although maybe you will have to do with a 10,000W GS voucher which might just get you a packet of Honey Butter chips to take away the pain.