Monday, August 3, 2009

Becoming China’s First NFL Kicker

Source: China Sports Review

“Steve” Yue Wang’s eyes light up when you talk football. He doesn’t have any favorite players or memorable moments, either from watching or playing. He can’t rattle off any statistics. He’s never really played the game. These are all things the average American has done if they’re into football.

But Wang isn’t American. He just knows he enjoys football.

“I know the game of soccer, but it isn’t worth it anymore,” says Wang. “I am tired of playing [soccer]. Football is so new, and it is just different.”

Wang, a senior at Cumberland University in Nashville, Tenn., has played soccer all his life. Soccer is what Wang has to do. He’s on a soccer scholarship, which has opened the doors for an education that includes double majoring in both business management and marketing. He holds a 3.7 overall GPA. He plays jazz and blues music in his free time. He picked the English name “Steve” because he says Ray Vaughn sounds like Yue Wang (pronounced like ‘u-way wang’), and he always enjoyed Stevie Ray Vaughn’s music.

But this is a story about what Wang wants to do: Become the first professional Chinese kicker in the National Football League. And to understand what Wang wants to do, it is essential to understand where he comes from and how he’s gotten to this point.


Longshot at best. There are many good kickers in the NFL and many more coming up in the college ranks. The job of a kicker in the NFL is already one of the most stressful out there. Sure they don't get hit or anything but alot of the time, an entire game could come down to the last FG. Now add to that pressure, the hopes of an entire nation! That's just too much.

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