영회

 

Ah, and that name: Younghoe Koo is certainly no John Lee. Koo’s given name—correctly pronounced Young-hwe in Korean but romanized as “Younghoe”—is both a gift and a curse. It is undeniably memorable; it is also ripe for unfortunate puns, which will only proliferate as he becomes more widely known. (I say this as someone whose Korean name contains the word “Dong.”) Expect nothing but the worst on Twitter should Younghoe miss a vital kick this season.

Which brings us back to the present, and the fact that Koo’s sole claim to NFL fame thus far is being drafted by every fantasy owner of Korean descent. We need look no further than the rise and fall of Roberto Aguayo to witness a cult kicking hero spectacularly flame out. You’re only as good as your last kick, and Koo hasn’t even kicked one yet in a regular-season game. Accordingly, the Korean press has covered Koo’s story with muted interest—partly because Korean media really chase glory only after the fact (see: the instant, almost embarrassing Korean fervor over Hines Ward when he won Super Bowl XL MVP) and partly because there are far more pressing things to worry about these days.

 

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