The New York Times brings us the latest story of the latest US pro sports league in search of “the next Yao Ming.” This time it’s the National Football League, which is currently schooling three Chinese athletes (English names William, Rambo and Sean) on the fine art of place kicking. Where are they getting their training? The United States Basketball Academy, of course, in Eugene, Oregon. Their instructor kicks in the Canadian Football League.
Two of the Chinese kickers will be selected to play in the 10-week NFL Europe season this summer, and if they are lucky, they might suit up for the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots this August in Beijing for the inaugural China Bowl. The NYT tells us:
N.F.L. officials have insisted that using a Chinese kicker in the exhibition game in Beijing would not be a stunt, but rather a football decision made by coaches of the Patriots and the Seahawks, who have each agreed to suit up one player — not necessarily to use him.
Sorry, NFL officials. It’s a stunt.
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