It's big in Los Angeles; will it be big in china, too?
Updated: 2011-12-22 07:43
By Chen Xiangfeng (China Daily)
The USC Trojans football team boasts a glittering record of achievements and is indisputably the most popular sport on campus.
"The biggest part of the attraction of football is the physicality of the sport," said Dion Bailey, a freshman at USC. "In college, you are playing for a chance of making pro football. You have a passion to be part of the NFL one day and make a lot of money.
"The best thing about playing the sport is the memories the friends you make, and about how we get through tough times before we become good players. Those memories are some of the best things football can give you."
USC has the nation's best bowl winning percentage (.660) among the 65 schools that have made at least 10 bowl appearances, and its 30 Rose Bowl appearances are also a record.
Athletics director Pat Haden was happy to talk about the sport with visiting Chinese media and he believes more Chinese will become interested in the sport.
"Football is such a big part of American culture. Countries like China, who are interested in American culture, they will be interested in Hollywood and they will be interested in something that makes us different," he said. "The NFL is one of those things."
Former USC defensive back John Walker visited Shanghai and Guangzhou last month as part of NFL China's promotional program and was impressed by the sport's growth.
"My first time in China was in Beijing this summer, to create a relationship with NFL China. I wanted to see if I could give back to the sport that has given so much to me.
"My second time was in Shanghai and Guangzhou a few weeks ago and it was an awesome experience. Chinese people love what I showed and gave to them. I think we did a great job of creating a platform there to build part of a foundation for a league - I believe there is a legitimate interest in the East, most specifically in China."
Walker enjoys his role as a spokesman in China and he is more than willing to pass on suggestions to those who want to get involved in the sport.
"No 1, you need a legitimate desire to become a player in whatever situation you are in. Then, you have to have the hunger and a need be a part of a family unit. Also, you have to enjoy the art of controlling your physical strength.
"I will continue my relationship with NFL China. I plan to be supportive and offer my ideas and services whenever they are needed."
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