The beloved Tottenham Hotspur player Son Heung-Min escaped mandatory military service after he helped his home country of South Korea beat Japan in the final of the Asia Games in Indonesia yesterday. It is a great for Son, as he is a hardworking joyful player who now gets to live out his career without having to worry about 22 months away from the game. Regardless, the rule for mandatory military service seems slightly ridiculous out of context.
If I ran a country, I would make sure mandatory military service is not a thing to begin with. Why? People should be able to choose their career paths, regardless of some of the practicalities that mandatory service may serve. Countries like Israel and South Korea may indeed need mandatory service but again you have the right to choose what work you want to pursue, and to me mandatory service gets in the way of that. However, if you are going to have the rule, it is strange that you would make exceptions for Football players after they win a tournament. What did they do for their country that someone else did not? Why are athletes allowed to get special treatment if they do well? Is representing your country only about the result? To me, it is brutal for all the players involved that their futures hung in the balance over winning a football game. While I do not know what I would say in its entirety, however I can say that this pressure was unnecessary and unfair to someone like Son and the rest of the South Korean national team.
Yesterday also featured Michigan’s very first football game of the season, which they lost by a final score of 24-17 to Notre Dame. It was great to see both teams back on the field, as it is one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. It is also good to know that Michigan is not hiding from difficult opponents, when we push our players it makes our program better as a result. However, Notre Dame were simply the better team, and we deserved to lose by more than we did.
Jim Harbaugh came into Michigan and seemed to be able to do no wrong. Now, the questions will begin. I personally do not think it is fair to put him on the hot seat yet, as this is the first game of the season and we have a long way to go before we truly know what kind of football team we have. It is still reasonable that Michigan wins nine games which for any school would be a fine season. However (uses James Earl Jones voice), This is Michigan, and Michigan will not be happy with good enough. He has turned our program around since the Brady Hoke and Rich Rod days, however his novelty to make any team incredible is beginning to fade. Questions remain and by the end of the season, I hope for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh’s sake that the team plays better than it did last night.