Thursday, January 22, 2004

But We're Big In China

So last night I was watching part of the Chinese Communist Party's New Year's Eve Show and saw something pretty odd. Actually I saw a lot of odd things. But hey, I'm a determined channel surfer and watch a lot of shows and this happens to be the most watched show in the world each year - over 600 million viewers - so I decided to check it out.

Anyway, right in the middle of some ridiculous dance number, a guy comes out doing tricks with a basketball. While it didn't make much sense in the middle of a dance number that wasn't the what made the act memorable. The Chinese guy doing tricks with the basketball was wearing a DePaul Blue Demons basketball jersey.

Now that's just weird. Why on earth would this guy have on a DePaul jersey? They haven't been very good the past few years. Is DePaul sending missionaries to China? Recruiters? Who knows.

But the Chinese New Years show is famous for making entertainers overnight sensations in China. The Wall Street Journal told the story of a Chinese American doctor who was asked to appear on the show as an example of how succesful Chinese people are in America. According to the Journal:

"Dr. Wong mentioned that he liked to sing. The producers handed him a microphone. "They told me there would be a billion people watching," says Dr. Wong. He became an overnight singing sensation in China, performing in concerts and producing several records. "That's how I became famous," he says.

Visiting China last week, Dr. Wong was stopped several times by strangers asking him to reprise the song he sang on the New Year's Eve show nearly 20 years ago."

So maybe the Blue Demons can use this gift of publicity to land the next Yao Ming. Or hell, I'll settle for the next Wang Zhizhi.

P.S. The jersey was #24 but I could not read the name on the back. Does anyone know who wore #24? I can't find their old rosters anywhere. If you know e-mail me.