China’s ‘Friday Night Lights’: Chinese kids tackle American football

Chinese kids tackle American football. Image: Thomas Peter / Reuters via Yahoo News Photos.

Chinese kids tackle American football. Yahoo News Photos / Reuters.

YAHOO NEWS — A pint-sized running back takes a handoff and scrambles across the goal line, spiking the football for a last-minute win. It could be any school field in America, but on a warm spring night in Beijing the star of the game is nine-year-old Lisa Li, one of the best players in China’s first American football youth league.

“I was so excited. Before I ran for the winning touchdown I thought to myself I just had to score,” Li said as her Eagles celebrated a come-from-behind 24-20 victory over the Sharklets.

Li plays running back and linebacker in the 16-team Future League run by GSG Sport, a Beijing company promoting America’s most popular game to parents seeking a new sport for children.

American football lags far behind soccer and basketball in China, but the huge potential market of 1.4 billion people has caught the attention of the National Football League.

This year’s Super Bowl championship was streamed live for the first time in China, where 1.5 million mostly young fans watch weekly NFL games on digital platforms.

Taking a page from American high school football, Future League games are held on Friday nights, complete with uniformed referees, cheering fans and a camera crew for post-game interviews.

Pictured: All the tea in China

After the process of making Longjing tea, Wang Yuebao shows the tea boxes that she sells. Roman Pilipey/EPA. More images below.

After the process of making Longjing tea, Wang Yuebao shows the tea boxes that she sells. Roman Pilipey/EPA. More images below.

Photographic artist Roman Pilipey who captured these images has created an amazing visual for us. Viewing them makes you feel as if you have been there. All the tea in China in pictures. Published by The Guardian.

All the tea in China

According to a legend, tea was first discovered by the Chinese emperor Shennong in 2737 BC. Today China is the world’s biggest tea producer, producing 2.43m tonnes last year. The tea industry in China employs around 80 million people as both farmers and pickers, and in sales.

Employs 80 million people. That’s a lot of people. — VGrF

Image Credit

Roman Pilipey/EPA. Friday 2 June 2017 03.08 EDT.

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Last updated: 9:01 pm EST.