I’m Playing in the Chinese Equivalent of the Super Bowl on Saturday

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As some of you may have heard, this past September I joined the Shanghai Warriors of the American Football League of China, the oldest, largest and most-watched American-rules football organization in China. Well after an absolute roller coaster of a season spanning 4 months and 4 cities (final record 5-1), we are playing in the Championship game this Saturday against our inter-city rival the Shanghai Titans, the only team that beat us (29-22) during the regular season.  The #BattleForShanghai is upon us…

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I’m sure some of you are wondering, where the hell has the content been from this? Well don’t you worry, I’ve had a cameraman at every game as well as some practices and have been working around the clock on a 7-8 episode documentary series about the season entitled “DragonSkin: An American Football Team in China” (expect the first trailer next week).  I have a rough draft of 5 episodes so far, each one approximately 10 minutes long, and I’m genuinely happy with how they’re coming out.  Each episode is a beautiful mash-up of Hard Knocks, NFL Films and Whoa That’s Weird that just WORKS. This series will have action,

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heart break,

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a healthy dose of WTF,

hoon squat

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and a tiny bit of sex just to make sure it sells

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I wasn’t always so excited about this project though. I joined the team at first solely for content purposes but the only way to guarantee I’d get any playing time was to go to practices, which were always 9AM-1PM Saturday morning. Pretty big commitment, especially when I didn’t know if the content would end up being any good. Add to the fact I’m an out of shape 30 year old who’s been putting his body through the ringer ever since I last played D5 Massachusetts high school ball in 2006, and there were definitely some dark moments where I questioned what the fuck I was doing back on the gridiron(see below photo for an example of one such moment. Still made the tackle tho thank fuck).

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But I stuck it out and in the process fell in love with playing football all over again and was welcomed in to the Warrior family. (I must note tho that most of my teammates know nothing about my past videos or Barstool and must think I’m an absolute diva for traveling everywhere with a cameraman.)

warriors huddle

Now a little more about my team in general. It’s 60% Chinese and 40% foreign(most teams have more of a 70/30 split) and only 5 foreign players per team are allowed on the field at once. While the majority of foreign players are from the US, we also have players from France, UK, Russia, and Lithuania. Did I mention we also has two female players? Remember how every picture in school textbooks used to be insanely diverse in order to be politically correct?


Well imagine all those kids grew up and joined a football team together and you have the Shanghai Warriors.

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I’m convinced that if world governments could co-operate as effectively as our defensive unit there would be world peace by next Wednesday.

The team is diverse in terms of experience and skill level too.  Amongst the foreigners you have players like me who only played shitty high school ball, and then you have folks who played D1 at LSU or at solid D3 programs like Carleton(Our Starting QB). Our most experienced Chinese players have been playing for 5-6 years and  have gotten pretty damn good. On the other hand, we also have Chinese players who have  just recently made the jump from flag football, which can be a pretty steep learning curve.

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I started the season as back up defensive end but by the time the playoffs rolled around had earned myself a starting spot.

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However, I’ve been back in the US since our semifinal game on December 9th instead of in China practicing with the team so I’m afraid I may be back to second string and special teams for the championship. Hopefully I’ll still get some solid playing time but as long as we get that W I could care less. Not only do I need to win this for my team, my city, and Stoolie Nation, apparently “The Bus” is counting on me now too. No Pressure No Diamonds. Dubs Up. #ForgetTheTitans.

P.S. it will be streamed live on Migu Livestream, at, with PPTV and AliSports NFL commentator Yan Li providing play-by-play commentary and analysis on the broadcast.