May 1st, 2012

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Mayday performs for 200,000 fans in China



It was a night to remember for fans of Taiwanese band Mayday over the weekend.

The five-man band held their world tour at the Beijing Arena recently, where the two-day concert attracted up to 200,000 fans. Mayday also specially built a 270m stage extension -- the longest in Asia -- for the show, which cost NT$260 million (approximately S$11 million).

To prepare for his run on the 270m stage extension, leader vocal Ashin had spent at least an hour on the treadmill; to which member Monster joked, "[If not,] he'd lose half of his life after running just one round!"

Opening their concert with the track '2012', the group used thick smoke to elude a Doomsday effect. When lead vocal Ashin began singing, emotions amongst the fans began to run high. The atmosphere in the stadium was overwhelming, after just three consecutive fast-tempo songs.

Mayday -- touted the finest Chinese rock band since their debut 13 years ago -- finally performed at the Beijing Arena for the first time, under the witness of fans from all over the world.

Ashin said, "We finally made it to the Beijing Arena on Apr 29, 2012. We'd like to thank everyone for being here to witness this special moment."

When the band performed 'Stubborn', the 100,000 fans in the audience waved a card, creating a "human rainbow" as guitarist Monster and Shi Tou played on a five-feet tall elevated stage.

Monster, who is afraid of heights, told himself, "[I] can't be scared!"

As Beijng had been experiencing heavy rain in the past few days, the group's manager even went to the temple to pray for good weather.

It is believed that both Mayday and Lee Hom had received a NT$7.5 million (S$310,000) subsidy from the Taiwanese News Department to film a 3D movie.

Mayday will release footages from their concert at the Beijing Arena as a 3D documentary. Twenty 3D cameras were used to capture videos of their performance, with hopes of getting the best visual effects.

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Chinese kicker Long Ding will try out for Jaguars



Chinese kicker Long Ding will try out
for the Jaguars over the weekend at their rookie minicamp, the latest stop in an incredible football journey.

Ding's story is one that could inspire other international players. He first played football in 2007, as part of the IFAF / USA Football International Student Program. 

From there, he landed at Division 3 Norwich University where he was twice named ECFC Special Teams Player of the Year.  He didn't miss a kick inside of 40 yards in his final season. Norwich isn't exactly on the NFL radar, but Ding was invited to the NFL Regional Combine in New York and was then invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine in Detroit.

In short, Ding is the longest of long shots. He traveled 7,000 miles before he really played organized football games, and then wound up playing for three different schools. Now he'll participate in an actual NFL minicamp, even if it's just as a tryout player. 

The NFL would love to expand its borders beyond just the United States. Earlier this month, IFAF (International Federation of American Football) appointed a Country Administrator in China to create a governing body and establish a plan for developing youth football.

Ding's trip from an international student program through tiny colleges to the newly formed Regional Combine is a great sign there are new paths emerging for players hoping to make the NFL.

Check out his Twitter @KickingLong

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WOW. Seriously good luck to him. I hope he makes it~