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How Younghoe Koo became a Pro Bowler (and a cultural phenomenon)


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Long article so just posted the first few paragraphs. Didn't see this posted.



How Younghoe Koo's career went from NFL nightmare to the Pro Bowl

IN SEPTEMBER 2017, 23-year-old Younghoe Koo was living the life he dreamed up for himself way back in middle school. A few months after graduating from Georgia Southern as a first-team all-conference kicker, Koo signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent. He beat out the incumbent, Josh Lambo, in training camp and was about to become the fourth player born in South Korea in NFL history. On the day he made the Chargers' roster, he became a social media sensation after a clip of him doing a backflip and kicking a field goal went viral (it has now tallied more than 2.3 million views and 8,400 retweets).

"It very much felt like a dream," says Ava Maurer, Koo's girlfriend since eighth grade.

But the next four weeks were more like a nightmare. The Chargers went 0-4. Koo made just three of his first six field goal attempts, missing a game-tying attempt against the Denver Broncos in the season opener and a game-winning attempt against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. A month into his first professional season, Koo found himself walking out of the Chargers offices a free agent, his locker packed up into bags.


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