South Korea’s Sergeant Safety knows his football
Today in Pacific Spotlight, Stripes talks with Sgt. 1st Class Charles R. Ryan, AFN Korea’s “Sargeant Safety” and an avowed fantasy football fanatic:
You’ve described yourself as “the military’s hottest (OK, luckiest)” fantasy sports player. What’s your crowning accomplishment?
Four years ago, I won the “$25,000 FOX Sports Pro-Pickem Contest by AutoTrader.com” on FOX Sports’ NFL pregame show. … I correctly predicted the Giants and Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV. AutoTrader.com presented me a new Dodge Intrepid XL.
You’re in your third year as AFN Korea’s “Sergeant Safety.” How did you get that job?
A former disc jockey, Sgt. Luke Burns, a football fanatic, heard of my FOX Sports title and invited me to do the show. Military folks like that one of their own was a big winner. I talk football but I squeeze in safety tips.
When is “Sergeant Safety” on?
Fridays at 8 a.m., FM 88.5. … We give prizes donated by businesses such as AAFES and Exchange New Car Sales.
Why are fantasy sports so big?
Now fans can watch almost ANY game on AFN and say “Come on, No. 34!” if he is on their fantasy team. Fantasy football expands past the old “I only cheer for my home team” logic.
Are you in a fantasy football league now?
Ten, in fact.
What’s your formula for picking winning teams?
1) Stats: What player goes against what defense? 2) Who needs the game more? This becomes especially useful as the season goes along. 3) Teams that come from grass stadiums play poorly on (artificial) turf.
The worst disappointment?
My first-round draft pick: QB Dante Culpepper
The best player on your team?
Cowboy QB Drew Bledsoe. Not only have I met him in person but he saved my fantasy’s team bacon!
Any picks for NFC, AFC and Super Bowl champs?
Colts over Panthers.
A favorite safety tip?
If you’re stationed in Korea, you’ve heard my rap parody of the song “Ice-Ice-Baby” on AFN: “Vest-Vest-Baby.” I truly fear the next fatality in Korea could result from someone not wearing the mandatory reflective vest when running or riding.
What keeps you from retiring?
Commanders like USFK Commander Gen. Leon LaPorte … a true soldier’s general. More recently, the 19th TSC’s commander, Brig. Gen. Timothy McHale… the driving force in getting my safety radio show peninsula wide.
What’s the most unsafe thing you’ve ever done in the Army?
Does volunteering to deploy to the Gulf War count? It took five surgeries to rebuild then-Sgt. Ryan’s left knee. … I wasn’t always Sgt. 1st class “Safety.”
Sgt. 1st Class Charles R. Ryan
Title: Command Safety noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 19th Theater Support Command, Camp Henry, Daegu, South Korea
Avocation: Fantasy sports
Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Sharen Johnson at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3305 or e-mail her at email@example.com.