When a Mammoth Goes Down


Kikinda Mammoths, Serbia One drop. Then another one. Then a third one. It wasn't sweat, despite it was a sports event. It wasn'...

Kikinda Mammoths, Serbia
One drop. Then another one. Then a third one. It wasn't sweat, despite it was a sports event. It wasn't rain, despite it was a cloudy day. It was a tear. Tears. Of whole team. Whole town. Of whole country. It was a special moment in time when everything stops. His heartbeat has stopped, too. And this was a response. From the heart.
In biggest fire in history of Serbian nightclubs, fire that took six lives, one was his girlfriend's. She was in the toilet when sparks under the stage started the catastrophe. Whole nightclub was on the fire very soon, and five people have stayed trapped in the toilet. He wasn't, but he didn't want to leave her. Fighting through the smoke and stampede of several hundreds of those who were in panic while fighting for their lives, he started to run toward them. "Contrast". That was the nightclubs' name. Contrast. That was his choice. To run all over the blocks, like he used to do in all those trainings. To help his team-mate. His life-mate this time.

Renato was his name. Young, 21-year-old defensive end of one of youngest Serbian American football clubs, "Mammoths" from the small town of Kikinda. Slant here. Twist there. Rip. Swim. Bullrush. He didn't want to hear his friend's cry from the outside "Renato, don't go back!". He was a Mammoth. And his small herd of two was in danger. Life one.

All of his efforts were successful until he reached the goal. The door was blocked. Old building has started to collapse right there, in front of him and his beloved one. There wasn't fresh air anymore. Just fire and smoke. He knew it was all over for those five behind the door, but he still tried. And tried. And when his lungs started to explode, he was still trying. His last run was toward the main door. And right there, yard before it, he fell down. Last gasp. Last breath. But there was no air anymore.

Renato Vukovic died one yard from the main door. One yard. He died while trying to save lives of his friends. His girlfriend. He was Mammoth. Young one, but real one. And Mammoths play not for their own, but for beloved ones. For their herd.

It was Sunday, April 1. Not a Fool's day in Serbia this time. Six lives vanished, and his team... They, as whole country, stayed in shock.

Day before the catastrophe, Mammoths should have played against Sremska Mitrovica Legionaries, oldest, 10-year-old club of American football in Serbia. Renato was new starter in the team that got football pads less than two years ago. He planned all: trip to Sremska Mitrovica, then to near-by city of Sabac, to spend a weekend with a friend. But, that game wasn't about to be played.

Due to huge protests, all of northern Serbia roads were blocked days before the scheduled event. So, the game has to be called off, and Renato called off his trip to Sabac. He stayed in Novi Sad, where he studied, and decided to have fun there. At Contrast.

One week has passed after he passed away. Mammoths didn't have a single training. Instead of that, they were at funeral. And then, on the following weekend, they were about to play against much experienced team, Sombor Celtis, one of favorites to go back to Superleague.

Sunday, April 8. Kikinda, town of 30.000 citizens, was still in mourning. And Celtis have come to took what's theirs. Another victory in 1st League, win against inexperienced, shocked, and team that's just on the beginning of their road.

First drive, and it was a touchdown for the visitors. Second drive, another one. Branko Radosevic as quarterback connected both times with great tight end Predrag Mandic, who was fourth in Serbian Superleague's MVP race two years ago. And there was no help from the sidelines for underdogs. Instead of Renato, it was his mother on the Mammoth's bench. And his family. Large photo of him, candles and two crossed roses.

First touchdown of Renato's team-mates, scored by Aleksandar Acimov, was enough for applause of several hundreds who came to watch the game. But, when he came to the sideline and kissed the photo - everything has stopped. Then ovations has started, despite it was clear that underdogs can't win this game.

It was 14-37 at the half-time. As expected. But, something wasn't expected to be seen at the field. Next to it.

"Are you okay?", asked one of Mammoths his team-mate who used half-time to sit next to the big Renato's photo.

"Yeah. I'm okay. Just speaking with our brother. I know his watching all of this from the above, but still, we don't want him not to smile during our game, right?", was the answer.

And, Mammoths made their passed young lineman smile again. They won the second half 14-7.

One drop. Then another one. Then a third one. It wasn't sweat, despite it was a sports event. It wasn't rain, despite it was a cloudy day. It was a tear. Tears. Of whole team. Whole town. Of whole country. It was a special moment in time when everything stops. His heartbeat has stopped, too. And this was a response. From the heart.

Darko Nikolic


{"widgetType": "below grid","widgetLabel": "Pass-Sporting","widgetColor": "#da1010","widgetCount": 5}
{"widgetType": "carousel posts","widgetLabel": "SafeBet","widgetCount": 3}

30+,3,6 Point Athletics,1,Aaron Hernandez,1,Aberdeen Roughnecks,1,AFBO,1,AFDL,4,AFVD,1,AFWB,1,Aix en Provence Argonautes,2,Aki Jones,2,Allan Price,1,Allgau Comets,6,Alphen Eagles,1,American Grit,1,Amsterdam Admirals,1,Andrija Geric Blog,1,Angel Duchesses,3,Angels Torun,5,Antonio Roane,1,Aquile Ferrara,2,Arlanda Jets Women,1,Arnhem Falcons,7,AUC Titans,1,Austria,3,Avala,2,BAFA,2,BAFL,1,Behind the scenes,2,Belfast Trojans,6,Belgrade Blue Dragons,4,Belgrade Vukovi,9,Ben's Diary,1,Berlin Adler,13,Bialystok Lowlanders,2,Big6,2,Birmingham Lions,1,Blog,94,Blue Mountain State,1,BOA,3,Body and Mind,24,Body Sculpting Club,1,BookerASE,1,Bosnia,1,BoxVideos,15,Brazil,2,Brian Casey,5,Budapest Cowbells,2,Bulgaria,1,CAAF,1,Calanda Broncos,3,Camp Trieste,1,Carlstad Crusaders,1,Catania Elephants,2,CEFL,63,CEFL Bowl,2,CEFL Cup,7,CFL,1,Champions League,3,Christopher Griggs,1,Cineplexx Blue Devils,1,Clayton Banner,1,Club'ing EU Style,2,Coaches Corner,6,College Bowl,1,College Football,2,Columbus Givens,1,Comets Life,2,Coventry Jets,1,czechfootball,1,Czechia,1,D'Elancourt Templiers,2,Damnyans Corner,6,Daniel Kelly,8,Daniel Levy,3,Daniels Diary,2,Danube Dragons,1,Demetrius Sumler,1,Denmark,1,Deric's Diary,1,Diary,23,DJ Hernandez,2,Domestic Signings 2014,3,Domzale Tigers,3,Draft,3,Drills and Workouts,6,Dublin Rebels,2,Dundee Hurricanes,2,EAC,2,EAFL,1,East City Giants,2,Edinburgh Wolves,1,EFA,1,EFAF,2,EFLI,2,Egypt,1,Eidsvoll 1814s,1,Einhejrar,1,ELAF,2,ELF,1,Elite,33,Elite Top 10 Domestic 2013,5,Embo's Diary,3,Embo's iPod,1,Endzone TV,1,Enschede Broncos,4,Eurobowl,6,Europe's Elite,2,Evan Harrington,1,Ewa Susmarska,2,Exploring The Off Season,17,Featured,9,FFEC,1,FIDAF,11,Final Four,2,Finland,5,Football vs Football,1,France,2,Gabriel Chambers,2,Gdynia Seahawks,6,German Bowl,1,Germany,8,GFL,11,GFL2,2,Giessen Golden Dragons,1,Golden Bears,1,Graz Giants,1,Greg's Diary,4,Gridiron TV,6,Halifax Harbour Hawks,1,Hall of Fame,74,Hamburg Blue Devils,1,Hassleholm Hurricanes,1,Helsinki 69ers,2,Helsinki Wolverines,2,Helsinski Roosters,2,IAFL,1,IceBucketChallenge,2,Iceland,1,ifaf,10,IFAF Europe,6,In The Trenches,8,India,2,Indjija Indians,2,Instructional,7,International Prospects,3,Interviews,56,Ireland,18,Israel,1,Istanbul Koc Rams,5,Italy,6,itc,1,Ivan Nedeljkovic,1,Jabari Harris,1,Jagodina Black Hornets,3,JCL Graz Giants,4,Jeel Bowl,1,Jeff Scuran,1,Jimmie Russel,1,Johan Stal,1,John Trana,3,Jonesing,1,Joshua Henry,1,Juaquin Iglesias,1,Junior Tigers,1,Kangourous de Pessac,1,Kickers Diary,3,Kiel Baltic Hurricanes,1,Kikinda Mammoths,2,Kragujevac Wild Boars,17,Kraljevo Royal Crowns,5,Kristina Fruza,1,Kuwait,1,Kyle Callahan,1,Ladislav Jensik,1,Lazio Marines,2,Les Gones De Lyon,1,Leszno Hunters,1,LFA,1,Limerick Vikings,2,Ljubisa Preletacevic Beli,1,Ljubljana Silverhawks,7,London Blitz,1,Lubeck Cougars,2,Luka Vujnovic,1,Malaga Corsairs,1,Manchester Titans,1,Matic Pirnat,1,Mic Brown,2,Micd up,3,Micheal's Diary,1,Milos Nestorovic,1,Mind and Health,11,Modling Rangers,1,Moscow Bruins,1,Moscow Dragons,2,Moscow Patriots,2,Moscow Spartans,1,Munich Cowboys,1,National Teams,2,Netherlands,4,New Yorker Lions,1,News,475,NFL,2,NFL 2013,86,NFL 2014,9,NFL Color Rush,1,NFL Combine,3,NFL Draft 2013,41,NFL Europe,4,North Kildare Reapers,5,Norway,3,Novi Sad,1,Novi Sad Dukes,13,Orebro Black Knights,1,Orlando Webb,1,Osijek Cannons,1,Oslo Vikings,3,Osnabruck Tigers,6,Osos Rivas,1,Oxford Saints,1,Pancevo Panthers,5,Pass-Sporting,7,Philippines,1,PLFA,42,Plovdiv Wolves,1,Podrzi,1,Poland,33,Poznan Patriots,1,prague black panthers,1,Prague Lions,1,Pre-Draft Analysis,34,Prejudged,1,Pro Hunt,1,RaiZe,3,Ravensburg Razorbacks,1,Rhein Fire,1,Rise & Grind,1,Romania,1,Russia,3,SAAF,12,SafeBet,4,SAFV,1,SAJL,1,Samo Jako,1,Scam Alert,1,Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns,1,Scotland,2,Scottish Claymores,1,Seahawks Sopot,1,Seamen Milano,1,Sebastian Serrano,1,Serbia,27,Shamrock Bowl,8,Siegfried Gehrke,1,Silverbacks,1,Slovenia,2,Spencer Wood,1,Split Sea Wolves,1,SportsTakeoff,2,Srdjan Stanojev,1,Stirling Clansmen,3,StPetersburg Griffins,1,Swarco Raiders,8,Sweden,3,Switzerland,2,Talib Wise,1,TDEU Approved Signings 2014,7,TDEU Blog,11,TDEU Heroes,13,TDEU101,3,Team Cover Story,19,Team News,5,The Extra Point Podcast,4,The Life Of An Import,1,The Takeover,5,The Water Bottle Challenge,1,Thonon Black Panthers,3,Tim Tebow,1,Tony Touchdown Simmons,2,Top 10 Domestic 2017,8,Top Players 2013,4,Top Plays 2013,9,Top Uniforms,2,TopLiga,3,TouchdownTV,1,Trever Hardin,1,Triangle Razorbacks,2,Trinity College,1,Tristan Solo,1,Tychy Falcons,4,UAE Falcons,1,UK,6,UKRedZone,4,Under Armour Camps,9,Uniform Design,2,UniWatchers,3,USA Football,1,USFAF,1,Valerie Durussel,1,Veteran Imports,3,Video,217,Vila Velha,1,Vojin Milic,2,Warsaw Eagles,2,Warsaw Sharks,1,Wasa Royals,2,Waterford Wolves,5,Webinar,3,Weekly Highlights 2013,16,Why Haven't You Signed Them Yet?,3,Wikingowie Gdansk,1,Wojciech Weekly,12,Wongs Wisdom,1,Wroclaw Devils,1,Wroclaw Outlaws,1,Wroclaw Panthers,11,WWC 2013,27,Xenith,1,Zagreb Patriots,2,Zielona Gora Dragons,1,
Touchdown Europe: When a Mammoth Goes Down
When a Mammoth Goes Down
Touchdown Europe
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content