Once upon a time in [NFL] Europe: Admirals From The Venice Of The North

Source: Amsterdam Admirals Facebook Page
NFL Europe: Great city of Amsterdam, capital of Netherlands, crowned as The Venice of the North! Home for one the best NFLE Teams, the Admirals!

The Amsterdam Admirals were formed in 1995 as part of the NFL's plan to restart the World League of American Football, to be based entirely in Europe. The Admirals were one of three new teams, the others being the Scottish Claymores based in Edinburgh and the Rheine Fire based in Düsseldorf, Germany, to join the old World League's European Division teams: the Barcelona Dragons, the Frankfurt Galaxy, and the London Monarchs.

The Admirals began playing their home games at the old Olympics Stadium, built in 1928 for the Summer Games. They played there for two years until the Amsterdam Arena was completed in 1996. When the Admirals were forced to schedule their last home game of the 2000 season against the Claymores away from the Arena as Euro 2000 preparations were finalized, they made a return to the Olympics Stadium in what turned out to be one of the most unusual games in American football history. The end zone at the north end of the stadium was ruled unsafe by the officials as the surface was in poor condition, so it was decided that the teams would change ends at every change of possession and play towards the other end zone.

They qualified for the 1995 World Bowl with a 9–1 regular season record, but lost to the Frankfurt Galaxy by a score of 26–22. Ten years later, on their 11th year of existence, the Admirals won their first World Bowl by defeating the defending champion Berlin Thunder 27–21 in the championship game's 13th edition.

Famous NFL players that played for Admirals and you didn’t know.. Hmmm, lets see, this may surprise you!

-Adam Vinatieri, (season 1995) K/P, still playing for Colts. He has played in five Super Bowls, four with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts.

-Kurt Warner (season 1998) QB, played for Rams, Giants and Cardinals. Warner would go on to be considered one of the best undrafted players of all time, following a 12-year career regarded as one of the greatest stories in NFL history. Super Bowl Champion with Rams in 1999. and two times Conference champion. In Admirals he led the league in touchdowns and passing yards. Incidentally, his backup at the time was future Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme

-Jake Delhomme (season 1998) QB, played for Saints, Panthers, Texans, Browns but also for NFLE Frankfurt Galaxy. He was assigned to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe as a backup quarterback to future NFL and Super Bowl MVP, Kurt Warner.

-Shaun Hill (season 2003) QB, still playing for Detroit Lions, before them played for Vikings and 49ers. Went undrafted to Vikings and in order to get more experience, Hill spent the Spring of 2003 with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe, where he led the league in passing yards and tied for second in touchdowns.

-Ruvell Martin (season 2005) WR. Still playing for the Bills, also played for the Packers, Seahawks and Rams. Martin was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2004, but was waived before the season began. He re-signed with the team in the following offseason and was allocated to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe. Martin earned All-NFL Europe honors after leading the league with 679 receiving yards and twelve touchdowns for the 2005 World Bowl champion Amsterdam Admirals.

Interesting thing for European readers is that Sergey Ivanov (S), Russian player from the Admirals last season 2007th, is on a International practice squad in Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2008th. But there were two more players sharing the same destiny, Japanese WR, Noriaki Kinoshita. Noriaki was on the practice squad of Atlanta Falcons 2007-2008. In season 2009th he played for The New York Sentinels, team that played in the United Football League. Carl-Johan Bjork, Swedish LB, played three seasons for the Amsterdam Admirals and has also been on the practice squads of the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals as an International practice squad player. Still active and playing for the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes.

Ship called Admirals is far gone...

Nikola Davidovic