TDEU Blog: It's Been A Year Already!

  • Hurry up! Draft is about to start! 
  • Share your screen, let's draft the QB, take Vick! 
  • But guys, Brady is available! 
  • Take Vick! He can run, he can pass! 
  • Do you want me to draft him just because he's black? 
Kicker brought more fantasy points than Vick. What a mistake to make, but it all started there. Having couple import buddies helped me have a new perspective on football. They showed me football is not just a game. Listening to issues Shane, Kendral and Chris had with their team, made me think. How to effectively make a line between good and bad?

"TDEU is something that arrived out of interest of a woman about hearing imports and players story. The idea in my opinion was crazy but brilliant! I was behind, supporting, and forcing Mia to make this crazy idea a perfect reality. What TDEU has done in 12 months because of Mia is amazing and it will only get better. Trust Me!" says Shane Jackson.

All it took was a bet and a crazy idea. Someone made me a bet to create a business with a 20 EUR budget. Challenge accepted. → Buy → Confirm Payment 

With 8 EUR budget left, I needed people. Lots of them. Nikola Davidovic. Shane Jackson. Lance Kriesien. Tony Simmons. Vinnie Miroth. Jean-Francois Nicollet, Ben Jones. Lovely designer Sanja Bilinovic. Etc. Along the way more awesome people joined in where now, the most active ones are Lance Kriesien, Charles McCrea,Wojciech Andrzejczak, Nikola Davidovic, and, can't forget the "everyone's favorite blog" by Aki Jones!

Of course, all were forced into it.

Sanja instantly knew what is the image she'll be creating: “Main idea for the logo was for it to be catchy - and what is more catchy than a football? It's all about catching that football. I wanted something that will, from the get go, tell that this site is the right place for football players, hence the lace and the elliptical shape that also indicates that this is a whole world of great opportunities, guidance, tips and knowledge. One stop sports central, entire European football scene interlaced.”

All I knew is that Sanja has to make it look good. And she did! She was the first chain in our circle.

“TDEU first birthday.. Mia asked me to write something about our beginning and first steps of this website. A year ago.. Just couple days after we discussed the details, Mia had the site template, logo, and we started to build a team of correspondents all around the world. In a few weeks we had the website working... Honestly, I didn't believe that we can launch the damn thing and all of a sudden we were going global. We came to the point that we'd have pending articles, because we couldn't keep up with publishing. ” says the co-founder Nikola Davidovic.

We started with team reviews. Imports would fill out a form with various questions. From there we made our own Hall of Fame of TDEU Approved Athletes. We wanted to highlight both import and domestic players and coaches who you can't go wrong with. Nikola was all over the place collecting news. Jean, who's originally a photographer, was trying to edit all of our “foreigner-english-typos” while I was stealing his photos like there's no tomorrow. 

We needed lots of content, ASAP. And big names. The very first interview was just that. Mike Karney – The Hammer, former fullback for Saints and Rams. He didn't care we were just starting, he agreed to do an interview. And he was awesome. He even took couple photos just for us, so it would be more personal. It's still one of my favorite interviews. One more interview was truly special. Kanorris Davis. We talked right before he signed with an NFL team. I remember he was giving me names of all teams that were interested. I kept saying - you'll sign with New England, you'll sign with the Patriots. Guess what! What made the interview so special was his story and the message it carried - you'll just have to type in his name in the search bar on the site and read it. And Mike's interview as well!

We were teaming up with different media outlets in order to exchange articles, big ups to Gridiron TV, Sports Takeoff, 6 Point Athletics, American Football News. I wanted to establish this “project” TDEU within the first 3 months. Make it look like it's been out there for years. The feedback was great! 

We didn't want to stop there, we came up with the idea of hosting free Webinars to help domestic players/coaches. First trio to host one were Shane, Lance and Vinnie. Right before the webinar something came up and I literally put Lance on the spot. He had to start the webinar and host it along the way while doing his part as well. Hands down, he did great!

Lance Kriesien knew he will have to be a part of it - “I got involved with TDEU similarly as most things involving Mia, I was told that I'm going to do it. All jokes aside, I was approached with the concept of the website and knew immediately that I wanted to be part of it. There is a real void in Europe concerning media coverage, quality news, and information for imports/players.

I'll have to be honest, one of my favorite segments on the site is the Aki Jones' weekly publication on how to be a proper import player. He writes as if you are sitting down with him having a beer, but at the same time it is really good stiff that everyone ought to hear! I love the battle of the athlete - we all love competition. And finally I am a huge fan of what the TDEU Approved Athlete means: here, teams can visit a list of players that are quality/impactful people on and off the field. As this idea grows along with TDEU, I know some special things are on the way! 

Can't believe it's been a year already!! Here's to many many more: ziveli, cheers, prost, salute!”

Meeting some of the most amazing individuals is the best part. Especially one bright mind in particular – Charles McCrea. All it took was one call. Today, we don't work for TDEU only, we do manufacturing as well. Best part was when McCrea was forced to go to Women's World Championship and represent TDEU. He did a great job! 

“Mia made me get involved with TDEU. I seen something that will change EU for the better and involve The States into our EU football world. My favorite thing on TDEU has to be the Hall of Fame! Recognizing some of the accomplishments both import and domestic players achieved on and, more importantly, off the field, is what's so amazing about it. 

I also did some “leg work” for TDEU at Women's World Championship in Finland, and it was one of the best moments of my life! I had a chance to see football from a different side, and it was great to show that women can play football as good as men!”

Besides having a rep at WWC, our “Jewel” - Wojciech Andrzejczak also did an amazing job – he was reporting live from the Polish Championship, as well as the German Bowl. However German Bowl was a bitter-sweet moment for us. Only one media pass got approved, and we had two people going there. After the small “incident”, we did our job, however, the support we received from German fans was unbelievable! Thanks Germany! See y'all soon again!

We had lots of “weird” situations, where some didn't think we're “big” enough, or sometimes we were getting completely ignored. We got yelled at, threatened, some tried to influence us etc. But it's all fun. There's a special place in my heart (my memory is not big enough), for everyone who got insulted by one word – NO. But, for everyone who thinks we're irrelevant – NFL disagrees. Proud that the NFL recognized our work and granted us with publishing rights to their content. 

A lot of times we get that we're not covering the domestic players enough. On the contrary, we do. But, we don't know every team out there. Most of the times if something isn't covered it's mainly because no one responded to our e-mail. Also, we'd TDEU Approve more domestic guys if they had the highlights. Sometimes, all it takes is to reach out, tell us your story, or get involved in what we do. 

Even with all the struggles we had over the last year, I wouldn't change it for anything. Working with such great individuals, meeting new ones along the way, and actually doing something “constructive” that doesn't benefit just us is the best part of it. I am so proud, grateful and everything that applies, to everyone who is taking out the time from their schedule to help TDEU be what it is today and grow even more. Having a loyal team like this one is a dream come true. Long live TDEU!

Mia Bajin, 
TDEU owner/founder