Wojciech Weekly: The 2013 Review

What a great “Bowling season” we have enjoyed from epic Johnny Manziel performance to upsets of Baylor, Arizona State and Alabama. Not to mention the Rose Bowl MSU some kind of way post game celebration. And yes BSC with the use of Survival, you have convinced me to purchase the new Eminem’s album. 

As for development in Europe, you can now buy tickets for the NFL London series, the Hamburg Blue Devils have just pulled out of GFL 1 and teams across the continent bolster their rosters with homegrown and imported talent. And some talented football players from across the globe have just finished the Development Team program at IMG Academy in Florida. With that being said let’s have a quick look back at what happened in the European Football in 2013. 

10) Victorious Vikings – today the Metrodome was deflated for the last time and with Mike Zimmer taking over the American cousins may finally found the right guy lead the troops. Meanwhile the 2013 campaign was as well played by the Vienna squad as Radetzky’s March on the New Year’s Concert - the AFL and EuroBowl titles won in convincing fashion. 

9) American Football at the 2017 Wroclaw World Games - well if you remember the apx. of total votes 13% is not spectacular but hopefully it may be enough for Football to be included in the World Games. It can be a test if AF can be included in other multi-sport events. 

8) IFAF Development Team and Euro-American Challenge 2013 - The stages to display for international talent. Both of the initiatives provide aspiring players and coaches with a chance to showcase their talent on a bigger stage. One thing need to be said both of these programs require a financial investment but nothing in this world comes cheap. 

7) IFAF Womens World Cup 2013 in Finland The final
standings 1) USA; 2) Canada; 3) Finland - games played, points scored, medals given. For me this event is important for a different reason, in Poland 2013 marked the formation of women teams. As for TDEU we had our talented Mr Charles McCrea reporting from sidelines. 

6) Camping with Joe Montana and clinicing with Mike Zimmer – IF you have read my previous columns you may have come across the point that I love football camps and clinics. There is nothing better than a one on one session with an experienced Coach, who you can ask about the little things. So once again my tips to the people responsible for organizing those important event . The fact that you can go to Italy to work for 3 days with the greatest QB to ever play the game? Or you just drive to Germany to listen to one of the best defensive masterminds in the NFL? If there are chances take them!

5) Danish Domination of the EFAF Group Championship B - They came, they saw, they conquered. With the most dramatic game of the tournament being the duel of Italy and UK we could enjoy some good quality football. The only negative comment I have is the lack of online streaming to all the games - such a shame. 

4) International Talent at 2013 NFL Draft - With Bjoern Werner, Magnus Hunt and Lawrence Okoye taken in last NFL draft can we talk about a trend of opening NFL rosters for international talent? Can football grow global? As for now it’s hardly possible to imagine NFL teams importing talent from oversees at the scale of NBA franchises – yet I won’t be surprised if we see a steady growth of foreign players and coaches within the Organizations. The estimates show that currently only 1% of NFL’s revenues is generated outside of the USA, with that being said and the Leagues tendency to enlarge the pie… Well let’s just jump to point #3. 

3) NFL International expansion – In 2013 Wembley hosted two regular season games and this year we will have three. The NFL want to export its product and replicate the success that David Stern and NBA achieved in the early 90’s. Can it be done? That jury is still out there and the possibility of relocating NFL Franchise (Jaguars) to London can be a giant step forward – if and when it happens. 

2) American Football receives recognition by IOC - This has just been the first step in the long road toward making our game an Olympic Sport, yet it was an important one. As I mentioned in one of me previous columns, if some while applying for grants to local authorities has heard the “you are not a sport because…” now we have received an important argument. As in the case of London based franchise, NFL at Olympic Games is a sound of the future – and most likely it will be flag or beach football that will make it. 

1) The BIG6Europe and IFAF Champions League - This is my boomerang the text about current EFAF and IFAF Europe “Game of Thrones”. The latest chapter of this rivalry is the foundation of two international competitions. Big6 is invitational and limited to AFL, GFL powerhouses and Calanda Broncos. The IFAF Champions League will consist of 12 teams divided into 4 groups, with Eurosport 2 being reportedly interested in broadcasting some of the games. Can we expect any of them to become our equivalent of the Heineken Cup? Can we imagine UEFA Champions League without top 6 soccer moguls? Probably not – the stakes are too high to risk the profitable business and maybe just as one of my football friends pointed out – when I asked him about the ongoing struggle for power - there is no throne! 

Once again I would like to hear from you, share your views an opinions on the most important events of 2013. Next week we will take a look at what lies ahead.

Wojciech Andrzejczak