Professional American football is back in Europe! The newly formed European League of Football announced yesterday that it had agreed to terms with the NFL for the naming rights of two former NFL Europe teams.
NFL Europe ran until 2007 and essentially served as a farm league where NFL Franchises could send players who were not quite ready for the big leagues. One notable NFL Europe Alumnus is Kurt Warner, who played for the Amsterdam Admirals.
The inaugural European League of Football season is scheduled to kick off this summer, and will initially have 8 teams with more to be added in seasons to come. These are the Hamburg Sea Devils, Frankfurt Galaxy, Wroclaw Panthers of Poland, the Barcelona Gladiators, Stuttgart Scorpions, German Knights 1367 Niedersachsen, Ingolsatdt Praetorians and an as yet unnamed Berlin franchise. It is expected that the number of franchises will be expanded depending on the success of the league.
French national team head coach Patrick Esume has been tapped as the Commissioner of the league.
If the league flourishes, then it is only a matter of time before teams outside of mainland Europe are added as franchises. The UK is an American football stronghold, and was previously home to the London Monarchs of NFL Europe. And while it is unlikely that our wee island is awarded a team, there are plenty of players here who could more than hold their own in a professional setting!
For more on the new European League of Football, check out the official site at www.europeanleague.football/
Stay tuned to Gaelic Gridiron for updates!