Wow! My predictions for American Football in Europe Are TRUE!!

 I wrote this blog post over 3 years ago and my predictions serve correct to this day. Check it out below. 

During my 7 plus years of playing football internationally, I noticed a change. Of course the level of competition has made large strides, but what I've noticed in the past, has now started to ignite a change in European football today as we know it, all thanks to the scheduling of your favorite leagues.
At first thought, you would think that a football schedule shouldn’t have a major effect on American football across Europe, but it can! It will. It’s has and it can affect anyone looking to travel to Europe for participation in American football. Let’s begin.
Below you will find a list of some of the most popular leagues across Europe (in my opinion). Take note of when the season starts and ends.

 

LEAGUE

FEDERATION

COUNTRY

WHEN

AFL

AFBO

Austria

March-July

CLAF

CAAF

Czech Republic

March-July

National League

DAFF

Denmark

April/May- July/August**

Maple League

SAJL

Finland

May-August **

Elite Championship

FFFA

France

Jan-June*

GFL

AFVD

Germany

April-October**

IFL

FIDAF

Italy

February-June

PLFA

PZFA

Poland

March-July

Elite LNFA

AEFA

Spain

January-June*

Super Series

SAFF

Sweden

April-July

*starts before Spring    ** ends after July

As seen in the table above all of these leagues have something more in common. They all possess a league schedule that begins prior or during the Spring. How does this affect the American football diaspora you say? Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Europe's most popular American Football league schedules for more answers.
PROS
  • In some countries, the weather can get very cold, so to counteract this change in climate, they push back the season to the Spring.
  • Warm weather can influence an import player's decision to sign with a certain team.
  • The athletes and coaches get to enjoy their summer holidays.
  • It opens up more opportunities for new talent, new players and coaches who never been to Europe before. This allows the game to spread and it brings awareness to more fans of American football.


CONS
Due to all different leagues starting around the same time, it limits the pool of available, quality, import free Agents. We all know that one import who doesn’t have a difficult time getting contract offers from teams. Those are the guys who are going to be the first to go. After all the quality imports have all signed contracts, opposed to the pool of possible talented imports, who’ve been overlooked or just less experienced when it comes to playing football in Europe.


According to the late and notable American import,   Aki “NOT EURO” Jones’s blog post, Pass-Sporting: Tip:#4 “We’re Talking About Practice!!!” He gives an example of imports who are prima donnas who don’t practice and how teams frown upon that. The imports that don't know or accept the culture are the types of imports you risk signing when picking from the pool of athletes who haven't been far away from home.
For those imports that like to jump from season to season playing with 2 different teams in one year; you can kiss that goodbye because now all the leagues are going on at or around the same time with the exception of a few leagues that usually sign more imports as they approach the playoffs or if their season starts later than most. And for the rest of Europe who American football leagues isn’t that popular, they could be stuck with a lower tier imports.


What can we expect in the future of American Football in the future?
Since all of the league's decided to all host their schedules at the same time, imports are going to try to stick with their current team as long as possible to assure that they have a contract for the following season. More import players and coaches are going to express interest in long term deals. Some people may think that it’s bad for American football in Europe, but I think it will be just enough to provide motivation for teams to step their game up and start to find new and creative ways to bring in and keep imports on their team. Extra perks, cars, Master's degree programs, job opportunities, etc. All of these things are available and can be negotiated and I'm sure the team will use it to attract more import players and coaches in the future.
What else do you think we can expect in the future? Keep it real and comment below.


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