When I first started my blog here on patsfans.com, I said I would be trying to bring you an insight into what it is like to being a fan here in the UK, and what it it’s like to play the sport here too. So here’s my first piece; I hope you all enjoy reading it!
My first article focuses on the London Blitz, one of our biggest rivals and most dominant teams in the country in recent years. Since 2006 they have reached the National Championship 5 times and won it on 3 of those occasions! The League’s were founded in 1987, known as the British Senior League, it was divided into 3 divisions; the Premiership, Division 1 and Division 2. Division 1 and 2 were made up of divisions within itself, like the AFC and NFC are today, whilst the Premier League was made up of fewer teams, all playing each other for the title of best team in the country! The system uses promotion and relegation as an incentive to win each division’s title; the winner will progress to the next league up, and the team with the worst record gets demoted to the lower league! In 2005, the league became known as the British American Football League. However in 2010, it ceased operations and the British American Football Association formed a new league; the British American Football Association Community Leagues (or BAFACL for short), still maintaining the previous format.
The two top teams in the country, who compete for the national title in the Premiership, earn the right to play in the European Cup, or EFAF Cup for short. EFAF, or the European Federation of American Football, is the overall governing body of Football in Europe. It holds the EFAF Cup annually, with top teams from all of it’s 22 registered countries competing to be Champions of Europe!Â This is only the second highest European honour however. The EFAF set up the European Football League in 1986, where 13 teams compete annually to play in the Euro Bowl, and earn the right to be the best team on the continent!
Â No team in England has reached the EFAF Cup Final since 2004 when the Farnham Knights, then known as the PA Knights,Â lost in the final to theÂ Tyrolean Raiders in a very one sided affair! This year however the current National Champion London Blitz will be representing the UK in the finalÂ , this weekend, on Saturday 2nd July. They will be competing against Serbia’s Kragujevac Wild Boars; a team that was only formed in 2006, when Kitted Football was finally introduced to the country. It is a marvellous achievement for the team to be where it is within such a short space of time! American Football is already Serbia’s 3rd most popular sport, drawing an average of 1,000 people a game to watch!
So at 3pm, on Saturday, the London Blitz will go head to head with theÂ Â Kragujevac Wild Boars for the EFAF Cup at Finsbury Park in London. Tickets come at a very affordable price. Anyone who wishes to watch two of the top teams in Europe play will only be charged Â£7 on the day to do so, which amounts toÂ around $11! I myself will be there, putting aside our team’s rivalry in order to cheer them on, and hope they bring the Cup home for Britain!
That as my first insight into British American Football for you guys. I will be covering the game for the countries national Football magazine, Inside American Football, and the siteÂ ukamericansportsfans.com. Once my game reports are finished, will post them here as well. I hope you all enjoyed reading about the sport in my country!
On a more NFL related note, please remember to help end the lockout! NFL News is drying up fast and, as a blogger, it is incredibly frustrating with very little happening! For those of you on twitter, hash tag ‘endthelockout’.
I will leave you with a few websites for those of you interested in looking into the British game!
www.bafacl.com – The official website of the BAFACL
www.efaf.info – The official website of EFAF
www.londonblitz.com – The official Website of the London Blitz
www.wildboars.org.rsÂ - The offical website of the Kragujevac Wild Boars; to convert to English follow the homepage down the left to find the language converters!