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The Super Bowl's European Veterans

Europe seems to have boosted the careers of many NFL players: "Eight players with NFL Europa experience -- including three-time Super Bowl-winning kicker Adam Vinatieri (Amsterdam 1996) -- will be featured on the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI this Sunday, capping a season in which 201 NFL Europa veterans occupied spots on NFL rosters," reports (via EU Digest): 
Indianapolis Colts: Bryan Fletcher TE Berlin, 2003-04;  Adam Vinatieri K Amsterdam, 1996;  Kory Chapman RB Cologne, 2005 (Practice Squad);   Aaron Halterman TE Rhein, 2006 (Practice Squad).
Chicago Bears: Brendon Ayanbadejo LB Amsterdam, 2001;  John Gilmore TE Amsterdam, 2002;  Israel Idonije DE Berlin, 2004 ;   Anthony Oakley G Frankfurt, 2005.
NFL News also reports that "an elite group of players will welcome a new member after Super Bowl XLI when either Indianapolis Colts tight end Bryan Fletcher or Chicago defensive lineman Isreal Idonije adds a Super Bowl ring to their World Bowl rings. Both men helped the Berlin Thunder record a 30-24 victory over the Frankfurt Galaxy in World Bowl XII, and one of them will become the 19th player to have won a championship in both leagues. "
The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears (29-17) and is now World Champion.

Also on Sunday:
Germany's national handball team defeated Poland (29-24) is now World Champion.
Nice gesture: Germany's president Koehler was wearing a Polish fan scarf, and President Kaczyński the German fan scarf.
IHT: "Market research agency Media Control said Monday that the television audience for the final peaked at more than 20.1 million. Germany has 82 million people."
Related post in the Atlantic Review:  America is expected to win the Super Bowl


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Pinkerton on :

I just checked out the handball rules (ok, I'm a little slow on the uptake). I thought you were speaking of the handball game that I see in the US where two people will compete in a small room and they bounce a very small ball against the wall as hard as they can which puts the ball into a high speed return,which they have to keep the ball in play. I'm not too familiar with that game myself, but I see it being played in health clubs. I've never seen it as a national sport with spectators before, or a net as a goal, so now I'm really confused! I'm not sure if this is a different version of that game...

JW-Atlantic Review on :

If anybody else is interested in what handball is: [url][/url]

Marian Wirth on :

Pinkerton, apparantly you refer to [url=]Gaelic Handball[/url], which is similar to [url=]Squash[/url]. I had no idea about this game. Btw, the German word for "Squash" is... Squash :-).

Pat Patterson on :

Another NFL Europe graduate, arguably its most famous, was Kurt Warner of the 1998 Amsterdam Admirals. Warner was a NFL MVP in 1999 and 2000 as well as setting passing records in the 2000 Super Bowl where his team, St. Louis Rams, won and he was the game's MVP.

Pinkerton on :

Thank you for the explanation, Marian. I had no idea there were different versions of all these games. I guess I'm going to have to study up on these sports, it looks like I'm missing out on a lot! :-)

JW-Atlantic Review on :

There are many more cool sports: "Mikko Lampi heaved a Siemens AG cell phone 94.97 meters (103.86 yards) on Aug. 27 to set a world record and win the sixth annual Mobile-Phone Throwing World Championships in Savonlinna, Finland. Mobile-phone throwing, pioneered in the homeland of Nokia Oyj, the world's biggest cell-phone maker, is among a growing list of oddball sports to catch the imagination of Finns. A record 3,000 spectators watched this year's competition in Savonlinna, which is 334 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Helsinki and has a population of 27,431. Towns across the country draw visitors to world championships including[b] swamp soccer, endurance sauna sitting, wife-carrying and air guitar. [/b] ``People say Finns are quiet,'' said Bruno Maximus, 35, who helped organize the Tournament of Strange Pastimes on Aug. 25 in Helsinki. ``But inside there is this crazy mind.'' In the age of the Internet, homegrown contests such as carrying your wife over a 253-meter obstacle course have turned into ``world championship'' events during Finland's long summer days. Former National Basketball Association player Dennis Rodman traveled to Sonkajaervi, Finland for the July 2 wife-carrying event, which commemorates 19th-century wife stealers." More: [url][/url] You got crazy sports like that in the US?

Pinkerton on :

Hi JW! Well, here is one event that I think is funny. I think it originated in Finland, but now the US has had 7 of them. The "Wife Carry" There are also a lot of eating contests, which gross me out, but it seems that it is the Japanese who always win these events.

Markus on :

Just watch Handball on: [url=]Youtube[/url]

Pinkerton on :

Hi Markus Thanks for that video! It looks a lot like the rules are similar to American basketball...only different size ball, the nets as goals instead of a hoop. I'll have to start getting into this sport, it looks like fun, as a spectator, of course. ;-)

Markus on :

Some similarities, but handball is more brutal. Much more body contact than basketball. Some simlarities to ice-hockey.

Pinkerton on :

Ahh...that's funny, because when I first started writing my comment about the similarity to basketball, I also said hockey, but then I thought that might seem odd. Well, at least with handball they can't hit each other with sticks! I don't think they have handball tournaments (is that correctly stated?) on tv in the US. I haven't seen it on the basic sports cable stations, at least. I'll have to look into it a little more. I would also love to see some Rugby tournaments...another thing I never see on US tv. I guess I'll just have to plan a trip to Germany or something to educate myself on some least that will be my excuse for going. ;-)

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