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Old 23.01.2015, 06:34 PM
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49ersfanzuk 49ersfanzuk is offline
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Default Watching American Football in the UK (BAFANL)

I'm looking into the BAFANL. I live in London so my two local teams are the Warriors and the Blitz, who I understand to be two of the best teams, and that they took place in the 2014 Brit Bowl. It seems like even for the bigger teams in the league such as the Warriors and the Blitz, they don't seem to attract much of a crowd, but this still sounds like something I would like to see. My question is has anyone been to a BAFANL game or know someone that has, and what was your experience from that game. Is it something worth going to and following, or is it a waste of time?

Last edited by 49ersfanzuk; 23.01.2015 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 23.01.2015, 06:44 PM
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I've been to see my local Uni team play a few times and enjoyed it. It is to American football what Sunday league is to the premiership.
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Old 26.01.2015, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 49ersfanzuk View Post
I'm looking into the BAFANL. I live in London so my two local teams are the Warriors and the Blitz, who I understand to be two of the best teams, and that they took place in the 2014 Brit Bowl. It seems like even for the bigger teams in the league such as the Warriors and the Blitz, they don't seem to attract much of a crowd, but this still sounds like something I would like to see. My question is has anyone been to a BAFANL game or know someone that has, and what was your experience from that game. Is it something worth going to and following, or is it a waste of time?
It's hard. You can go and watch any of the games and stand at the sidelines, a lot of teams have bars and food because they use rugby/football team venues as their gameday locations. Just make sure you check out whether its a home/away game as they do travel around a lot.

Either way, if you love grassroots football you'll still enjoy it, even with a small crowd. If you want a crowd, best to go to the Brit Bowl which attracts a bigger crowd - not massive, but respectable.

Equally, I'd also argue the fact that if you don't give it a chance and go down to watch some games because 'there isn't a decent crowd', it's a catch 22. It'll never grow because everyone's holding out for someone else to go too. Know what I mean?
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Old 26.01.2015, 10:51 AM
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A friend of mine plays for the Blitz, i've been to see them a couple of times and as people have said it's like 'Sunday League' for football. If you like the game you'll enjoy it!

It's made me get the bug though and this year i'm trying out for the team!

Crowds aren't huge, but the people who do go are real fans of the game. The Blitz also play in a European cup competition, so when the foreign teams come over that's a lot of fun when they bring their fans with them. I recommend going down once the season starts in March/April time.
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Old 27.01.2015, 01:33 PM
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Is it something worth going to and following, or is it a waste of time?
Go along for a few games (not just one) and make up your own mind.

Attend a home game of both of the teams you're interested in.
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Old 28.01.2015, 06:51 PM
matello matello is offline
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I think the "Sunday League" does an injustice to the two top teams, who are both based in London. Physicality not far short of Div 2 college ball, skills & execution more like High School level (due to amateur status, limited practice time). Both teams far more committed than average Sunday team. When they play each other crowd will be circa 500 but we don't manage games like the US so limited in terms of the fan experience. That said you will get closer than any NFL game - close enough to hear / feel the hits.
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Old 31.05.2015, 01:38 AM
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The London Blitz have reached the IFAF Champions League final four. It's something like the second/third division of European competition, after the Big6 and EFL.

Unfortunately for them, the funding doesn't seem to be great at this level. They've been forced to crowdfund to raise the travel costs:

Quote:
[From LondonBlitz.com]

We thought that wins against Spain and France's top teams had got us through to the Final tournament somewhere in Western Europe until... the finals were awarded to Belgrade, Serbia.

As an amateur team without a sponsor this year our players and coaches all bear the costs of competition and the Eastern bloc has really got us stumped and this is where we need the help our friends, family and supporters!

The Blitz are fundraising to help get us to the Final Four. We won't be travelling flash harry style and all our players and coaches will be still be paying but we really need help to cover the costs of our bus (yes, bus!) as we trapize 1,500 miles across Europe in pursuit of taking on the best American Football teams in the continent.

Help us get there and we promise to share pictures and videos the whole way to show the full experience and represent London and Great Britain to the best of our abilities! How ever much you can spare you know that it will be massively appreciated!

Help get the Blitz to the Final Four!
So, that's that. They've set a £10,000 target for travel and accommodation, and made over a quarter of the money in the four days since it started. They haven't announced what they'll do if they make, say, only half their target.

A wider issue is, who funds the IFAF? And could they have organized the final 4 better so that the Blitz didn't have this uncertainty?

In 2014 the Blitz played one away game, near Paris. So far in 2015, they hosted Aix of France, and had an away trip to Madrid, winning both games to qualify for Belgrade.

The final four is scheduled for July 24-26, 2015, and might be shown on Eurosport. These are the four qualifiers as group winners:


As far as I can tell, the Thonon Black Panthers (France) might also struggle to afford it, but their very rich sponsors increased their cash input by 30%. The Panthers also have a fan wall, although not specifically for the Belgrade trip.

The Karlstad/Carlstad Crusaders (from Sweden) don't seem to have the same problems, but I think they're a bit more used to planning long foreign trips, and they seem to have a good deal of financial support from fans.

Maybe it wasn't possible to hold it somewhere more central and neutral, like Berlin or Munich. And then, all four teams would need to afford to travel.


^ The Blitz in 2011 in Spain for the old EFAF Cup (pic: wobblecam)
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Old 31.05.2015, 10:56 PM
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I watched Tamworth Phoenix overwhelm Yorkshire Rams today, in front of a 'crowd' that was outnumbered by the players on the pitch.
Whilst the Rams were certainly no better than Sunday League I would suggest that the Phoenix are some way above that, and deserving of a better audience and facilities. The golden era back in the 80s, when the likes of the Leicester Panthers would often get crowds of up to a thousand, still seem a very long way away.
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Old 01.06.2015, 10:09 AM
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I'm 2 stops away from Finsbury Park, seems like a good idea to pop over.
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Old 05.06.2015, 11:05 AM
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We've mentioned the Blitz's European worries, but the London Warriors have an exhibition game in Austria, live online this weekend.

https://forum.nfluk.com/showthread.ph...48#post2186348

In that thread I talked down the Warriors' chances... hope I'm proved very wrong!
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