I'm living in France and working as an English teacher in one of the most rural sections of the country. The capital of this region is around the size of Lansing and the people are extremely kind and welcoming. The city is trying to put together an amateur football (OUR football) team and of course they looked to me for help because not only am I American, I also once played the game. So I go to practice and the coach is sporting a Chad Henne Michigan jersey and wearing a block M hat. I was just beaming. "You're a Michigan fan?!" "Of course I am," was his response. When I told him I'm from the state and my connection to Ann Arbor, he was instantly jealous and claimed he would make a trip all the way to the US with the sole purpose of catching an Ohio State game at the Big House. I was so proud to see Michigan represented in such a small part of the country. He knew quite a bit about the team and its history and has already converted most of his young players over to the Maize and Blue. It's just awesome and I thought you'd all be interested to know. We all know that M is well-represented around the world but it's always fun to have these encounters for confirmation. GO BLUE!
Michigan Men Around the World
Great story, that really is nice to hear. I'm kind of surprised to hear that the game is spreading over there, but it really is great for the kids and great for the sport. That and the fact that Michigan seems to be well represented is phenomenal. Keep us posted, and Go Blue.
We need corner backs and linebackers
They're getting into football in New Zealand, too. I played "gridiron" as I called it when I was over there with them. They're all about the NFL (especially with the success of Polynesians like Polamalu), but with time they'll realize which league is more interesting.
And become Hawai'i, BYU, and Utah fans forever.
forget USC. They sport quite a few themselves.
Football is slowly making its way around the globe. My little sister lived in Ireland for a bit and her boyfriend, who's from Cork, is surprisingly into American Football. He seems to know a lot more then the casual fan I run across at a bar in Chicago. Needless to say, I snuck him into Michigan Stadium last Saturday while the team was away. That, plus a trip to The Brown Jug, have created another overseas UM fan.
I've noticed that what most people from Europe and Oceania say about american football, what they don't like initially is that it stops so much. These tend to be fans of soccer and rugby, which pretty much flow continuously.
However I don't think this is a real problem, after all in soccer it may continue almost non-stop but there's tons of time where the ball is just being dribbled around in the backfield. It's an illusion. And they like cricket for gods sake, so slow pace can't be too much of a problem.
It's just familiarity. Soon our football will dance on the graves of all other world sports!
Agree with you 100% on the familiarity thing. Most American soccer haters give the same complaints that nothing happens for long stretches. Then they complain that there isn't enough scoring in soccer, but prefer baseball over cricket where they score like infinity points a game (I still haven't figured out how to tell who won when they show the boxscore on SkySportsNews). Anyone who thinks soccer is girly because players beg for calls and officials can decide close games has never heard the bitching and moaning that roars up in every American sports bar when there is a possibility of a pass interference call or a play needs to be reviewed by the replay booth.
All of these sports can and should be enjoyed by people the world over (especially when played at their highest level) because watching sports is way better than 99% of life's other activities.
That being said, cricket is still pretty gay.
Haha dude, c'mon. you had me until that little jab on cricket... no reason to hate on it. Just know that it is possible to be a fan of hard hitting, fast paced american football as well as the more finesse based cricket. It makes for some damn exciting games. Even the ones that last 5 days (and yes, one version of the game is actually meant to be played over five days and has something called a tea break (i know, i know this isn't helping my point at all)).
+1 though for the accurate statistic at the end there.
Point being, cricket is awesome. football is awesome. Sports just make life more interesting.
wants to know if there's a Wal-mart in your town in France.
What a d-bag that Caputo is.
Caputo is skilled in the not-so-awesome art of douchebaggery. And football is definitely making strong inroads not only in France but all over the world. One of the players here competed at the World Juniors in Ohio over the summer.
with the coach in his M gear, if you can. I'd love to see it. Where are you? We drove around France for 10 days back in '99 and had a fantastic time.
I play College (University) American Football in the UK and theres over 40 teams I think registered with the BUAFL (NCAA Football of the UK). Last year we had 12 or so D3 guys come over for a week with Endicott College head coach and an ex Indiana Defensive Captain. Surprising how big it is here. I know guys who've played Youth as well. Theres also a Senior league that plays over the summer.. I've wondered why theres no such thing in the US?
Glad to see that we have fans as far as France. BTW, hows the food?
Sorry double post... let me add that the season opener will be played in front of 2000 people. Pretty big for us as college sports is not as big as in the US
What region are you in? Limousin? Auvergne?
needs to bring this guy to Renaissance
When I worked in rural Costa Rica last summer, we were touring a coffee plantation, and the guide asked us all where we were from. When I told him Wisconsin, he said "Oh, the Green Bay Packers!" Turns out his church had done an exchange with one in Wisconsin, and they had driven them up to take a look at Lambeau Field.
The capital of this region is around the size of Lansing and the people are extremely kind and welcoming.
don't you mean "... but the people are extremely kind and welcoming."?
Great story. Thanks for the post.
Because you live in France and I live in Nebraska. Wowie. Lots of corn. Yay me.