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SBD/10/Leagues Governing Bodies
THE NFL'S SECOND EUROPEAN EXPERIMENT KICKS OFF
Published April 10, 1995
The World League of American Football debuted on Saturday in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Almost three years ago, the NFL "abruptly pulled the plug on its first attempt to create a global football community," but now the league has returned with a "scaled back" WLAF with six European-based clubs playing a 10- game schedule. Fox and Reebok are both partners with the NFL on the new WLAF. But, "rebirth pains ... have been difficult." Dusseldorf Coach Galen Hall said "there's an awful lot to get done off the field, too and manpower is short." In Atlanta, Len Pasquarelli writes that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue wants to generate more "spectacle than sport" to help fulfill the "vision of a 21st century that includes and NFL division composed solely of clubs in Europe." Barcelona Dragons Coach Jack Bicknell: "It's a marketing league. The goal is to create an event." Christopher Davis, who covers the league for the London Daily Telegraph, said the NFL "will be more interested in greenbacks than in quarterbacks" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/7). In Tampa, Pat Yasinskas writes the WLAF "plans to focus on developing European interest in football and games won't be televised on American television" (Pat Yasinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/7). ESPN reported that only 7,168 showed up in Amsterdam to see the Admirals lose to the Dragons. ESPN showed highlights of the London Monarchs/Frankfurt Galaxy game ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 4/8).