SBD/18/Leagues Governing Bodies

CATCHING UP WITH THE EUROPEAN WORLD LEAGUE EXPERIENCE

     In the current issue of SI, Austin Murphy offers a "warm
Willkommen back" to the NFL's World League of American Football
after its two-year hiatus.  "In its reincarnation the league is
emphasizing frugality -- players earn, on average $15,000 for the
10-week season -- and entertainment."  The World League
Experience, "designed to give Europeans an appreciation of
football skills," mirrors the league's NFL Experience.  Despite
new rules, an all-European focus and heavy marketing efforts,
"media coverage has been sparse, and attendance through the first
six weeks of the season has been disappointing."  Murphy notes
that the play of the European "nationals" (each team carries
seven Europeans) has improved greatly.  If 6'6" German-born
lineman Olaf hampel is right when he says that the presence of
non-kicking European players in the NFL soon will be "no big
deal," Murphy writes that the NFL's "experiment in Europe will
not seem so wacky after all" (SI, 5/22 issue).
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