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CATCHING UP WITH THE EUROPEAN WORLD LEAGUE EXPERIENCE
Published May 18, 1995
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).