THE NFL'S SECOND EUROPEAN EXPERIMENT KICKS OFF
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).