American football in the Austrian Alps

I love football; well… the word love might not be a strong enough word.

Watching football on Sunday was extremely important in my family, and no… Im not talking about the sport with the round ball that 11 guys kick around a field for 90 minutes, I am talking about American football, that sport with men in shoulder pads and helmets throwing an egg shaped ball around a field for 60min (… a lot longer if you take all the game breaks into consideration). I’ve been a football fan as long as I can remember, but I had no idea that the sport was quite so global until I moved here to Austria. It was my moving abroad that showed me that everyone loves American football, even here in Innsbruck!

The basics

At first, the game may seem complicated, but if you give it a chance, you can catch on pretty quick. The basics are simple: move the ball towards, and ultimately into, the opposition’s end zone. You can do this by running or throwing the ball downfield while the opposition tries to stop you by tackling the ball carrier to the ground. A team has 4 chances to make it 10 yards (about 10 meters) and if they succeed they get another 4 chances or “downs”, if they cannot then the ball goes to the other team. Points are scored when the ball is brought into the oppositions endzone, which is called a touchdown, or if the ball is kicked through the opponents goal posts, which is called a field goal. Don’t get me wrong, these are just the basics, past that there is strategy and various positions and so much fun and suspense!

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In 2007, Laura graduated from an American university and then applied for an English teacher in Germany or Austria as part of the Fulbright Program. The best choice? Austria! And the rest is, as they say, history. Laura was born in Alaska, grew up