Daughter gives Hungarian Bowl MVP Darrell Tate new purpose

Darrell Tate’s return to Hungary and the Budapest Wolves was definitely a welcome one.

Behind the power running of Tate, the Wolves captured the Hungarian Football League title defeating the previously unbeaten Fehérvár Enthroners in the final 18-7.

Still, the season did not take the path that the Alcoa, Tennessee born running back had thought. In fact, 2021 was a season of surprises in Hungary. The Enthroners seemed to be one of the top contenders for the championship trophy based on the regular season. The Budapest Wolves seemed to be the only team that could compete with the defending champion. But, the capital city club did not start the season as expected and had to compete with the Győr Sharks for a spot in the Hungarian Bowl.

The Wolves were blanked by the Enthroners 26-0 during the regular season so were definite underdogs in the final. That’s when Tate made a difference with an MVP performance, rushing for 85 yards and two touchdowns, returning the title to the Wolves for the first time since 2018.

Photo: László Tenk

The last time Tate played for the Wolves was in 2015, when he helped the team reach the final only to be beaten by the Bratislava Monarchs. In 2016, he joined the Nyíregyháza Tigers and made it to the semifinals. Since then, he has played in Germany and Poland as well. And he has also gotten married and received the gift of fatherhood.

American Football International: Congratulations on winning the Hungarian Bowl and getting the MVP trophy. How did you feel after the final?
Darrell Tate: Much thanks! I felt a huge feeling of accomplishment after this final. This was my second year with the Wolfpack after being with them 6 years ago in 2015, and to come back and win the HFL championship with your brothers is an amazing feeling.

AFI: This seemed to be the first time this season that the Wolves seemed this focused.
DT: As a team, we went through some unusual adversity this season. Starting off with a sour 35-28 loss after being ahead 21-0 in the first quarter. Then losing 26-0 to a team we knew we could compete with. My message before the championship was that the Wolves are the only team that can beat the Wolves! We changed the tempo and intensity in our preparation and it paid off greatly.

Photo: László Tenk

AFI: Your main advantage was the running game. Was this the whole plan?
DT: I believe we found our true identity in the semifinal against the Győr Sharks. We without a doubt had the best RB core, so we’d be able to handle a heavy load of reps if given the opportunity. That allowed everything else to fall into place and it lessened our mistakes. Our opponent had nothing to capitalize off of.

AFI: Why did you return to the Wolves?
I had actually signed to play in Mexico’s LFA but COVID-19 pushed the season back to 2022. I wasn’t about to go another year without football! I knew Hungary would have a shorter season than usual. Also, combined with the fact my wife hadn’t been with her family in Serbia since 2018, and my daughter still hadn’t met her entire European side of family, this presented a great opportunity for us to come back out for a short season before Mexico came into play.

Photo: Darrell Tate Facebook

AFI: Your personal life became more important in the past few years. You are married, and the father to a marvelous daughter. How did it change your life?
DT: Most definitely! Our daughter, Kalina added a whole new element of GRIND to our lives. She has given us added purpose, motives and especially gives us a million reasons to smile every single day. A true gift from God.

AFI: You also have the Pro Hunt Agency which helps players to get to great clubs in Europe. How successful do you feel the Agency’s work?
DT: Since 2015 we have helped teams from every continent except Antarctica find quality players and coaches for their organizations. It’s been a huge success for teams financially and logistically. For athletes and coaches, we have created an easier pathway for them to start their overseas careers. It’s growing more and more each year!

Photo: László Tenk

AFI: Do you have your plans for the next season or years?
DT: I’ve always been focused on my ultimate goal of making it to the NFL. Obviously my journey has been very unorthodox, but it is my journey and path that God created. I am embracing it. I now have an incredible opportunity to go play in Mexico, and I know I’ll be networking there and seeing what also shapes up with Pro Hunt and other ventures.

László Makranczi is a radio reporter, announcer and American Football journalist in Hungary. He lives in Debrecen and works for the Hungarian American Football Federation. Studied at the University of Debrecen, got a master’s degree in American