ELF: 5 Takeaways including the most bizarre game-changing penalty

Following the conclusion of week 12 in the European League of Football (ELF), we have collated a list of the key takeaways from the weekend’s action.

1. Rhein Fire’s game-winning field goal overshadows the decisive penalty that enabled the kick

Believe it or not, the last second game-winning field goal by the Rhein Fire over the Frankfurt Galaxy was not the most interesting part of that game; it was in fact the penalty that put them in position to kick it.

Frankfurt scored, taking them up 21-20 with just 21 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. On 1st and 10, on the Fire’s own 45 with six seconds to go, Jadrian Clark tossed the ball to Timothy Knüttel who ran it in for a touchdown. However, the play was called back for a false start penalty on the Fire, putting them back on their own 40 with five seconds to go. 

It’s safe to say that the Fire would have found it nearly impossible to do much from here. But for some inexplicable reason, while the touchdown play was in progress, Frankfurt’s head coach walked out onto the field and was thus penalized 15 yards for the infraction. 

This changed the field position for the Fire completely and gave them time to complete a quick out to pick up 10 yards and put cornerback turned kicker René Hanßen in position to kick a 43-yard game-winning field goal with three seconds left on the clock.

2. Three division champs have now been crowned

After 11 weeks, the three ELF division champs have been crowned and have their playoff spots firmly set in stone.

The Hamburg Sea Devils in the north, the Vienna Vikings in the Central Conference and the Barcelona Dragons in the south. But with four teams still vying for the final playoff spot, things are sure to get juicy in the coming weeks.

3. ELF is making real headway in German mainstream media

According to ProSieben MAXX’s twitter account, the Rhein Fire and Frankfurt Galaxy game had up to 5.9% of market share on German television. 

This is not a number to be scoffed at but rather an indicator of the overwhelming success that ELF is having in its domestic market. As the league continues to grow, let’s just hope it lives up to its namesake and the sport grows in other European countries.

4. The best worst commentary of all time

This year, ELF has provided the most bemusing, quirky and downright cringe worthy English commentary ever heard in professional sport. 

This weekend’s favorite had to have been the comment after Anton Wegan’s touchdown run in the Vienna vs Istanbul game:

Wegan isn’t bringing the veggies, he’s bringing the meat’

But if we have to hear, ‘three, two, one, LET’S JAM’ one more time during a kickoff, it may be time to switch to German commentary.

5. ‘Deal with me or don’t sign me’

It was clear something was afoot with the Stuttgart import receiver/defensive back Benjamin Barnes when on Sean Shelton’s 67-yard touchdown run last week he decided to block the Raiders? For the Raiders?

During the second quarter play, Sean Shelton leaked out of the pocket and headed for the sideline, several yards past the line of scrimmage. Barnes had a clear shot at him as he approached from safety, but instead of going for Shelton he decided to hit a Raiders receiver in the back who was running across the middle of the field, a good five yards away from Shelton. Barnes later apologized for the play.

But it has since emerged that Barnes’ attitude has rubbed his teammates up the wrong way resulting in multiple complaints to Head Coach George Streeter. Barnes was cut after the Dragons game with Streeter citing his character as the reason for his dismissal.

His comments on social media appeared salty to put it lightly…

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.