Five takeaways from Week 2 in the European League of Football

Week 2 in the European League of Football (ELF) is in the books, and it was just as surprising as Week 1.

Here are our takeaways from the weekend.

Is American football popular in Europe?

Photo: Marvin Contessi

For decades Europeans have been telling their colleagues and potential love interests that they play American football. It is usually met with, ‘Oh, they play that here?’ or ‘Isn’t that like rugby?’. 

However, on Sunday, 32,000 people attended the Hamburg Sea Devils vs Rhein Fire game. That’s anywhere between €650,000–€1,625,000 in ticket sales. Whichever way you cut it, that’s a lot of money and a lot of people for one game. It’s more than most NFL Europe teams could attract. This is a new era for the sport in Europe. It’s going to be exciting to see what the next chapter holds.

Theo Landström is starting to scare defensive coordinators

Barcelona Dragons Swedish WR Theo Landström #14 is giving defenders fits Photo: Barcelona Dragons

In two games for the Barcelona Dragons, wide receiver Theo Landström has amassed 290 yards and five touchdowns. He is currently abusing defensive backs for fun. 

In the Dragons’ matchup against the Seamen on Saturday, Landström forced three cornerback changes (oddly, one was 5’ 8) as the opposing defensive coordinator was left scrambling for ways to stop the Swede. They were unsurprisingly unsuccessful.

What’s going on with the Wroclaw Panthers?

Wroclaw Panthers QB Matt Vitale Photo: Łukasz Skwiot

Isn’t this team supposed to be bad? They keep winning, and convincingly. Weirdly, their win over Hamburg last week was more convincing, but still, they currently look like one of the better teams in the league.

Lots of people (including myself) doubted the 5 ‘10, 154 pound Matthew Vitale coming into the season, and why wouldn’t you? Vitale played next to no college football and was playing in the Polish second division just a month before the season started. He must feel pretty good about himself at the moment, and deservedly so.

Jakeb who?

People thought Frankfurt Galaxy might be in for a contest against the Fehérvár Enthroners when it was announced the face of the franchise Jakeb Sullivan was out due to injury. This was not the case.

Backup Lars Heidrich torched the Enthroners on his way to a 48–13 win bringing into question whether Sullivan is still the future of the franchise…

This is obviously nonsense. Sullivan is a fantastic quarterback. But it does demonstrate how good the Galaxy are as a team. Without an American quarterback they can still annihilate the competition…even if it was against the Enthroners.

AJ Wentland is still making all the tackles

This is not news. This is just what we’ve come to expect from linebacker AJ Wentland nowadays. But he still deserves credit. In two games he’s made a staggering 34 tackles. His team, the Leipzig Kings, are not playing good football and will be lucky to go above .500. 

But there is a bright side if you’re a Kings fan. It’s always fun to watch a large man run around the field and clobber people into the ground.

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.