Geoff Buffum leads Calanda Broncos into Swiss Bowl XXXV

The Calanda Broncos will be looking to win their fourth straight Swiss title Saturday when they play the Bern Grizzlies in Swiss Bowl XXXV.

This is the third time since 2015 that these two teams have faced each other in the Swiss championship game. Calanda beat the Grizzlies in the 2015 title game and Bern returned the favor in the 2016 championship. Geoff Buffum was the head coach of the Broncos for both of those games and is now looking for his fifth title as bench boss of the Broncos, and fourth straight.

In other words, Buffum is fully aware of the quality of opponent he and his team faces.

American Football International: After everything that has happened over the past two years, what does it mean for you and your team to be playing in the Swiss Bowl?

Geoff Buffum: I think now is the time for all of us to stop thinking about the challenges we have faced and begin to move forward into the future.   The players have endured a very long, very uncertain set of circumstances and have earned their place in this game. Both teams.  Tomorrow is their reward for this perseverance.

AFI: It takes a complete team to win a championship, but every group has something that makes it special. What do you view as your team’s greatest strength?

Buffum: It’s hard to pick one thing.  A lot of these players have been playing together for five years or more now. Many players began playing while they lived in Chur and still play even though they moved to another part of the country now.  I think the lengths some of these players go to to be part of the team says a lot about the Broncos.

AFI: When you reach a game of this magnitude, there is no questioning your opponent’s talent. What aspect of their game presents the most challenges for your team and how will you combat them?

Buffum: They have a very strong front-seven on defense and they have a balanced attack on offense.  Both teams will try to play their best game and whoever comes closest to doing so will win.

AFI: This is not the first time your two teams have met this season. What did you learn from those previous matchups that you can apply to the rematch?

Buffum: The two games could not have been more different.  I don’t think we have seen a game where both teams play up to their potential. If we do tomorrow, the fans are in for a real treat.

AFI: Football is a game of matchups. What matchup (individual or positional) do you think will have the biggest impact on this game and why?

Buffum: As in all big games, the battle in the trenches will have a huge impact on this game on both sides of the ball.

AFI: What message will you have for your team before you take the field?

Buffum: Most of our players have squared off against Wroclaw, Swarco, and Schwäbisch Hall in the past two seasons.  They know how to prepare to play big games and this will be another big game that we get to play in. If we’ve learned anything in the last two years, it’s that nothing is promised to us.  We have to seize the moment we are in.

Watch the Swiss Bowl live here. Kickoff is 18:00 CET (6 pm, 12 noon ET)

J.C. Abbott is a student at the University of British Columbia and amateur football coach in Vancouver, Canada. A CFL writer for 3DownNation, his love of travel has been the root of his fascination with the global game.