The New Frankfurt Galaxy: A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

[tps_title]A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes[/tps_title]

American Football International would like to thank The Growth of a Game for this article.

Travis BrodyCheck out the original article at The Growth of a Game.

American Football in Europe has come a long way over the past 35 years. Many local teams were established in Germany, Austria, and Italy during the late 70’s and early 80’s, and during that time, the NFL sent teams over to London and Berlin to promote their sport through friendly games in front of sell-out crowds. In 1991, the World League of American Football was established as an NFL farm league with ten teams from five different countries who played for the so-called World Bowl.

Over the course of the next 16 years, the league would go through a two-year hiatus (1993-94), be renamed twice (first to NFL Europe in 1995, then to NFL Europa in 2006), and the league would be consolidated to purely European teams. By 2007, the Frankfurt Galaxy was the only NFL Europe team still remaining from the original 1991 World League of American Football. During this time span, the Galaxy attracted an average of 31,500 fans for home games in Frankfurt’s legendary Waldstadion and its successor, the Commerzbank Arena. Without a doubt, the Galaxy was the flagship organization of the NFL’s developmental league in Europe.

On June 23rd, 2007, the four-time champion Frankfurt Galaxy lost World Bowl XV in their home stadium to the Hamburg Sea Devils 37-28. After the game, most of the 48,000 attendants left Commerzbank Arena with tears in their eyes, myself included. As four-time World Bowl champions, the Galaxy had been the winningest franchise in league history, so the loss was heartbreaking for its fans and the team’s staff. Even though their 8th trip to the World Bowl wasn’t crowned by success, many hoped the Galaxy would again challenge for their 5th title the following season.

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Björn Hesse is a contributor writer from Berlin, Germany. Having been a Frankfurt Galaxy fan since childhood, he played linebacker for the Leipzig Lions in Germany’s third league (Regionalliga-Ost) from 2003 to 2008. He worked as a PR intern for