Two Championship Quarterbacks Meet in Finland

In the wonderful but quirky world of American football in Europe, Micah Brown and Sean Shelton have discovered that it is possible for a player to win a championship in one country and still have time to repeat the feat in another… the same year.

However, it is only possible where the seasons do not overlap too much as each country has its own season. One of the only countries in Europe that can benefit is Finland as their season does not start until June, a time when many countries are winding up their seasons.

Add to this the fact that Finland is one of the only countries that allows direct player transfers during the football season without forcing a waiting period. As a result, the Helsinki Roosters and the Turku Trojans are two top teams in Finland to have benefited from this loophole.

Poland - Seahawks - Mic Brown

The Roosters signed Micah Brown who quarterbacked the Gdynia Seahawks to the Polish title last month while the Trojans have brought in Sean Shelton who guided the Swarco Raiders to their first Austrian championship title in four years.

So in an unusual turn of events, the two championship quarterbacks faced other this past weekend and the Roosters prevailed 42-28 to avenge their earlier loss this season to Turku. The two dueling quarterbacks had almost matching numbers as Brown completed 14 of 28 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns while Shelton was 18 of 36 for 298 yards and three touchdowns as well. However he was picked off twice by the Roosters who had an additional weapon in running back Jaycen Spears who was outstanding for Helsinki rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns himself.

Needless to say Micah Brown was happy about the win:

“It was a good feeling period to knock off a top team. But it was a little sweeter since it was another championship quarterback.”

Brown took over the starting quarterback spot for the defending Finnish champion Roosters the week after winning the Polish championship. Following an 1-3 start including a loss to the Carlstad Crusaders in IFAF Europe Champions League play, Helsinki felt a change at the quarterback spot was needed and Josh Hollingsworth flew home and Brown headed up to Finland.

Austria - Raiders - Shelton5

The Roosters have won two of the last three since and are playing with confidence again. The Trojans on the other hand had started the 2015 campaign on a high note with Robert Johnson, who won the title with the Roosters in 2014 behind center and guiding to team to a strong start beating the Roosters in the opening game badly. However, he suffered a xxx injury two games in and the team struggled until Shelton was signed

Needless to say, Shelton, who was impressive in the Swarco Raiders Austrian Bowl victory a couple of weeks ago, is thoroughly enjoying the role again in Finland. In fact, to add to the uniqueness of the game, he won the Finnish championship in 2014 playing for the very same Roosters.

“I felt like I was playing against my teammates to a certain extent but it is always fun to play against good teams like the Roosters. It was also a good measuring stick for us to see what we need to approve upon as the playoffs. As far as playing against Micah, I enjoyed it. I don’t think it is very often that two QBs face off that already have a ring in the same year so that was a cool experience.”

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.