BRISTOL, CONN—Believe it or not…..the 2003 football season begins this weekend. No, not the NFL, CFL or even Arena Football which opened in February. The 11th season of NFL Europe (formerly the World League of American Football) opens Saturday with three games in Frankfurt, Rhein, and Scotland. BRISTOL, CONN—Believe it or not…..the 2003 football season begins this weekend. No, not the NFL, CFL or even Arena Football which opened in February. The 11th season of NFL Europe (formerly the World League of American Football) opens Saturday with three games in Frankfurt, Rhein, and Scotland. Because of the war with Iraq, there was a possibility that the league was going play the entire season in Orlando, Florida. After some gentle persuasion from the coaches and players, the NFL relented and season 11 became a go.
Over the past few seasons, several former HBCU football players have used NFL Europe as a vehicle to reach the NFL. Among the prominent players that have made the jump are ex-Viking and Jet WR Matthew Hatchette (Langston), who's current playing for the Amsterdam Admirals and QB Ted White (Howard), who has been in training camps with the Chiefs and Raiders.
Here's a look at the HBCU players on this year's NFL Europe rosters:
WR Matthew Hatchette (Langston), LB Louis Green (Alcorn State), T Lawrence Smith (Tennessee State), T Bennitte Waddell (Tuskegee).
LB Terrance Dukes (Grambling State), WR T.C. Taylor (Jackson State).
QB Quinn Gray (Florida A&M), WR Marc Lester (Morgan State), CB Kalvin Pearson (Grambling State), DB Calvin Spears (Grambling State), T Kendrick Rogers (Alabama A&M).
RB Maurice Hicks (North Carolina A&T), LB Isaac Keys (Morehouse), DE Michael Landry (Southern).
CB Lemuel Ligon (Savannah State), DE Andre Arnold (Grambling State), DE Gillis Wilson (Southern), OL Dawani Fladger (South Carolina State), WR Ataveus Cash (Hampton).
You can catch NFL Europe games every weekend on Fox Sports Net (check local listings). The season reaches its climax when the championship game, World Bowl XI, is played at Glasgow's Hampden Park on Saturday, June 14. For more on NFL Europe, log on to www.nfleurope.com.
You can also hear his sports commentaries every Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. on "Sport Talk" on WCLM-AM 1450 in Richmond, Virginia (www.wclmradio.com). You may reach Tony at: firstname.lastname@example.org.