Maple League football begins May 13, 2016 here in the great country of Finland! If you are not familiar with the American Football culture in Suomi I suggest you checkout sajl.fi. The Vaahterliiga (Maple League in Finnish)is one of the top American Football leagues in Europe and usually contracts American and European import players to supplement the players on its local teams. As an American resident living in Finland, it’s only fitting that I give my honest opinion about the football culture here. So I will begin my opinions with a preseason ranking of the Maple League teams and my reasons for those rankings
1. Helsinki Roosters
It’s pretty simple why I think the Roosters will repeat as Maple League Champs – 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
2. Seinäjoki Crocodiles
The crocodiles are pretty much guaranteed to win a minimum of 7 games this season. If they are lucky enough to not face the roosters in the playoffs they could very well be the champs this year!
3. Vantaa TAFT
Don’t let last year’s 0-10 record fool you!! Combine the imports this season along with the addition of an American head coach and you have a recipe for a bounce back season and playoff birth!!
4. Turku Trojans
Last season I thought the Trojans had the maple league in control, I was obviously wrong seeing how they finished the year. So let’s expect them to be in the mix this year as well but I won’t get my hopes up crowning them prematurely as I did last year.
5. Tampere Saints
Winning the Division I Championship last season was quite impressive. I still think the Hämeenlinna Huskies are a better fit for maple league play, but I don’t make the rules. Saints will basically replace the Helsinki 69ers in medocrity this year.
6. Porvoon Butchers
I’m not sure what’s going on in Porvoo, but unless their imports can physically play every position, they don’t have the man power to compete this season, better luck next year Butchers.
7. Vaasa Royals
Solid team in Division I last year. THIS AINT DIVISION I.
These predictions are subject to change as the season continues, but I feel it is necessary to document my opinions before any games are actually played.