American Football is now an international sport, being played in over 85 countries around the globe. In different countries, to help develop the sport and keep competition at a high level, American players are “imported” onto club teams in various capacities. These players get paid to play the game they love while seeing the world and experience different cultures. Berlin Adler (Germany) American import, Burton De Konig, allowed me a detailed interview about his experience in Europe.
What’s your football journey?
Europlayers got me started, I was looking to get more film for NFL and CFL teams. Great opportunity to see the world, travel and make new relationships.
LIFE IN GERMANY
How do you like it in Germany?
Germany is a great country, the weather is a different story but my time here has been filled with memories for a lifetime.
What is your go to meal in Germany?
In Germany my go to meal is shrimp and couscous. It’s straight fire.
Do you spend a lot of time with German teammates or on your own/with other imports?
I live in a house with most of the teams imports so usually we spend most of our time together. Occasionally we get out with the Germans, everybody gets along though.
FOOTBALL IN GERMANY
What level would you compare the football played in Germany to in the United States?
I would say GFL football is at its best low div. 1 football and at its worst d2 ball.
What do you see as some of the biggest differences between football in the states compared to Europe/ Germany?
You don’t practice as much, facilities are a bit different, crowds are significantly smaller and recruiting is tougher because your asking someone to move their entire life to Europe for 5-6 months.
How have you personally helped your teammates and coaches develop their American Football knowledge during your time abroad?
I’m always speaking as much knowledge when I can, and giving my two cents about a certain play or how someone can get better. All in all my goal is to help foster a positive yet competing atmosphere, so my teammates and I can play at our best on gameday.
What are your plans after the season concludes?
Go home, train and get my body ready for CFL and NFL opportunities and spend time with my family and friends.
What advice would you give to someone playing football in Europe/overseas for the first time? Enjoy the moments while they last.
Can you sum up what American Football means to you?
Love for the game out weighs the stresses of everyday life.