I was pleasantly surprised to find, after we arrived in Brazil, that there is an American Football league in Brazil, similar to the NFL of the United States. While much younger, and smaller, than the NFL in the U.S., it is definitely growing in popularity. With the formation of the Asociation of American Football of Brazil (AFAB - Assoçiation de Futebol Americano do Brasil) in the year 2000, the league has exploded into what it is today - a championship of thirty-four teams from all across the country.
You can imagine how happy I was to find out that our city of Cuiabá, near the center of Brazil, is home of the "Cuiabá Arsenal" one of the winningest teams of this league and currently at the top of the rankings.
I was fortunate enough, recently, to be able to get a press pass to photograph a home game and had a great time! You can see more of my photos on the Arsenal's facebook page.
The team is led by Coach Clayton Lovett (pictured below, in the white hat), a Nebraska native. There are also a couple American players on the team, but the majority are Brazilians who have somehow fallen in love with the sport!
On this day, the Arsenal was challenged by the "Weilers" (short for Rottweilers), from São Jose do Rio Preto, SP, over 1,000km away. Our city's large stadium is under construction for the 2014 World Cup, and so this match was held at the smaller "Dutrinha" stadium.
The game was packed with exciting plays, excellent runs, and great touchdowns!
Ah, the joy of victory! Our team won with the final score of 55-0! You can read the full report of the game in our local newspaper FolhadoEstado here.
What a great game it was! I am already looking forward to the next one!