February 14, 2018
American Football in Finland goes International in episode #3! Perfect Pervis and guests tackle the issue of National Teams in comparison with International games being played in Europe. To give a broader view on the subject Perfect talks to coaches in different parts of Europe. Guests joining the show this week are Akseli Olin, Curtis Slater, Jabari Harris, Que Floyd, Garren Holley, John Booker, Mark Collier, Josh Claassen, Spencer Cutlan, Dwaine Wood, and Evan Harrington. Guests individual segments can be found in the patron content of the AFF Podcast.
AFF kicks off with Akseli Olin schooling Perfect on the National Teams situation in Europe. Akseli states that National teams are a pride thing, but very taxing on the players physically. Perfect explains his view that the National Team selection should be a list of players instead of making players compete in games. Perfect continues to state that National team games hurt the sport because they are not prioritized of club teams throughout the year. Both Akseli and Perfect agree that International games are better for fans and can draw more attention to the sport. Perfect asks for more international games
10:29 – Perfect talks with Curtis Slater about the disarray of the National team situation in Europe. Slater agrees that National teams have lost their appeal on the international scale.
16:25 – Jabari Harris and Que Floyd contribute to the conversation about National teams and International games. Que explains that football is not a sport designed for National team games, using the NFL Pro Bowl as an example. Jabari adds that the process of selecting players for National teams is flawed and hurts the overall experience of playing National Team games.
26:23 – Garren Holley (HC of Munich Cowboys, Germany) and John Booker (HC of Koc Rams, Turkey) give a coaching perspective on the National team process and international games. Garren states that the amount of politics in National Team selections is why players with that accolade do not necessarily gain favor during his evaluation of talent. John agrees with Garren, and explains that as great as being a National Team player sounds, film is the ultimate evaluation tools for players.
34:28 – Perfect discusses the topic further with Mark Collier and Josh Josh Claassen. Perfect suggests that the money, time, effort, and resources for National Team play could be better used to increase the competition of the domestic league in international play. Mark explains how the National Team system is so redundant, that players opt out, resulting in teams not being able to compete properly. Josh adds that the timing of National team games usually disrupts league schedules. Josh steers the conversation to import rules limiting international play. Perfect agrees that the different import situation is an issue, that could be remedied by limiting imports and increasing developmental strategies.
43:31 – Spencer Cutlan uses different sports to explain why National Teams is not a concept that works for American Football. Perfect explains that National Teams are not always representative of the countries they represent. Cutlan goes on to add that National Teams is not an American way of doing things, and football is an American sport. Perfect suggests that football should be promoted as a different sport instead of as an alternative sport, and National Teams don’t follow that model.
56:02 – Evan Harrington (HC of Winterthur Warriors, Switzerland) and Dwaine Wood (HC of Basel Gladiators, Switzerland) join AFF for the first time to talk international football with Perfect. Dwaine explains that politics ruins the National team process, and Evan agrees. Evan states that National Team games will never be at the level of international games. Perfect explains that more international games would help people understand who are really the good teams in Europe. Evan and Dwaine explain the difficulties of organizing international games, specifically in Switzerland. Dwaine explains how the change from EFAF to IFAF has created the decline of international competitions. Evan also explains how the financial implications of international games is an major obstacle. Perfect pleads his case that it is possible to increase international competition, but the lack of similar visions between teams is what is standing in the way of progress.