20 comments

  1. For anyone interested, TeamUSA is up 18-3 on Canada at half time of the Junior World Championships Gold Medal game.

  2. As the 3rd quarter draws to a close, Team USA has blown this open and lead Canada 32-3. Canada will punt the ball away to start the 4th.

  3. No surprise here, but team USA beats Canada 41-3. They out gained Canada to the tune of 388 to 49.

    Team USA has outscored their opponents 174-3, and out gained their opponents 1483 to 91 yards in the 3 games.

  4. Chris, been out of town for the last week. I just wanted to say congrats on your promotion.

  5. American football is still way, way, way down the list in terms of popularity in countries outside the USA. I would bet that Canada is the only other country in the world where American Football is an official high school sport, and even there, it falls behind hockey, baseball, and lacrosse, if not soccer and hoops as well.
    In England there is obviously quite a bit of interest in the game, mainly on a fan level, but there is also a small but passionate club-level enthusiasm for the game. Germany has also showed a small but significant interest in the game. Both England and Germany have produced one or two NFL players a piece.
    Still, at this point, if Team USA were to win by a margin less than 30, it would be a shock to me; just as it would be a shock if the American Aussie Rules team could manage to not be blown out by an Australian side.
    I don’t mean this as a downer, but simply an earnest observation about the state of the game worldwide. Americans still rule the roost at their own pastime. If we were to do a better job teaching the game to our colonial subjects or the people around our military bases, like what we did with baseball in Japan, Korea, and Latin America, then we might be looking at a more meaningful World Championship scenario today.

  6. Football requires far to many resources to become popular worldwide at this point. Soccer (which I can watch for about 5 minutes)is the biggest game in the world because all you need is something to kick. A goats bladder will do fine.

  7. Chet- Who can explain why certain sports become popular in certain places? It’s not as simple as you think. Hockey became extremely big in communist Russia, and it is one of the most expensive sports on the planet. It is also huge in the plains towns of Saskatchewan, where people aren’t exactly affluent.
    Baseball is by far the most popular sport in the impoverished Caribbean, despite the fact that “all you need” is a stick, a ball, 9 gloves, catcher’s protective equipment, and a special diamond-shaped field.
    So let’s stop the usual simple-minded American soccer-bashing and accept that we all like different sports for complex reasons and that is the end of it.
    By the way, it was great to see team USA go down to the wire against Brazil in a FIFA international event. Maybe some day team France will do the same thing at the World Junior
    Championships of American football.

  8. When talking about this, here are a few things to remember about the teams involved.

    Canada was the #1 seed. They are celebrating 125 years of the CFL this year. Over the years, the USA is the only team to ever defeat a Canadian team, with the Canadians holding the edge 7-5 prior to this years tournament. There are currently over 400,000 players in Canada.

    Japan has been playing American Football for 75 years, having established a football federation in 1934. They currently have three different football leagues consisting of 64 corporate-sponsored semi-pro teams, 220 university teams, and 106 high school teams with a bowl game concluding each league.

    In 1947, Japan established the Koshien Bowl, making it their oldest football championship.

    In 1987, the corporate sponsored semi-pro league established their own Tokyo Superbowl championship.

    In 2008 Japan hosted a US based “All-Star” team and won 24-14 in Tokyo.

    Germany held their first National Championship in American Football in 1979, having began a few years earlier. There are 270 American Football clubs with more than 31,000 players currently in Germany. They have one the European championship as well as gold in the 2005 World games. There are currently NFL players who started their careers playing on the German teams.

    Sweden has established their own American football federation, it was founded in 1984, currently has 7,500 active members playing for 76 different clubs. They finished 2nd to the Germans (9-6) in the 2008 European Championships to earn a bid to the JWCs.

    France has been playing American Football since 1919, when American soldiers who stayed after the war began playing the game. They formed their own league in 1980, which became their current league in 1983. In 2004 and 2006 the French won the IFAF World Championships and finished 3rd in 2008.

    New Zealand has been playing American football for the past 28 years, having entered international competition for the first time in 2007.

    Mexico has won the NFL Global Junior Championship twice since it’s inception in 1997. They established their governing body in 1970. Football has been played a lot longer than that, with the Aztec Bowl being played in Mexico for D3 teams dating back to 1950.

    With that being said, you can see none of these countries are strangers to the concepts of American Football. All of these countries have a National Junior team that compete together in international competition. All of the teams (except the USA) that competed in the JWC played qualifier games last year (2008) to become eligible.

    The USA got an automatic bid by being the host country. The USA players did not play or practice together for the last year, they were selected to this team, and came together to prepare for competition on June 15th to play their first game as a team on June 27th.

    The USA winning this is not a surprise, but based on how this works for our teams, the total annihilation of their opponents is impressive to say the least.

  9. Mike-

    As usual, great raw numbers and data that certainly confirm American Football’s unmistakable presence worldwide. However, the numbers don’t say much about the sport’s relative popularity vs. other sports.
    The world is a big place with many tastes, so it isn’t surprising that our football has caught on in many places, especially at the lower cult/club/semipro levels. By analogy, let us remember that curling is an olympic sport, and 45 nations possess curling member bodies. USA established it’s own curling governing body in 1958, and today we possess 135 curling clubs strong. Still, one wouldn’t expect us to compete in this sport at its highest level for many, many moons to come; nor does the strong interest in curling in certain circles indicate that the sport is challenging basketball and baseball in popularity.

  10. Husky,

    I agree with what you are saying, my point was that we are not competing against teams who have no background.

    Outside of America, American football isn’t overly popular compared to baseball, basketball and soccer. I know and understand that.

    However, what you are talking about is comparing apples to oranges. Curling teams are not assembled 2 weeks prior to the Olympics, neither is the USA Soccer team or the USA Basketball team. Those teams are put together, play practice games and qualifiers to compete in international competition.

    To say that this isn’t a true Junior World championship of American style football is just absurd. Would you rather the entire world put together 1 team to challange the USA and call that a world championship?

    If the USA was to put together a Junior National team that played and practiced together for 2 or 3 years, competed in international competition against other teams over that time, could you imagine just how much ugly it would be?

  11. Yeah, that would be nasty. But my point was not to accuse the event of “not being a true World Championship.” Rather, my point was that yes, it is a Junior World Championship, but that at the same time, if the sport is 20 times more popular in the country of the winning team (USA) than anywhere else, then it is hard to find meaning in the event, other than in the fact that it gives our young guys a little bit of practice and confidence for when they play the real competition inside the USA.

    The fact that the team was assembled in 2 weeks would be impressive in many circumstances. However, given our disproportionate love of American Football, it doesn’t surprise me much. TO bore you with another analogy, I have to believe that Australia could assemble a team of Aussie Rules football players in one day and still win the Aussie Rules Junior World Championships. The same could probably be said about sumo wrestling: It would probably take Japan an hour or two to form the best Junior Sumo team that the earth has ever seen.
    I don’t want to seem like I am getting down on the achievement of Team USA here; like you said, team Canada has the #1 ranking, so obviously team USA hasn’t always dominated like this. I just thought the thread would be a nice opportunity for a wider reflection on the relationship of certain sports to certain countries, and the nature of the “world championship event” in general when one country is far more interested than the rest.

  12. John Pont went to Japan for 2 maybe 3 years and worked as the head coach for one of the industrial semi-pro teams. He brought the team to the US, Miami O, I think. Mr. Pont’s feeling was that eventually the game will grow in popularity, the skill level will improve and the competition will improve. Keep in mind we ruled baseball and basketball for years, not so much anymore. Football, USA style, will grow and this game will be more popular. It all takes time.

  13. Something I forgot to mention in all of this. Aaron Price (BHSS grad & IU freshman) & Nick Zachery (IU freshman) both played in this tournament.

    Nick didn’t have big numbers, but when the defense gives up 91 total yards in 3 games, you really shouldn’t expect the safeties to have big numbers.

    However, Price did start at right guard, run blocking for David Williams who racked up 425 yards and 8 TD’s on 33 caries in the 3 games.

    As a whole, team USA had 716 rushing yards & 735 passing yards for the 3 days.

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