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30.06.2003 Braunschweig Lions

Preview Braunschweig Lions: Mercedes-Benz EUROBOWL Final


(c) EFAF

One thing is for sure before the final game in this years Eurobowl Tournament XVII:
There will be a new champion after three years which saw the Bergamo Lions winning Europe´s crown for club teams in consecutive times. It will be either the Chrysler Vikings Vienna from Austria or the Braunschweig Lions from Germany.

Both teams played great seasons so far and the Vikings surely will be the favorites in Saturdays game, coming to Braunschweig as Europe´s new number one ranked team after beating the Bergamo Lions in the semifinal after overtime 34:33. Another victory over the other Lions-team from Germany would give the Asutrians their first ever Eurobowl title. Many experts say that the time has come for the team of president Karl Wurm and Headcoach Tom Smythe. Since 1999 they won the Austrian championship every year and this year they will again participate in the Austria Bowl, one week after the Eurobowl final. For the Vikings it is their second appearance in a Eurobowl final game and like so many times over the last couple of years they lost their first game against Bergamo at home in 2001. This year it should be the other way round if it goes after the Vikings. They want to come to the host team and take away the title in front of the home fans.

A big factor in the Vikings offense is Quarterback Shawn Olson. He leads the Offense and if he has a good day there will be hard times for the oppenent´s Defense to stop him and Runningback Kyle McIntosh.

For the Braunschweig Lions on the other side it is their third appearance in a Eurobowl final game. In 1999 the Germans won the Eurobowl for the first time against the Hamburg Blue Devils and last year they lost to the Bergamo Lions. After that defeat the Lions want to get the title this year and it would be the first title for their Headcoach Troy Tomlin sice he took over as the Headcoach in 2001.

The Lions got carried on Offense from Quarterback Adrian Rainbow who attended the same Canadian college like Shawn Olson (University of British Columbia). After a two year break Rainbow returned to Braunschweig this year where he won three consecutive national championships from 1997 to 1999. He didn´t take part in the Eurobowl final 1999 because of a broken collarbone and so there is also a strong will by him to win that game against Vienna. On his side are players like Wide Receiver Kelvin Love and Runningback Kim Kuci and also the Lions will rely on a strong performance by their Defense. That was seen in their semifinal victory over the Badalona Drags when the Lions won 50:20.

There is no doubt that all the fans in Braunschweig, also up to 300 fans come over from Vienna, will see an exciting game from the two best teams in Europe right now. Unfortunately, only one team will win the golden trophy and only one team will be Europe´s number one after the game. Nobody knows right now which team that will be but most experts predict a close game and there should be no surprise if there will be another overtime needed to find out who´s the new champion.

European Federation of American Football