Sure, NFL – Europe is a great place for young players to hone their craft and for NFL journeymen to get playing time and exposure, but there is much more to the experience than just playing football.
For many of these players, it is an opportunity to see the world; an opportunity that many people never get. Just walk up to a player and ask them how they like being in Europe, and invariably the answer you get will be redolent of sightseeing trips and local cultural events.
Last month, THN began interviewing some of the players from NFL – Europe, and to a man, every one sung the praises of Europe. Dahrran Diedrick of the Rhein Fire said: “That’s one of the reason I wanted to come over here. I probably never would have had the opportunity to go to Europe otherwise.”
It’s not just the players that are enjoying the experience. The cultural significance is one of the major draws for Thunder Coach Kurt Gouveia. “I think it’s such a great program, a great opportunity for a lot of people from the States to have an opportunity to go to Europe and experience Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne; you know all of those places you would never think of going.”
Gouveia is making the most of his time in Germany, “All in all, it’s just been a plus, and I’m really enjoying it I’m just soaking it all in.” Gouveia went on to say that, “Growing up on the island of Hawaii you only read it through the books and see it on TV. To have the opportunity to come over and do it in real life and experience those things, it’s just unbelievable. It’s been such a good experience for me, and even my family’s here with me, experiencing the same thing.”
Gouveia’s family has been taking in the sights while he is hard at work preparing for the next opponent. “They went to the concentration camps, they saw the wall, they went into Berlin; they did a lot of stuff. My little son, my 9-year old Dalton, he’s been getting such an experience that it’s once in a lifetime. You know, how often do you come to Germany. He’s got an experience that will last him throughout life.”
Experiences like these are likely as priceless for a father as it is for his son.
Scott Hurrey is a Senior Writer for www.theHogs.net. Scott can be contacted via email at Scott.Hurrey@theHogs.net.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey