A total of 58 NFL players will compete for the NFL Europe League championship in World Bowl XIII this Saturday at the LTU Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany when the Amsterdam Admirals face the defending-champion Berlin Thunder.FOX will broadcast the game in the United States at 9:00 AM PST with CURT MENEFEE and BRIAN BALDINGER calling the action.
The Kansas City Chiefs lead all NFL clubs with six players represented on the active rosters in the World Bowl, including Berlin linebacker RICH SCANLON, who completed one of the best NFL Europe seasons of any defender in recent memory.
Scanlon, a former standout performer at Syracuse University and a three-time state champion at New Jersey's Bergen Catholic High School, started all 10 games and led NFL Europe with 94 tackles, posting 3.0 sacks, five passes defensed and one forced fumble.
"Winning a championship is what you play for," Scanlon said. "That's the goal we set in training camp and that is what we are going to do our best to accomplish."
The Seattle Seahawks have five players in the World Bowl, second most among NFL teams, including Amsterdam cornerback B.J. TUCKER, who tied for the league lead in interceptions with five, returning two for touchdowns.
WORLD BOWL PREVIEW
BERLIN THUNDER (7-3) vs AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS (6-4)
LTU arena, Düsseldorf, Saturday June 11, 5:00 p.m.
Overall: Berlin leads 9-5
At Berlin : Berlin leads 6-1
At Amsterdam : Amsterdam leads 4-3
Streak: Berlin W1
In Week 3, QB GIBRAN HAMDAN (Seattle Seahawks) threw a game-winning 16-yard touchdown pass to WR RUVELL MARTIN (San Diego Chargers) with 1:46 remaining to give the Admirals a 31-27 victory. RB JONATHAN SMITH (Kansas City Chiefs) gained 133 yards and scored a touchdown on the ground for Amsterdam, while Thunder QB DAVE RAGONE (Houston Texans) threw 2 touchdown passes… Berlin gained revenge with a 27-16 home win in Week 5, CB JER MAINE MAYS (Indianapolis Colts) clinching the victory by scoring on a 100-yard interception return in the dying seconds of the game. In his first start for Amsterdam, QB KURT KITTNER Chicago Bears) passed for 283 yards and a touchdown.
US: FOX (12 noon ET) - FOX NFL SUNDAY duo of play-by-play announcer CURT MENEFEE and former NFL offensive lineman BRIAN BALDINGER call the action from Düsseldorf for FOX.
World Bowl XII will reach an estimated worldwide television audience of more than 150 million in more than 120 countries.
RICK LANTZ has reached the World Bowl and seen his team finish top of the regular season standings in each of his two seasons as Thunder head coach. A veteran of more than 40 years in coaching, he is aiming to join his Berlin predecessor Peter Vaas as the only head coach in NFLEL history towin back-to-back World Bowls. Served as linebackers coach of the Barcelona Dragons in 2003 before joining Berlin. Former head coach at Navy and defensive coordinator at major schools such as Virginia, Miami, Georgia Tech and Louisville …. BART ANDRUS has led the Admirals to a berth in World Bowl in his fifth season as their head coach. It is also the first time the team has achieved a winning season under his leadership. First Admirals head coach since Al Luginbill in 1995 to lead the team to World Bowl. Won a World Bowl ring in 2000 as offensive coordinator of the Rhein Fire. Former head coach of Rocky Mountain College, offensive coordinator at Southern Utah, Montana State and Humboldt State and quarterbacks coach of Tennessee Titans.
WORLD BOWL HISTORY
Berlin Thunder are bidding to become the first team in NFLEL history to winfour World Bowls… Berlin shares record of three wins with Frankfurt Galaxy… Berlin is only team in NFLEL history to win back-to-back WorldBowls and now has chance to achieve that feat for the second time andpost a fourth World Bowl win in five seasons… Berlin is second team toqualify for four World Bowls in five-year span (Frankfurt 95-96, 98-99 –posting a 2-2 record in those games)… Berlin's first World Bowl win was in Amsterdam in 2001 when they beat Barcelona 24-17, with QB JONATHAN QUINN passing for 308 yards and 3 TDs… In 2002, Berlin beat Rhein Fire 26-20 in Düsseldorf as WR DANE LOOKER had 111 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Thunder became first team in league history to win World Bowl after starting season 0-3… In 2004, RB ERIC McCOO rushed for a World Bowl-record 167 yards and a touchdown as the Thunder beat the Frankfurt Galaxy 30-24. Thunder had tied best regular season record in league history by going 9-1… Amsterdam Admirals qualified for World Bowl '95 in their inaugural season but have had to wait 10 years for a return to the championship game. Admirals tied league-best record by going 9-1 in 1995 and qualified for World Bowl by winning the first-half championship with a 5-0 record. They lost 26-22 to the Frankfurt Galaxy in front of their own fans, despite 324 passing yards and 2 touchdowns by QB WILL FURRER… Past World Bowls involving these teams point to a close game, with Berlin winning all their World Bowls by one score or less (average margin 6.33 points) and Amsterdam losing by 4 points… Four of last five World Bowls have been decided by one score or less.
Berlin Thunder go into the game having become first team to win back-to-back regular season championships and set a two-year NFLEL record with 16 wins… Amsterdam has achieved its first winning season since finishing 1998 with a 7-3 record… World Bowl features matchup of the two leading offenses in the league, with Amsterdam ranking first in rushing and first in overall offense… Berlin ranked second on both offense and defense…. Teams are well matched in passing defense, with Berlin giving up three yards fewer than Amsterdam (1,804 to 1,807)… Teams are top two in turnover ratio, with Berlin posting a plus -12 mark and Amsterdam plus-8… Berlin is tough in the redzone, with the most efficient offense and second-meanest defense (see below)…. Teams combined for 417 rushing yards, fourth-highest total in league history, in Week 3 game in Amsterdam … Amsterdam gained 388 rushing yards in two games against Berlin …. Berlin gave up an average of 194 rushing yards in two games against Amsterdam, but only 99.6 yards per game against all other opponents.
· WEEK TEN RECAP ·
Fire 27, Amsterdam Admirals 17
(LTU arena, Düsseldorf. Attendance: 20,203)
Joe Smith (Rhein), 134 yards rushing, 1 TD
Hamburg Sea Devils 17, Frankfurt Galaxy 15
(AOL Arena, Hamburg. Att: 21,204)
Aaron Hosack ( Frankfurt ), 118 yards receiving, 1 TD
Cologne Centurions 17, Berlin Thunder 13
(Olympic Stadium, Berlin. Att: 20,927)
Kevin Thompson ( Cologne ), 232 yards passing, 1 TD
TITANS' SMITH, BEARS' WHITE & BRONCOS' HUNT NAMED NFL EUROPE LEAGUE PLAYERS OF WEEK 10
Running back JOE SMITH of the Tennessee Titans, defensive end GREG WHITE of the Chicago Bears and defensive tackle AARON HUNT of the Denver Broncos are the NFL Europe League Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 10th week of the season (June 4-5), the league announced today.
Smith rushed for 134 yards on 33 carries, scoring a five-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to help Rhein defeat Amsterdam 27-14.
With his NFL Europe-record sixth 100-yard rushing performance of the season, Smith became just the third player in league history to top 1,000 rushing yards (1,026) in a season, joining MIKE GREEN (1,057, Barcelona, 2001) and LAWRENCE PHILLIPS (1,021, Barcelona, 1999).
White recorded 3.0 sacks for a net loss of 33 yards in Cologne's 17-13 defeat of World Bowl XIII participant Berlin.
The allocated Chicago Bear ended the regular season with 34 tackles, one forced fumble and a league leading 7.0 sacks for a net loss of 56 yards.
Hunt helped Hamburg earn a victory to conclude the team's inaugural season, blocking a field goal and returning it 85 yards for a touchdown in the Sea Devils 17-15 win against Frankfurt.
For the season, Hunt has recorded 23 tackles, 3.0 sacks and two passes defensed.
Finnish tight end KLAUS ALINEN was named National Player of the Week after scoring his first touchdown for Berlin with a five-yard reception from quarterback BRET ENGE MA NN.
He will play in World Bowl XIII for the Thunder against Amsterdam on Saturday, June 11.
A look at the all-NFL Europe League team: