SEATTLE PLACES NFL-BEST FIVE PLAYERS ON ALL-LEAGUE TEAM;
GREEN BAY, HOUSTON & MINNESOTA EACH PLACE TWO AS WORLD BOWL XIV KICKS OFF SATURDAY
The NFL Europe League announced its annual awards on May 25 at World Bowl Media Day at the LTU Arena in Dϋsseldorf, Germany. Quarterback GIBRAN HAMDAN (Seattle Seahawks) of the Amsterdam Admirals was named the NFL Europe League Offensive Most Valuable Player while Admirals defensive tackle TONY BROWN (Carolina Panthers) and French linebacker PHILIPPE GARDENT of the Cologne Centurions were named the Co-Defensive MVPs. Frankfurt Galaxy head coach MIKE JONES was named Coach of the Year.
Hamdan led the Admirals to a 6-1 record before suffering a season-ending injury. The Indiana product led the league in completion percentage (63.0 percent), passing yards (1,629) and touchdowns (12) while posting the highest passer rating in NFL Europe League history (113.4).
Brown helped anchor the Amsterdam defense, registering 40 tackles, 4.0 sacks, one fumble recovery, an interception and five passes defensed. The former Memphis standout also blocked two field goals.
France’s Gardent led the league with 70 tackles for the Centurions and is the first national, or non-American, player to win an MVP award in NFL Europe history.
The league also announced its all-NFL Europe League team. Seattle placed an NFL-high five players on the squad, while Green Bay, Houston and Minnesota each had two. Among the six NFL Europe teams, World Bowl participants Amsterdam (8) and Frankfurt (5) led the way.
Included among the All-NFL Europe League team selections that will play in World Bowl XIV are Frankfurt running back ROGER ROBINSON (Arizona), Amsterdam wide receivers SKYLER FULTON (Seattle) and CHAD LUCAS (Green Bay), and Frankfurt defensive standouts BRANDON HAW (Seattle) and JEROME NICHOLS (Green Bay).
Robinson, allocated by the Arizona Cardinals, set the league’s single-season rushing record with 1,087 yards (MIKE GREEN, 1,057; Barcelona 2001) as the Galaxy had the top-ranked offense and rushing offense.
Seattle wide receiver Fulton led the league with 53 catches and 992 yards, the third best single-season total in NFL Europe history. Amsterdam teammate Lucas, allocated by Green Bay, topped the league with eight touchdown receptions, including an Europe League-record four in one game (April 8 at Berlin).
Safety Haw and defensive tackle Nichols were key components of Frankfurt’s top-ranked defense. Seattle’s Haw led NFL Europe with five interceptions while Green Bay’s Nichols had a league-best 7.0 sacks.
Yello Strom World Bowl XIV between the Admirals and Galaxy will be played this Saturday, May 27. The NFL Network will broadcast the game in the United Stats at 12:00 PM ET with CURT MENEFEE and BRIAN BALDINGER calling the action.
TAGLIABUE & UPSHAW TO LEAD ACTIVE/FORMER PLAYERS ON USO MEMORIAL DAY VISIT TO INJURED SOLDIERS IN GERMANY
The NFL will bring a piece of America overseas to injured U.S. soldiers this Memorial Day weekend. A group of NFL representatives – Commissioner PAUL TAGLIABUE, NFL Players Association Executive Director GENE UPSHAW, Philadelphia Eagles safety BRIAN DAWKINS, New York Giants defensive end MICHAEL STRAHAN, and Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE HAYNES – will visit injured American troops this Sunday at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
The visit is sponsored by the USO in the 40th year of its association with the NFL.
The day before the visit to Landstuhl, the NFL group will attend the NFL Europe League’s title game, World Bowl XIV, in Düsseldorf, Germany between the Amsterdam Admirals and Frankfurt Galaxy. Soldiers who are wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan and other bases in the vicinity or in Europe and in need of critical care are transferred directly from the battlefield to Landstuhl within 48 hours of injury.
“These young men and women put their lives on the line to defend our country,” said Tagliabue. “They make every citizen in the U.S. proud. It is our honor to visit them on Memorial Day weekend.”
This will be the second NFL-USO overseas visit to U.S. troops this year. Defensive ends PATRICK KERNEY of the Atlanta Falcons and BRYCE FISHER of the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers tackle MAX STARKS spent two weeks this spring visiting military bases in the Persian Gulf and the Balkans.
It is the second overseas military visit for Commissioner Tagliabue in the past three years. In 2004 he joined TODD HEAP of the Baltimore Ravens and WARRICK DUNN and KEITH BROOKING of the Falcons at U.S. bases in Germany.
In 1965, NFL Commissioner PETE ROZELLE – to demonstrate the league’s support for America’s fighting forces – conceived of the idea of sending NFL players to Vietnam on “goodwill tours.” The following year, the NFL teamed with the USO and became the first sports organization to send a group of players to Vietnam and other parts of Asia.
“Commissioner Tagliabue’s commitment to meet with and tell our military – face-to-face – how appreciative and proud the NFL is of them is clearly evidenced by the league’s annual visits to military installations around the world,” said WALTER MURREN, vice president of USO operations in Europe.
“Those trips immeasurably increase the morale of service members and their families.”