Tel Aviv/Jaffa Sabres 370.
(photo credit: Adlai Maschiach)
While US President Barack Obama has been stealing most of the country’s headlines and hype over the past few days, there is no denying the building excitement surrounding Friday’s Israel Bowl VI, the Kraft Family Israel Football League’s sixth annual championship game, to be waged between the Tel Aviv/Jaffa Sabres and Judean Rebels.
A packed house is expected at Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem for the noon kickoff as the Sabres and Rebels meet in the title game for the second time in the last three years, with the Rebels rallying to capture the crown in 2011, but the Sabres getting revenge and ousting the Judeans in last year’s semifinals en route to the franchise’s second Israeli tackle football crown.
The red-hot Sabres enter Friday’s match sporting a perfect 11-0 record (including playoffs), while the Rebels (7-5) had to scramble to make the postseason before knocking off a pair of higher-seeded clubs – the Jerusalem Lions and Tel Aviv Pioneers – to get back to the big game for a second time in their four year’s of existence.
“We know we will come into this game as the team most people expect to win,” noted Tel Aviv/Jaffa coach Jon Sharon.
“But that is not necessarily going to help us during our preparations. We are fully aware of the Rebels’ weapons – one especially dangerous one – and we will have to bring our A game and not get overly confident to succeed.”
Indeed, this game will likely come down to a showdown of the teams’ stars – from the Sabres’ Adi Hakami, Banning Fudge, Brandon McDougald, Jonathan Curran, Corey and Adam Zinker to the Rebels’ Dani Eastman and…well, that explains why the TAJ is the overwhelming favorites.
However, football more than any other sport embodies that “any given day” mentality and certainly neither team is taking anything for granted.
With President Obama’s entourage flooding the city, the IFL has extended free admission to the Israel Bowl for all members of the US delegation to Israel, giving a chance to all the traveling Americans to quench their pigskin thirst and catch their first taste of Israeli tackle football. For further information, please contact [email protected]
or call 050-214-2569.