Israel tackle football league kicks off

"As a fan of football, it's a wonderful thing to be here to watch American tackle football being played in the holy land," says a fan.

By ALEX GELLER
October 26, 2007 00:31
1 minute read.
good ol' pigskin

USA football ball 88. (photo credit: )

 
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The first preseason game of Israel's first national tackle football league, Fieldturf, kicked off Thursday night, when Big Blue Jerusalem beat Mike's Place Tel Aviv 36-16 at the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem. Fans eagerly awaited to see their friends and sons, husbands and fathers play in a game that has been a work in progress for the last six months. One fan, proclaimed, "As a fan of football, it's a wonderful thing to be here to watch American tackle football being played in the holy land." The league originated from the flag football teams under the American Football in Israel organization. When a few of the players addressed director Steve Liebowitz about a tackle league, he was in full support. From there, the league took off, recruiting players and holding try outs in Jerusalem. The players participated in an intensive six-month training program where they learned to play the game, as if starting from scratch. In September, they trained in a three-day clinic under the direction of professional American coach Don Peek. "It's all Israelis, who, for the first time ever, are playing the game of tackle football," said Liebowitz proudly. Though players range from ages 17 to 30, most are at the level of a typical American high school team. Aryeh "Lighting" Baumen started the game with the first touchdown for Jerusalem. One fan noted his aggressive teammate, Yonah Mishaan, as "the one doing all the sacks!" At the half, Mishaan stated, "It's a dream come true for us old men." It seems tackle football is finally touching down in Israel.

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