By Raymond Rolak
Ron Jaworski, currently an ESPN football analyst was center stage for the Polish League of American Football championship game and all the festivities surrounding Super-Finals VII. The game was played in the National Stadium in Warsaw and was televised throughout Poland for the second time.
According to Commissioner Jędrzej Stęszewski, the area around the National Stadium became a ‘football city’. There were activities, contests, bands and of course tailgating. The American pregame tradition has become part of the football experience in Poland. Showcasing American football as a destination event was the goal. The nearby banks of the Vistula River and adjacent stadium grounds transformed to a fan friendly festival.
Jaworski, who was inducted into the National Polish-American Hall of Fame in 1991, added sizzle to the event. Besides being a regular on Monday Night Football telecasts he was the NFL Player of the Year in 1980 for the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Playing the Super-Final at the National Stadium is our breakthrough for the League,” said Stęszewski. “The success of this event will bring football in Poland to the next level.”
Overall, the 2012 PLFA season had 27 teams from 21 cities compete in three senior divisions.
The Gdynia Seahawks and the Warsaw Eagles will squared off in the title game the weekend of July 14th. Seahawk quarterback Kyle McMahon, played at both Eastern Michigan and Grand Valley State. Over 20,000 were expected and LOT Polish Airlines conducted a contest for the inaugural DreamLiner flight.
The National Stadium recently hosted five soccer matches during Euro-2012, including the semifinal between Germany and Italy. Super-Final VII was the first non-soccer sporting event to be held in the stadium. United States Ambassador to Poland, Lee A. Feinstein, presented post-game awards.
American football is also played in Germany and in the Czech Republic.