American Football in Innsbruck

 Spring in Innsbruck is fantastic. The city is blooming with tulips, daffodils, and (my favorite) hyacinth. The weather is becoming more agreeable and the most popular mode of transportation switches to the bicycle (even I just got one!). One reason Reinhard was particularly looking forward to this spring is to go to an Innsbruck football game! Of course the day we picked to spectate was the coldest of the month so far, but we still enjoyed all the theatrics. The football team (the Swarco Raiders) boasts that it has been around since 1992. They then entered into a partnership with the Oakland Raiders in 2008, in which some of the Austrian coaches get invited to a training camp back in America.

The game ended up being a fun blend of Austrian and American traditions. There were cheerleaders greeting guests, clapping their pompoms (more ‘American’ on the scale). There were some decidedly Austrian additions to the concession stand offerings – wursts with semmel and large pretzels (without nacho cheese dipping sauce). Fans were allowed to smoke in the stands (definitely Austrian) but yelled their cheers and chants in English. Though there were no Budweisers, both cultures would approve of the beer options.

 We went with some of our Innsbruck friends, and the game was great. The team did pretty well against the mighty Helsinki Roosters – final score was 37 to 21. Cannons went off with each touchdown. My dad had fun watching the game online from Atlanta, though he said he couldn’t pick us out in the stands. 🙂 We hope to go to more games this season. Hopefully we won’t need hats, scarves, and gloves for the next one!