0206 – Feb 23

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the FFL Blog! We have a nice mailbag this week, so let’s not waste time and get stuck in


Tom Van Put, Wilrijk

“Could you give a list of all the head coaches in the FFL?”

Sure I can.

Antwerp Diamonds : John Jolie
Brussels Angels : Romuald Derys
Brussels Bulls : Curtis Plybon
Gent Gators : Hannes Roman
Leuven Lions : Kevin Marcoen
Limburg Shotguns : none
Puurs Titans : Dorian Vermeir / Tom Van Put
West Flanders Tribes : Benedict Verheyen

Having said that, rumors are reaching me of a head coach emerging in Limburg. More news as it becomes available on the ‘FFL Blog Extra’ page on facebook.

PJ Brady, Overijse

“Good luck to the Shotguns. Hope they can get their coaching stuff in order. Maybe we need to sacrifice something to the football gods to help out… an Angel or a Titan maybe…”

Funny you should say that, because I would think that the most sacrificable (if that’s a word) mascot around the FFL would be a Bull! But seriously, indeed, let’s hope that the Shotguns can keep it all together.

Mathias Lagae, Temse

“Thanks Dale for the extra pressure!”

My pleasure! But I think the Titans are probably putting enough pressure on themselves to have a great season.

Olivier Beck, Harelbeke

“Are there going to be stats for the offensive line? Pancakes or something?”

Pancakes are impossible to record because I only have one set of eyes (also that’s rather subjective). But I have something better, the Offensive Hog Rating. It’s a group stat, so the whole offensive line is treated as a unit and we try to figure out just how effective they are at run and pass blocking, using things that we can easily measure – yards per rush and negative pass plays, among other things.

A rather important topic

“Where do you see football in Belgium in 5 years?”

Hmm, tricky.. As I look around the league now, I see some really great stuff – the Titans’ facilities, the Bulls’ junior working, the Belgian Bowl organisation, and I’d like to think that this blog and the stats would be included in that list too. I know that what I do requires a lot of work and I’m sure that all the other things I mentioned did/do too. Only a couple of weeks ago, I sat at the table in my living room on Saturday morning to eat breakfast, and my wife was reading an interview with Sergio Borra in De Staandard (!?), and I know that there are those 5 TV shows planned for later in the year on LifeTV, so I think that the profile of American Football in Belgium is higher than it has ever been. But are we going to take advantage of the chances that we now have? If you ask me (and you did) then I’ll say that there’s too much “oh, other people will do all that stuff”, and not enough “yes, I can help”.

It begins at the top. Our president, John van de Mergel, has taken a step back from the FFL Presidency, and that’s his right. Someone is going to have to fill that role. But, as has been reported recently, the FFL can’t even find someone to maintain their website, so what chance is there that a new president will emerge?
I think there’s a 90% chance that in 5 years time we’ll look back and say “you know, we had a chance there and we never took advantage of it”. I think there’s a 10% chance that in 5 years we’ll look back and say “you know, that was the start of something special”.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but if you knew what a struggle I went through to find people just to do the stats, then you would be too. On the positive side though, I did end up finding them.

I have a really great book which is actually all about this topic, “Go Big” by Cory Cotton (one of the guys of Dude Perfect – search them on YouTube if you don’t know what it is). It talks about taking your passion and making something of it. There are five principles, I won’t go through them all, but the first is ‘Get excited’. The book says “If you don’t love it, neither will anyone else”, and I don’t think I could say it any better. I know that there are lots of people excited about Sunday and the beginning of the season – I am one of them. Let’s take that excitement and really make something of it.

I think I’m going to come back to this topic next week, as it’s really too much to consider all at once. Some of you are already letting me know what you think about it and that’s brilliant, keep your ideas and comments coming!


You should all know by now that it’s all happening in Puurs on Sunday. We’ve waited long enough, the games have been previewed, let’s go and watch/play some football! Bring all your friends and family and let’s have a great time. There’s nothing like watching a football game with your mates, so be sure to join me on the sidelines for a bit of a chinwag*. Until then

Puurs, Sunday 26 February

12:00 – #3 Brussels Black Angels v #2 West Flanders Tribes
15:00 – #5 Limburg Shotguns v #4 Puurs Titans

* A ‘chinwag’, as you can probably guess is an Australian word meaning, a ‘chat’.

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2 Responses to 0206 – Feb 23

  1. John says:

    New faces will emerge and take our sport to a new level.
    Reaching that new level though will not be achieved with those who talk (online), but with those who ‘do’ (offline)!
    We can only whish for them to stand up and take matters into theor hands NOW, and not when things start to decline.

  2. Roger Kelly says:

    Make sure that Europlayers.com is kept informed about football in Belgium. We can help and want to. Our readership is huge and with a blog like Dale’s we will do everything we can…

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