We’re less than a month until Big Bowl XIII. After an epic final between the Copenhagen Barbarians and Carluke Cobras, we’re looking forward to seeing which teams can make a run at the crown this year. Big Bowl is unquestionably the top tournament in Europe, with excellent weather, fantastic facilities and the heavyweights of the continent all descending upon Germany for the weekend. It’s the Mecca of Flag Football.
The Walldorf Wanderers held their first annual live draw for Big Bowl and it was a huge success. We’ve got some mouth-watering matchups already to look forward to – let’s have a look at the first group!
Group A – The Teams
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the annual group of death.
We’re looking at this group and can legitimately see four teams who have genuine reason to feel they’re prepared to make a run at the title.
The Wanderers, as the hosting team and champions of Germany will want to go further than the semis they reached last year. They’re locked in the madhouse though with the champions of the UK, the Baker Street Buttonhookers. The ‘Hookers had a disappointing Big Bowl XII, coming in 18th after failing to progress from their group. The team who won that Group C in 2018 was none other than Kalikakou. The French side have plenty of tournament experience and athletes everywhere on the field. The final side who’ll be feeling themselves coming in are the Warriors from the US of A. This team are comprised mostly of players who’ve represented NP Flag in the past, who have plenty of high finishes at Big Bowl. They’re without the talented Reimel brothers, but we still have them as strong favourites if they can advance from this group of death.
The remaining teams are the Vienna Sentinels, who came a respectable 31st last season after being dealt a bum hand in the group stages. They’ve got playoff aspirations in the tough Austrian league, so we’ll see if they can turn up the heat at Big Bowl. Rounding out the group are the Gotham Rogues on paper, but we understand they intend to withdraw.
UPDATE – The Gotham Rogues have been replaced by Trier Biber. Overall, this is a really cruel group to end up in for the side from Trier. They’ve got prior experience but they don’t have much hope in this group.
Honestly, the Warriors look terrifying on paper. The talent and athleticism in the side is far above what the other teams in this group bring to to the table. They’ll win this group.
So who joins them? The Wanderers did an excellent job last year, but they were pretty much untested until the brackets were drawn. To go through, we’re taking Kalikakou (that rhymes!). Despite beating them, the Buttonhookers found themselves looking up at the French after last year’s disappointment – losing two group games to arguably lesser teams. They can’t afford the same slip ups, but are in a position where we’d expect a few more banana peels. Put it this way – if they struggle to progress from a group with a mild degree of difficulty, why would we pick them when you ramp that up? Kalikakou on the other hand dusted themselves off and went undefeated for the remainder of the group games. Their 11th place came after losing to the Cobras in the first round of the playoffs, then by a point to the Lions in the placement bracket – Kalikakou are far better than that overall finish would suggest.
Sorry Sentinels and Trier – it’s gonna be a long Saturday for you guys. We don’t know what you did to deserve this.