Thursday Night Lights: American Football Catches On In Israel

Israeli Football

Photo: AP Images

With constant turmoil and violence in Israel, young adults try healthy ways to relieve aggression. One way has been American football.American football is a growing trend in Israel (via NYTimes). The Israeli Football League (IFL) began in 2007. Now there are eight teams across Israel and over 400 players.

The league was initially bankrolled by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who built the only football stadium in Israel.

Mostly everything the Israeli football players know about football they learned from watching American football on the Internet and mimicking. Pregame includes players chanting, “We will protect this house!” like in Under Armour commercials.

While the league is mostly filled with inexperienced Israeli players, there are some experienced Americans playing and coaching.

Although the league is made up mostly of amateurs now, could we see the league start to grab players from the United States, like the Canadian Football League? For now, games end with “Shabbat, Shalom,” and the games are played on Thursdays before the Sabbath begins on Friday. But who knows what could happen in a few years if the league continues growing.

Click here to watch a video from the New York Times.

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