A silent revolution is taking shape as American Football makes inroads in India, quietly through the back lanes of Indian sport. Just a while ago, we had the EFLI organize a successful event of flag football in Pune. The corporates had fun and competition before a few burly construction company workers took home the honours.
The work continued in Kolkata towards the end of July. Building a sport is a ground up initiative and EFLI seems to have read this right. Working through under graduates at universities around the country, community involvement through initiations by coaches at schools and colleges is a continuous journey with the few good men that inhabit the league.
But football, the American variety, needs an army. After all it is an exciting contact sport with some high adrenaline action. So a bunch of hopeful, energetic young men assembled at the Ashutosh College ground recently for a match between the Vipers and the Barbarians.
True to their name, the Barbarians left no stone unturned to try and stamp their authority over the Vipers. But the Vipers were nimble, twisting and teasing their opponents before stinging them into a venomous defeat.
A decent collection of spectators – friends and families joined by an eager collegiate crowd cheered on as the Vipers forced the Barbarians into a submissive 24-12 defeat.
Himanshu Singh and Saroj Patra proved to be a lethal offensive combination as wide receivers in the company of running back Salman Ali. The troika played a vital role in helping the Vipers outsmart a determined collection of Barbarians.
Ashish Koley was the wide receiver for the Barbarians. He worked in tandem with Md. Shahid in the Centre, but the despite the best efforts of the duo – twelve points were far from enough to trouble a racy team of Vipers.