German Bowl XLI will feature familiar foes. This is because the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns will be facing off against the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. This will be the fifth time in six years these two teams have faced each other in the final.
This could be a classic as these two teams have an incredible history. We even ran a feature on the Unicorns earlier this year.
In that article we compared them to the Calgary Stampeders in terms of dominance. I am sure the Stamps would be happy to go to six straight Grey Cups as the Unicorns are in their sixth straight German Bowl!
Clash of the Titans
This should be a real heavyweight clash. The Lions are arguably the most successful team in GFL history with 11 championships and 6 runners-up slots. They last won it in 2016.
The Unicorns are the defending champions having won it all in 2017 & 2018.
Although Schwäbisch Hall defeated the Lions in the 2017 final they have only won one of their last 4 encounters as the New Yorker team defeated them in the German Bowl final in 2014, 2015 & 2016.
Whilst the Lions have appeared in 17 finals, this is the Unicorns 8th appearance in the German Bowl game. That said all 8 of their final appearances have been since 2011.
2019 head to head
This will be a match-up between undefeated teams as both finished the regular season 14-0-0.
On Offense the Unicorns had the top scoring unit in the GFL with 680 points. They were followed by the Lions who had 586. The Unicorns generated 6,049 yards of total offense (2nd in the GFL), to the Lions 5750 yards (4th in the GFL).
The Unicorns also had the tightest defense giving up just 176 points with the Lions right behind at 179 points.
However, the Lions have some advantages. They gave up the least yards in the league on D and had far and away the leading rushing attack.
On the other hand Schwäbisch have the 2nd ranked run attack and 4th best pass attack so may be more balanced.
It should be close and it should be good. If you can get a stream of the German Bowl on October the 12th then you might just have fun watching this one.
The CFL Connection
It was inevitable I would bring the CFL into it somewhere. If you are a CFL fan then you know by now that the CFL 2.0 strategy has already been in full swing. There have been for example an international combine, and a European Draft already.
Teams have been required to dress one ‘global’ player this year. In some cases they are just there as support, but some like Hamilton kicker Gabriel Amavizca have seen playing time. In fact Amavizca became a legitimate quiz question answer as the first global player to score in the CFL.
More saliently for this game, former Potsdam Royal, now Winnipeg linebacker Thiadric Hansen has made it from special teams to a defensive rotation.
He came from the European draft – which was dominated by GFL players. So it might be worth keeping an eye on this one for any future CFL talent!
banner image: Nick Alfieri and teammates. Image from beyondstrength.net