By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter

São Paulo Storm playing Sorocaba Vipers on August 15, photo by São Paulo Storm.
São Paulo Storm playing Sorocaba Vipers on August 15, photo by São Paulo Storm.

RIO DE JANEIRO -André José Adler is popularly known as the ambassador of American Football in Brazil. Former ESPN announcer of NFL games, Adler is one of the country’s biggest enthusiasts. In the second of our two-part interview, he spoke to The Gringo Times about his experience in Hungary, challenges facing US football in Brazil and his plans for the future.

André, although you grew up in Brazil, you were born in Budapest. In 2006 you moved back to Hungary, and once there, you also helped the growth of the local football scene. How were your professional experiences in Hungary?

Fate had it that I would be providing color commentary to the first College Football season shown there.

I also got involved with MAFL, the Hungarian American Football League, whose president Laszlo Toth is a man with a long-term vision and huge passion for the sport, and devised a thirty-minute magazine show, “Touchdown”, showing highlights of games played by the Hungarian teams, and featuring the contributions of Hungarian Americans to the NFL: George Halas, Don Shula, Pete Gogolak, Larry Csonka and many others.

I produced, directed and presented 25 of those shows in the 2007 and the 2008 seasons on the cable channel Sport Klub.

We organized a cocktail party at the American Embassy in Hungary. Ambassador April H. Foley received representatives of all teams at her official residence and presented two Sports Diplomacy diplomas. The most significant of all was the official American recognition to the people who struggle to practice and promote the American sport which shows teamwork in its most dramatic form. The event was also featured in my show and Ambassador Foley granted me a delightful interview.


The dream of a well-structured national tournament has existed ever since the oval-shaped ball started being thrown around in Brazil. What were the biggest difficulties overcome in order to make Torneio Touchdown come true?

Adler alongside Flavio Cardia, player and leading figure for the RJ Imperadores team, photo by RJ Imperadores.
Adler alongside Flavio Cardia, player and leading figure for the RJ Imperadores team, photo by RJ Imperadores.

I consider all the guys playing in the eight teams in this tournament real heroes. It not only takes a lot of training so that the games are competitive, but those who study and or have day jobs must become overnight public relations managers, organizers, advertisers, buyers and sellers.

Getting playing fields is not easy. Just making stadium managers understand that football hurts the field less than soccer is a task. Takes them a while to realize that we don’t kick the grass as much…

What are your next plans to help continue the expansion of US football in Brazil? How far do you think the Brazilian scene can go?

Well, I will be calling some of the Torneio Touchdown games for audiences in the stadium (some also on the internet) beginning with Barigui Crocodiles at Curitiba Brown Spiders this weekend. Silvio Santos Jr. will be providing color commentary. I think we have to bring more people in to watch live football so they can see how much fun it is.

I will also do some features on many of those games for ESPN´s “The Book is on the Table” show. Eventually I hope to produce a Brazilian version of the “Touchdown” show we did in Hungary. Of course, I will continue supporting football in any capacity.

The Brazilian scene can go far as the spirit of collaboration between local and regional leagues. AFAB, the national league, is working more closely with them than ever before. As more and more people are discovering how much fun it is to play and watch football I believe it will become a respected amateur sport in Brazil.

The Barigui Crocodiles has just exported a linebacker to the US. Guilherme Salvatti Moreira has joined the Pioneers at Malone University in Canton, Ohio. I would not rule out the hope that many have to make American football a part of the professional sports picture in Brazil. But we have to patiently play one down at a time, so we can all keep scoring touchdowns!

8 COMMENTS

  1. Despite being happy with the growth of US football in Brazil, I couldn’t be more disappointed with the partiality of this series of articles, an offense to many other people who have contributed as much or more than Mr. Adler in favor of football. Please, Mr. Monsanto, stop being naive. Mr. Adler is far from being an unanimity. Do a proper research, beyond your one only source. That’s what good journalism is about.

  2. Mto legal a matéria, mostra q estamos sendo observados e não duvido mto que em breve algo d emtop bom irá acontecer no cenário brasileiro de Fut. Americano…parabéns!

  3. Mr. Ferreira, I was thinking about your thoughts… and I was thinking if you would mind to provide us with some examples about how much the “others” made for football in Brazil? Just a few facts:
    1st- Creation of Redzone.. the first discussion list of American football in Portuguese
    2nd- NFL Draft 2000 – 2 Brazilians guys watching live in NYC.. Thanks to Mr. Adler
    3rd- Touchdown Magazine – an electronic magazine made by Brazilians with support by Mr Adler.
    4th_ NFL recognition for the Carioca Bowl, and donation of balls and flags for school kids in São Paulo.
    5th – Torneio Touchdown – a great tournament made by Brazilians guy, with no sponsors, but supported by Mr. Adler.
    These are only five examples.. . Need more? Please. contact anyone in Redzone, Torneio Touchdown and others to talk about how great is all realizations by Mr. Adler.
    By the way… who are you? Do you hate André Adler for any personal reason?

  4. Mais uma ótima materia do Jayme!!!
    Realmente o Futebol Americano no Brasil está crescendo a cada dia!!
    parabens

  5. parabens pela materia, agora….já que tem um brasileiro convocado para jogar em uma universidade…não seria de bom tom fazer uma entrevista ou buscar informações sobre o mesmo para futuras contratações…afinal sabemos que é um circulo muito fechado jogar futebol americano nos USA…parabéns a este Guilherme Moreira do Crocodilus…vamos apoiar gente….

  6. Muito bom. O circulo nao e tao fechado assim, basta ser realmente bom. Tem brasileiro de kicker na philadelphia, Heron de WR na california, Vargas ja jogou semi-pro na Georgia, Eu jogo semi-pro aqui no Missouri, tenho um amigo que jogou de WR os quatro anos de High School…e por ai vai.

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