11 Jan Flag football touches-down in Lagos
Football (read: soccer) is everywhere you look in Nigeria – you’ll find little leagues and pickup games taking place at almost every turf in town, 7 days a week. American Football, however, is not that common – and by not that common, I mean I had never seen it played in Nigeria. Till now.
If you went to school in America, and you’ve missed tossing the old pigskin since you moved back, you’re in luck! Because every Sunday, Shitsuke Flag Football holds pick-up flag football games at the Lekki Leisure sports park. You don’t need to bring your own team. Just come down, join a team and play some flag football.
I had the pleasure of taking part in one of their games last week, and it was a rip-roaring good time. For the uninitiated, flag football is a bit different from regular American football – mostly in that it significantly reduces your chances of becoming an incapacitated mess after receiving a series of bone-crunching tackles. ‘How?’ you ask? Every players wears tags – and yanking off these tags counts as a tackle. Heavy Physical contact is also not allowed off the ball – you’re allowed a little push to screen runners, but that’s it.
Free of rough tackles, broken bones and concussions, flag football is a great way to experience American football without the risk of becoming a bloody, mangled flesh husk, which I am personally grateful for, seeing as I have to be at work the following morning. And at the price of N1500 for the day, it’s pretty easy on the wallet. You can also buy water and sports drinks there, in case you forgot to bring your own.
It’s a great way to learn more about American football if you’re not already familiar with the sport. For the seasoned American football veterans, it’s a good way to relive the nostalgia of playing the sport while stateside. It’s also a great way to meet new people and make friends, so grab a buddy on a Sunday, and go play some ball! Football. American football.