Berlin Adler

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Berlin Adler
Berlin Adler.gif
Founded 1979
League German Football League
Team history Berliner Bären (1979-81)
Berlin Adler (1981-present)
Based in Berlin, Germany
Stadium Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark
Colors Yellow and Black
         
Head coach Wanja Müller
Championships Eurobowl: 2010
EFAF Cup: 2008
German Bowl: 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2004, 2009
Ladies Bowl: 1993–1997, 2000–2004
Division titles GFL North: 1986–1992, 1994, 2009
Cheerleaders Aces
Website www.berlinadler.de/

The Berlin Adler (English: Berlin Eagles) is an American football club based in Berlin, Germany. The club is one of the most successful clubs in the sport in Germany, having won six German Bowls as well as a ten Ladies Bowls and five Junior Bowls.[1]

Internationally, the club has participated in the European Football League (EFL) on a number of occasions and has won the Eurobowl in 2010.

As of 2010, the club is second only to the Munich Cowboys (335) in German Football League (GFL) games played, with 312, the only two teams with more than 300 league games. The Cowboys have played 29 out of a possible 32 seasons at the highest level of the game in Germany, the Adler one less, 28.[2]

History[edit]

Foundation years[edit]

Berlin Adler helmet design.

The club was formed as the second American football club in Berlin on 12 February 1979, then under the name of Berliner Bären (English: Berlin Bears). Shortly after its formation, the club was joined by the Berlin Bats, increasing the number of club members substantially. In the early days, all training was carried out on the facilities of the US Army and supervised by US soldiers stationed in Berlin.[3]

In 1979, the Bears became a founding member of the American Football Bundesliga, renamed the German Football League in 1999,[4] together with the Frankfurter Löwen, Düsseldorf Panther, Ansbach Grizzlies, Munich Cowboys und Bremerhaven Seahawks.[5]

The Bears came third in their first season in competitive football, but was unable to make the play-off in its first four seasons. To improve on-the-field performance, the team decided to join established club BSC Wilmersdorf in 1981, changing its club colors and name, becoming the Berlin Adler.[3]

First success[edit]

The Adler began to improve in 1983, qualifying for the play-offs for the first time. A youth department was formed and the team changed mother-clubs, now joining BSC Rehberge, to gain a permanent home ground. The Adler moved into the Radrennstadion Schöneberg in 1986 as their home ground and earned their first German title the following year. After remaining unbeaten all season in 1987, the team defeated the Badener Greifs in the German Bowl, held in front of a sell-out crowd of 14,800 at Mommsenstadion in Berlin.[6]

The team's first entry in the EFL in 1988 ended in the semi finals, losing narrowly to the Amsterdam Crusaders but, in 1989, the club returned to success, winning its second German Bowl, again undefeated all season, against the Red Barons Cologne.[6]

Dominance[edit]

The Adler became a dominating team in Germany, achieving a 966-day unbeaten run, which only came to a halt in a league game against the Cologne Crocodiles in 1991. Before and after, the Adler defeated the Crocodiles in the German Bowl in 1990 and 1991. In European competition, the club reached the semi finals in 1990 and the final in 1991, once more losing to the Amsterdam Crusaders.[7]

After three titles in series from 1989 to 1991, the Adler declined somewhat but remained a strong side, still reaching the semi finals in each of the following four seasons. In 1994, the club made its fifth German Bowl appearance, but lost for the first time, against the Düsseldorf Panther. In 1995, the club still had a strong season, but declined markedly after that.[7]

Decline[edit]

The 1996 season saw the Adler in the unfamiliar position of having to combat relegation and being troubled by financial problems. It came sixth and last in its division and had to take part in the relegation round. The team assured survival there in two games against local rival Berlin Rebels. The following season proved worse however, the Adler could not win a league game all season, had to play in the relegation round once more and, after winning the first game against the Paderborn Dolphins, lost the second and were relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga.[7]

Recovery[edit]

The club spent the next four seasons at the second level of German football, slowly rebuilding. It moved from its old ground to the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark and, in 2001, managed to win its division, entitling the team to take part in the promotion round. After playing and losing to the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, promotion was seemingly missed, but the withdrawal of the Düsseldorf Panther from the GFL opened up a spot in the league for the Adler and the team was back at the highest level for 2002.[8]

Berlin, in the mean time, had acquired an NFL Europe team in 1999, the Berlin Thunder, a club that lasted until 2007, when the league folded.

Return to success[edit]

The Berlin Adler at the Eurobowl XXIV in 2010.

The Adler once more became a successful side in the German Football League, reaching the semi finals in their first two seasons there. In 2004, the team ended the clubs 13 year title drought, defeating the Braunschweig Lions in a low-scoring German Bowl.[9]

After this, the club experienced two lean seasons, being knocked-out in the quarter finals in 2005 and having to play against relegation in 2006 but successfully avoiding the relegation round in the end.[9]

The team did not decline further, as it had done in the 1990s, but instead reached the semi finals in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, the side lost narrowly to the Stuttgart Scorpions, in 2008 they lost to the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes, a team it was to meet in the following two German Bowls. In Europe, the Berlin Adler won the EFAF Cup, a second tier competition, against the Parma Panthers of Italy, the clubs first international title.[10]

In 2009, the Adler had another successful season, losing only one league game and advancing to their seventh German Bowl, earning their sixth national title by defeating the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 28-21. The 2010 season saw a repeat of this final, but this time Kiel was the stronger side and won their first national title. The Adler however achieved their second European success, finally winning the Eurobowl for the first time.[10]

The 2011 season was not as successful for the club, making a losing appearance in the Eurobowl, finishing only fourth in the league and going out in the quarter finals of the play-offs to the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns.[11] In 2012 the club came second in the northern division of the GFL and qualified for the play-off where it was knocked out by the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the semi finals. The team once more reached the semi finals of the play-offs in 2013, this time losing to the Dresden Monarchs.

In 2014 the club will take part in a new European competition, the BIG6 European Football League, which will consist of three teams from Germany, two from Austria and one from Switzerland, the clubs being Berlin Adler, New Yorker Lions, Dresden Monarchs, Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna, Swarco Raiders Tirol and the Calanda Broncos. The two best teams of this competition will advance to the Eurobowl XXVIII.[12]

Honours[edit]

Men[edit]

  • Eurobowl
    • Champions: 2010
    • Runners-up: 1991, 2011
  • German Bowl
    • Champions: 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2004, 2009
    • Runners-up: 1994, 2010
  • EFL
    • Participations: (10) 1988, 1990–1992, 1996, 2009–2013
  • GFL
    • Northern Division champions: (9) 1986–1992, 1994, 2009
    • Play-off qualification : (24) 1983–1995, 2002–2005, 2007–2013
    • League membership : (31) 1979–1997, 2002–present
  • GFL 2
    • Northern Division champions: 2001

Women[edit]

  • Ladies Bowl
    • Champions: (10) 1993–1997, 2000–2004
    • Runners-up: 1999

Juniors[edit]

  • Junior Bowl
    • Champions: 1989, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2009
    • Runners-up: 2006
  • Junior Flag Bowl
    • Champions: 2007

German Bowl appearances[edit]

The club's appearances in the German Bowl:[1]

Bowl Date Champions Runners-Up Score Location Attendance
IX October 11, 1987 Berlin Adler Badener Greifs 37-12 Berlin 14,000
XI October 21, 1989 Berlin Adler Red Barons Cologne 30-23 Nuremberg 10,500
XII October 20, 1990 Berlin Adler Cologne Crocodiles 50-38 Düsseldorf 10,000
XIII October 5, 1991 Berlin Adler Cologne Crocodiles 22-21 Hamburg 13,000
XVI September 17, 1994 Düsseldorf Panther Berlin Adler 27-17 Hanau 7,862
XXVI October 9, 2004 Berlin Adler Braunschweig Lions 10-7 Braunschweig 17,200
XXXI October 3, 2009 Berlin Adler Kiel Baltic Hurricanes 28-21 Frankfurt 14,234
XXXII October 9, 2010 Kiel Baltic Hurricanes Berlin Adler 17-10 Frankfurt 11,121

Recent seasons[edit]

Recent seasons of the Berlin Adler:[11][13][14][15][16]

Year Division Finish Points Pct. Games W D L PF PA Postseason
2005 GFL (North) 4th 12–12 0.500 12 6 0 6 376 356 Lost QF: Marburg Mercenaries (21–40)
2006 5th 8–16 0.333 12 4 0 8 196 234
2007 2nd 16–8 0.667 12 8 0 4 267 136 Won QF: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (23–3)
Lost SF: Stuttgart Scorpions (14–19)
2008 3rd 16–8 0.667 12 7 2 3 141 108 Won QF: Stuttgart Scorpions (9–6)
Lost SF: Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (12–17)
2009 1st 18–2 0.900 10 9 0 1 252 91 Won QF: Weinheim Longhorns (30–13)
Won SF: Marburg Mercenaries (36–21)
Won GB: Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (28–21)
2010 2nd 20–4 0.833 12 10 0 2 303 198 Won QF: Plattling Black Hawks (17–3)
Won SF: Marburg Mercenaries (17–6)
Lost GB: Kiel Baltic Hurricanes (10–17)
2011 4th 14–14 0.500 14 7 0 7 368 296 Lost QF: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (27–53)
2012 2nd 22–6 0.786 14 11 0 3 412 294 Won QF: Marburg Mercenaries (35–21)
Lost SF: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (21–38)
2013 4th 14–14 0.500 14 7 0 7 332 342 Won QF: Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns (42–13)
Lost SF: Dresden Monarchs (21–32)
  • RR = Relegation round.
  • QF = Quarter finals.
  • SF = Semi finals.
  • GB = German Bowl.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bowls GFL website, accessed: 1 January 2011
  2. ^ Ewige Bundesligatabelle (German) Historic tables of American football in Germany, accessed: 3 January 2011
  3. ^ a b History: 1979-1982 (German) Berlin Adler website, accessed: 6 January 2010
  4. ^ GFL German Football League (German) AFVD website, accessed: 1 January 2011
  5. ^ Geschichte (German) AFVD website, accessed: 1 January 2011
  6. ^ a b History: 1983-1989 (German) Berlin Adler website, accessed: 6 January 2010
  7. ^ a b c History: 1990-1997 (German) Berlin Adler website, accessed: 6 January 2010
  8. ^ History: 1998-2001 (German) Berlin Adler website, accessed: 6 January 2010
  9. ^ a b History: 2002-2006 (German) Berlin Adler website, accessed: 6 January 2010
  10. ^ a b History: 2007-2010 (German) Berlin Adler website, accessed: 6 January 2010
  11. ^ a b GFL 2011 www.football-aktuell.de, accessed: 18 September 2011
  12. ^ BIG6 European Football League starts 2014 www.eurobowl.com, published: 20 November 2013, accessed: 5 December 2013
  13. ^ Football History (German) Historic American football tables from Germany, accessed: 2 January 2010
  14. ^ GFL 2008 www.football-aktuell.de, accessed: 2 January 2011
  15. ^ GFL 2009 www.football-aktuell.de, accessed: 2 January 2011
  16. ^ GFL 2010 www.football-aktuell.de, accessed: 2 January 2011

External links[edit]