Before the final of the 2014 Czech League of American Football championships (Prague Black Panthers won it 40-0) Prague TV met with American Prague Black Panthers player Kyle Newhall-Caballero to chat with him about the game, life in Prague and how American football is faring in Europe.
Kyle, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, signed with the Prague Black Panthers in late December of 2013 and since then has played with the team in both the Czech and Austrian American football leagues.
Prior to coming to Prague, Kyle had played American football at Brown University and signed with the Oakland Raiders before taking on a full-time job in cognitive sports training, but came to Prague as he had an itch to play football again and wanted to see Europe.
“There are quite a lot of differences between American football in the US and the Czech Republic. In college I used to practice around five times a week whereas over here we only practice twice a week, but the guys have immense stamina and have the ability to play two games in one weekend,” explains Kyle. “The guys on the team really have a true passion for the game. Unlike NFL players it isn’t their full time job and they are playing because they truly love it.”
The rest of the Prague Black Panthers have welcomed Kyle with open arms and have shown him parts of the city he may not have seen as a regular tourist in Prague.
“Having friends on the team has been a great way to immerse myself in Czech culture – the guys have treated me to a few pub crawls and we’ve gone to the kind of pubs and restaurants that you don’t normally find on Trip Advisor,” says Kyle.
As for Tuesday’s final, Kyle had high hopes for Prague Black Panthers and having watched a good amount of coverage of the opposing team Příbram Bobcats in action felt confident that the Panthers had a reliable game plan in place to come out on top.
“Příbram Bobcats have some really good players, but we have been watching a lot of film of their matches so I think we know what their weaknesses are and have some good strategies,” explains Kyle. “We’ve played the Bobcats before and the game has been really close, so I think tonight should be a really good game.”
Kyle will fly back to the US in two weeks but will go home with some fantastic memories of his time in Prague playing for the Black Panthers.
“I’ve made some brilliant lifelong friends by playing with the Panthers,” says Kyle. “I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Black Panthers and I will forever be a part of them. The guys on the team have made a lasting impression on me and I can’t thanks them enough.”