For a decade, Skoda Auto Deutschland has sponsored the NFL Europe -- a six-team offshoot of the US National Football League. The league, a training ground for young US football players, is supposed to popularize American football in Europe. But what seems to be catching on is the American practice of "tailgating" -- fans gathering in parking lots hours before gametime to barbeque, socialize and, perhaps, drink.
Will Svitek, a tackle with the Frankfurt Galaxy, wrote about a typical NFL Europe in a note to his US team, the Kansas City Chiefs. He said games have a "soccer/football feel, with a rock concert flavor. The fans are constantly blowing whistles and blaring American music. As the beers start kicking in by the second half, they become even louder."