International players attract international interest
As part of the NFL International program, 11 players were selected from all over the world, with the intention of allowing them to intern on an established NFL team. After a year or two of participating in training camps and practices, they harbor the hopes that they might someday become an NFL player down the road.
Los Angeles Rams
One of those fortunate international players who were selected was Italian Max Pircher. Now, Max Pircher was not someone who won a contest to participate in this program from some European pub contest. He is every bit the part, standing 6-foot-7 and tilting the scales at 300 pounds. He is one of the few on the LA Rams roster who can look at starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth right into the eyes.
Pircher is not here to check out the sights, vacation in Los Angeles, or meet one of the Kardashians. He is here with the expressed goal of learning American Football, with the added bonus of signing a contract to play on an NFL team’s 53-man roster. He’s got the right size to play the position. In fact, if he had the commiserate experience, he would have heard his name called in an NFL Draft.
That experience comes at a price. That price is the investment time at a young age. In the USA, that investment begins in communities at the age of six. Children compete in peewee and midget football leagues sponsored by YMCAs, churches, schools, playgrounds, or other organizations. While the product isn’t exactly polished and pretty, it’s an excellent method to infuse basic fundamentals about the game into a young player. Combining rules and enjoyment is an effective teaching method by piggybacking learning into a form of play.