Did you know there was an International Federation of American Football? Did you know that they hold a Senior World Championships every four years? Did you know that the next installment (the fourth ever) is coming up this July? The answer to all of those questions is likely "no," even though the IFAF Senior World Championships is really the closest thing American football has to the World Cup. I mean, minus the fact that there are only eight teams, none of the best players play, and no one gives a shit about it. But other than that: totally like the World Cup.
So why might you care a fraction more this year? Because there's a Hawkeye on the squad, of course: former Iowa offensive lineman Josh Koeppel is taking his talents to Innsbruck (and Graz and Vienna) to help the U.S. team defend their crown (four years ago they beat Japan in the finals, 23-20, in double overtime, which should probably tell you something about the caliber of players the U.S. sent). He's joined by a handful of other former major college players, including West Virginia's Johnny Dingle (snicker), Kansas State's Daniel Calvin, Baylor's Jordan Lake, and Virginia Tech's Stephan Virgil. Oh, and former Colorado quarterback (and current Stockholm Mean Machines signal-caller!) Cody Hawkins. Heh.
The U.S. is in a group with Australia, Germany, and Mexico. (The other group features Japan, France, Canada, and Austria.) The top teams in the group advance to the Gold and Bronze medal games. PROTIP for Australia, Germany, and Mexico: Josh Koeppel survived this. He's not gonna be scared of what you're bringing to this tussle unless you show up in a tank. Anyway, best of luck to Koeppel and the rest of the U.S. team.