Samsung Frankfurt Universe
Chronicle Frankfurt Universe 2007-2017
Frankfurt Universe is a youth among the traditional German football clubs. Although recently founded, the club is already looking back on a turbulent but extremely successful childhood.
As football fans from the Rhine-Main region founded the club on July 18, 2007, they already joined 16 years of high-class football in Frankfurt. The NFL had won many fans for the sport with their World League and later NFLE in Frankfurt and all of Germany. Even more painfully for the supporters of the first “Men in Purple”, who had won the World Bowl four times as Frankfurt GALAXY, when the US-Farm league was closed due to financial reasons in 2007.
13 fans founded the GALAXY successor club Frankfurt Universe briefly, to pursue the philosophy: watching high-class football as a community, cultivating friendships with other clubs and celebrating success with a “purple” team.
Within a few weeks almost 500 members joined the new club to support and continue the purple football tradition in Frankfurt. Since that day, Frankfurt Universe was known to be the only club to have fans, but not yet a team. But just a few months later a dozen players met for the first joint practice under head coach Markus Grahn.
On the grounds of Blau-Gelb Frankfurt, Universe played the first test match on April 12, 2008. Guests were the Augsburg Raptors and the only points to the 6-0 victory of Frankfurt scored Runningback Ricardo Ambulo. Still, Universe did not play in purple, because the jerseys were ordered, but not yet delivered. The “Men in Purple” therefore appeared in red jerseys, a loan from the Stuttgart Scorpions.
The first game in the Landesliga, the fifth league, lost Universe on 11 May 2008 with 7:31 against the later champion Giessen Golden Dragons in front of 350 spectators. Until 2011 it should remain the highest defeat of the new “Men in Purple”. With a 5-1 record, Universe finished the season as the second-best team and went on to beat the Kassel Titans in the play-off semi-final and moved up one league despite the loss in the first game.
The Oberliga season 2009 ended Universe with a 5:0 record and strong 165:54 points as the champion. The first “perfect season” of the club was rewarded with the promotion to the Regionalliga.
The plan to move up quickly, but to ensure a healthy substructure, went on: In the Regionalliga 2010 Universe finished with a 5:5 record. 2011 they dominated the league with a 9:0 record until the “Showdown in K-Town”. The also unbeaten Kaiserslautern Pikes won the Championship with a 27:0 victory against the Universe who had to play without starting Quarterback Ian Mitchell. However, the promotion to the GFL 2 was already accomplished.
GFL 2 2012-2015
In 2012 the Universe came in second place with an excellent 9:4: record, one draw and the will to attack the championship the following seasons. The audience numbers had now risen to 2200, but the search for a suitable home ground was difficult. The “Men in Purple” even had to move to Rüsselsheim to be able to play their home games.
In the sixth Universe season the well-known US coach John Rosenberg inherited Markus Grahn as head coach but had to leave the ambitious team after only fourd games with a negative 1:2 record and a draw. Mike Williams took the helm and led his team to eight more victories. In the same way as 2012, Universe won the same title: Vizemeister.
Three performances at the former GALAXY site, in the Waldstadion in Frankfurt, were on the program of Universe in 2013 and 2014. The two encounters against the Frankfurt Pirates were played in front of 5300 spectators, against the Wiesbaden Phantoms even 6295 football fans came to see the show. The fact that the “Men in Purple” enjoyed the great stage was also reflected in the results: All three games in the former Waldstadion were finished as winners.
However, they were less successful in the seventh season, when the team was repeatedly thrown back but in the end could finish third in the league with a 8:6 record.
For the 2015 season, the GFL2 team was outsourced into Ltd. Company and entered a major football stage for the first time. All the home games were now played at the Frankfurt Volksbank Stadium, with a record breaking audience of 6825 against the Nürnberg Rams. Since that season the Universe home field is known as the “purple hell”.
The team, again led by head coach Markus Grahn and the strong US quarterback Emmanuel Lewis was now viewed as one of the most interesting teams in Germany and moved from victory to victory and broke numerous season records. On August 15, 2015 7056 spectators came to the top game against the Ingolstadt Dukes, which was played to decide the championship. The Universe remained undefeated the whole season and finished with a perfect 14:0 record.
The two play-off encounters against the last of the GFL, the Franken Knights, fell due to the renouncement of the Knights. Instead the Universe decided to go against the British champion London Warriors for the European Battle of Champions. With 34:31 Frankfurt also won this game and its first, unofficial, European title in front of over 5600 fans. However, the biggest accomplishment of the season and the history of the club was the promotion to the GFL.
For the GFL novice from Frankfurt the 2016 season was a whole potpourri of athletic and emotional premieres. A record of 14 wins and two defeats as promisers is not really bad, especially considering that the only two defeats occured from two highlight games against the later South Champion and German Bowl finalists from Schwäbisch Hall.
But the list of highlights is long. This includes, for example, the sensational second GFL game at the Stuttgart Scorpions, which was won in a dramatic finish with 49:43. The loyal fans also remember the first official games in the European Football League and two sovereign victories of their team against the Badalona Dracs and a great guest game on Lake Geneva against the Thonon Black Panthers. The final round of the EFL Bowl took place on June 11th at the Frankfurt Volksbank Stadium, where Samsung Frankfurt Universe managed to get the Cup to Frankfurt in front of 6.087 enthusiastic spectators with an exciting 35:21 against the Amsterdam Crusaders.
However, the highlight of the club ‘s history was the duel for the South Championship on the last day against the undefeated Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns. In a top-class top game before the record crowd of 7,416 spectators, Universe offered the champions a strong fight until the end but eventually lost the game against a deserved champion 28:35 and had to settle for the second place.
As the second seed behind the undefeated Unicorns, Samsung Frankfurt Universe could qualify as a newcomer directly for the playoffs. Here in the quarter-final the strong team of the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes came to Frankfurt to win an epcic defensive battle 7:0 and end the Universe season. Even though this defeat was painful, the successes that the team were able to celebrate with their fans were certainly the most important.