Berkeley Back Helps U.S. Win (American) Football Title



The East Bay has one sporting feat to cheer about (other than hosting two baseball games in one day Saturday): Jason Haller, who hails from Berkeley and played at St. Mary's High School, is now a gold medal performer in football. Who knows how they fit the whole team up on top of that little podium?

The International Federation of American Football just wrapped up its one week tournament in Austria, and the American team took the title by beating up on Canada 50-7. So any lingering resentment you might be feeling over the United States getting beat in soccer could be eased by our dominance in the kind of football that would never be spelled with the letter "u".

The local angle features Haller, a baller from Berkeley who played college ball down at Occidental. The former Panther turned um, American rushed three times for 13 yards — slightly off his yards-per-carry rate of 11 yards a crack — in the opening game against Australia, a 61-0 wipeout for the Yanks. Eight teams suited up, including one from Japan, the bronze medal winner. Nobody ever really threatened the U.S. hegemony, and except for some likely scorecard confusion when Austria beat Australia (with the help of their obvious Viennese home field advantage) it looks like the whole event was pretty warm-hearted and fairly low-key; two things I would never associate with football at any level.