The National Football League season just came to an end, but another football league is starting to get its wheels turning.
The 2013 National Gay Flag Football League season kicks off with its first tournament, the South Florida Gay Flag Football League’s Sunshine Cup.
The third annual tournament takes place on President’s Day weekend, Feb. 16-17. Tournament Coordinator Javier Cavero is excited that the tournament has almost doubled in size, with 13 amateur teams participating in this year’s tournament, many making their way to South Florida from other states.
“Who wants to be in that weather mess up north when you can be in sunny South Florida,” Cavero said. “A lot of teams plan vacations around our tournament.”
One of those teams is the Chicago Breeze, captained by Tyler Foerster .
Foerster said that the sun and the large LGBT presence has brought him and his 12-player team back for their second Sunshine Cup.
“The whole feel of the Wilton Manors community has brought us back for this tournament,” Foerster said. “This tournament is a good way for our guys to get ready for the spring season up North. The beaches don’t hurt either.”
The fun atmosphere of the community and the competiveness of the Cup make are what make it a must play according to both Cavero and Foerster.
“A lot of teams take advantage of our format,” Cavero said. “You get games in no matter what.”
Teams are broken up into three groups for Round-Robin style of play, with the top eight teams from those groups moving on to a single elimination tournament. The other teams are placed into a consolation bracket.
“Last year’s sixth place finish is something we want to improve on,” Foerster said. “We’re looking forward to being social and bonding as a team.”
Local bars have stepped up to offer some entertainment for incoming and local teams.
Things kick off on Feb. 14 at the Village Pub for those teams that arrive early.
Friday, Feb. 15 is registration day and a sort of “meet and greet” for the teams at Depot, while those that like to dance are being welcomed at the Manor Complex on Wilton Drive. On Feb. 16 after the games, players will be encouraged to compete in the “Tight End” contest where the best full back wins $100 in cash. Sunday is closing party and awards will be hosted by Sidelines Sports Bar.
“Our team this year is more focused,” Foerster said. “Above all else we want to have fun.”
The competition starts on at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the fields at Mills Pond Park.
For more information on the SFGFFL or the Sunshine Cup visit sfgffa.com.