Brandt Takes On Tam Football

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Brandt Takes On Tam Football

By Jessica Hudson

Learning a new sport is challenging enough. Learning an entirely new sport you haven’t seen before in a new country is something entirely different.

Senior Eric Brandt is an exchange student from Sweden who arrived in Marin about a week before school started this year. Brandt had no intention of participating in football, but that changed once he arrived. “It’s a super American thing,” Brandt said. “I thought that it’d be cool to say when I get home that I’d played American football.”

Senior Eric Brandt (number 2) at football practice.
Photo by: Nate Vogel

Brandt’s family encouraged him to participate in an exchange program. They wanted Brandt to have the experience of being responsible for himself abroad.

At first, Brandt wanted to go to China, but he was too old for their exchange program. Despite the fact that the U.S. was his second choice, Brandt is happy here so far. “Marin is such a great place for an exchange student. I could have ended up somewhere as a farmer in Wisconsin,” said Brande. “I would not like that. So I’m happy.”

Coming to the team, Brandt had no knowledge of football. In Sweden, Brandt played soccer, a very different game than what he calls “American football.”

“It’s been really hard [learning the game],” he said. “I held my first football like three or four weeks ago.” Due to his inexperience, he has only played in two games so far this year, primarily as part of the special teams unit on kickoffs. As his familiarity with the game and the playbook increases, he will likely begin to see more playing time as wide receiver as well, because of the lack of depth resulting from the small team.

“It’s really hard because the players are really good,” Brandt said. “I [came] here not knowing a single thing about football. Like yesterday at practice, I asked the coach where the goal line was, and I’ve been playing for like three weeks now, and I still don’t know where the goal line is.”

Brandt doesn’t want to let his team down. “It’s hard getting to know [the sport] because everyone’s so good and you’re not good at all you’re always messing up.”

Brandt sees creating friendships as one of the most crucial parts of his experience.

“I feel like I’m a part of something and that’s really important,” said Brandt. “Like wearing the game jersey to school before a game and being a part of school rallies. It feels good to be a part of a group,” Brandt said. ♦