By Omar Ureña (Gráfico Sports)
Finally pro football flourished in Guadalajara, it took 49 years to be harvested after the first college football game between the UAG Tecos and the Narro Agricultural University Buitres, now that the FAM has arrived the Jalisco Tequileros, with an agave plant inscribed on their green helmets, are colliding against the other four FAM teams, wisely spread all over Mexico: Ciudad Juárez Centauros, Querétaro Pioneros, Naucalpan Bulldogs and México City Titanes. These teams exist due the sharp vision of Juan Carlos Vazquez, creator and founder of the LFA (Liga Futbol Americano) in 2016 and the brand new FAM (Futbol Americano Mexico) this 2019.
Jalisco Tequileros is a brand that was showcased first at Consejo Regulador de Tequila by partners Germán Pérez de Celis, and former QB Enrique Villanueva, an UDLA Aztec legend, national champion in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Now his leadership as an entrepreneur focuses on strengthening Pro Football in Mexico. It’s not surprising that another Hall of famer QB from the Aztecas, Edgar Zapata, is the Commissioner of the FAM, his knowledge about marketing has been the key for this league to arise victorious and so far the fans in Ciudad Juarez, Querétaro, Mexico City and mainly Guadalajara, have filled the stadiums.
The first game in the history of FAM was on February 24 at Estadio 3 de Marzo in Zapopan, home of the Tecos (Pro soccer and College Football teams). It was the first pro football game ever in Guadalajara: Naucalpan Bulldogs were up by 16 in the second half. Tequileros were fighting hard for their fans and the Impressive 93 yard drive led by Christopher Reyes (2) finished strong with his second dive to the end zone.
In the 4th quarter Jalisco defense stepped up and fans were crazy, then Chris Reyes threw his 3rd pick of the day blowing Jalisco’s hope to win their first game in history in front of their devoted fans. Regardless Bulldogs won 22-19, fans were hooked after they saw their players giving everything they got on the field.
The second game was intense, Tequileros traveled to Mexico City to face the Titanes. In the fourth quarter a TD reception by Gustavo Guerrero (85) and a perfect onside kick recovered by DB Edgar Alvarado (20) gave Tequileros a last hope to win, unfortunately they ran out of time and Mexico City got the win. Second loss by Jalisco in dramatic fashion. Tequileros lost 19-14.
Then it was time to be back at 3 de Marzo stadium, in their second game at home the direction changed for the Tequileros, their agave hearts and spirit were determined to make history, historical day indeed due they were excel in running the ball.
Thanks to the offensive line blocks Salas (6) showed speed and David Poblete (32) had an unforgettable performance, scoring one touchdown and running 167 yards in 17 rushes, averaging 9.5 per carry, leading Tequileros to earn their first win in franchise history in front of a packed “3 de Marzo” Stadium. Jalisco Tequileros beat Ciudad Juarez 34-10.
Last Sunday the Tequileros visited the Pioneros in Querétaro. This time Jalisco offensive line experienced problems to protect Reyes. Still, David Poblete played hard and Roberto Misael scored a TD. Tequileros were leading by 3 at the end of the 4th quarter but their defense collapsed when Said Salazar made a phenomenal and controversial catch for the Pioneros winning touchdown. Tequileros fell facing the sun 25-20 in Querétaro.
So what we’ve seen so far goes beyond the Tequileros 1-3 record. This team fights and has put out there a fun show to watch. Tequileros is a winner football club on its own since it was designed, then being successful by bringing 13,000 people in two games. This soil is perfect to plant and harvest Sunday heroes for the upcoming seasons.
In the meantime fans are enjoying their new professional team that inspires and provides them with family joy: souvenirs with the agave logo, food, beer, colorful bleachers, kiss cam, a band performing Queen songs at half time and the announcer asking fans to make some noise: “Ruidooo!, Ruiiidooo!, Rrrrruuiidooooo!”.
The fun is out there for everyone, players are having a blast on the field, ”Distilling strength…Destilando fuerza”. Offering distinct flavors, robust plays by the defense as a fiery, earthy tequila from the Valle de Amatitan or the acrobatic passes and runs bringing smooth, aromatic flavors as a tequila from “Los Altos”. So join the fun. Plan a trip to Jalisco, visit Tequila, then head to Guadalajara and watch the Tequileros, lay back and sip their games in the sun, these guys are fun to watch and there will be green and gold for a long time. Here’s to you!…Salud Tequileros!