Saturday, June 26, 1999
on top of the world
The former St. Louis star willBy Pat Bigold
play in his first NFL Europe
World Bowl when Bracelona
takes on Frankfurt
Kaipo McGuire has been in the Prep Bowl and the WAC Championship game, but he's never seen anything like the mega event he's playing in this weekend.
It's the NFL Europe's seventh World Bowl in Dusseldorf, Germany, between the regular-season champion Barcelona Dragons (7-3) and the Frankfurt Galaxy (6-4). It will be played tomorrow at the 57,000-capacity Rheinstadion and broadcast to 172 countries.
Fox Sports will carry the game live to the United States at 7:30 a.m. Hawaii time. The game will be heard on the One-on-One Sports Radio Network.
McGuire is one of 19 Dragons allocated from NFL teams. The Galaxy have 18 NFL players.
The 5-foot-10, 174-pound wide receiver will be invited to training camp with the Indianapolis Colts for the third straight year on July 22. Insiders say McGuire's best chance to make the Colts' roster will be on special teams.
The former St. Louis School and Brigham Young star is the only Hawaii native in NFL Europe. He has started every game this season with the Dragons and has 16 receptions for 222 yards (13.9-yard average) despite nagging injuries. He has not scored.
He has returned 13 kicks for 219 yards (16.8-yard average) and five punts for 48 yards (9.6-yard average). But McGuire has had only one reception for seven yards in the last four games.
Barcelona head coach Jack Bicknell said by phone this morning that it isn't because McGuire has been missing passes.
"He's been blocking well but the ball just hasn't been going his way," said Bicknell.
"There's no explaining it. It just happens that way. It depends on the coverage.""
One explanation might be the play of 6-5, 196-pound Seattle Seahawks allocation Brian Finneran, who has 54 catches for 844 yards and eight touchdowns.
"He hasn't caught a lot of balls but Kaipo's definitely a deep threat," said Barcelona starting quarterback Todd Bouman.
"He's been open deep a few times and I've just overthrown him.
"People don't give him a lot of credit because of his size but he's very, very quick."
McGuire has been playing in NFL Europe for $1,200 a game and the chance to improve his value as a pro. He will earn a bonus of $3,000 with a win in the World Bowl and $1,500 for a loss.