Football Brasileiro

by Brazil Club - Let The Music Take You There on 09/09/2017 - 11:35 am


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2017's NFL Kickoff

Opening weekend for the NFL’s 2017 season is underway and Thursday night’s kickoff for the very first game came off the foot of a Brazilian, Kansas City Chiefs kicker, Cairo Fernandes Santos.

A unique asterisk in the annals of NFL history, but not the only one. You see, Santos is the only Brazilian on the roster of any team for the NFL.

Born in Limeira, São Paulo Santos was first introduced to American football as a foreign exchange student in St. Augustine, Florida. He discovered that his kicking skills for soccer in Brazil translated to kicking field goals in American football and what began as a one-year high school program to learn English led to a college football career at Tulane University.

At the end of his Senior year, Santos was named consensus All-American and received the Lou Groza Award for the nation's most outstanding placekicker. He was signed by the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2014.

Santos is the first Brazilian born player in NFL, but not the first Brazilian-American in the NFL.

 

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Brazil's First NFL Player

Damian Medeiros da Silva Vaughn was Brazil’s first NFL player, as a tight end for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1998 t0 2000 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2001 to 2002.

Vaughn was born in Anchorage, Alaska, to an American father and a Brazilian mother. When he was six months old, his family moved to Divinópolis, Minas Gerais before moving back to the United States to study Spanish and International Business at Miami University in Ohio.

Now retired, Damian founded the Vaughn Center, a facility in Scottsdale, Arizona which offers meditation and leadership training for athletes.

Today, Brazilian athletes can be found in Major and Minor League Baseball, the NBA, Tennis, Golf, Soccer and even the NHL. But the strongest American sports series for Brazilians is IndyCar, where talented Indy 500 winning drivers Emerson Fittipaldi, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan have led the way for more than two dozen Brazilian pilotos since the late 1980’s.

 


 

 

 


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