"That's right, 92," he says, tapping a reporter's notebook with a bratwurstian forefinger. "Put that where the scouts can read it." Hampel lasted with the Broncos until last summer's final cut and is one of just two European starters in the World League. His run blocking is terrific; what he needs to do to make it in the NFL—according to Mark McHale, an offensive line coach with the Galaxy—is become more adept at holding.
Hampel, whose teammates call him Diesel, played team handball and rowed in two-and four-man sculls until he was 14. It is his ambition not only to play in the NFL but also to work for the league when he retires as a player. Hampel foresees a day when the presence of a nonkicking European on an NFL roster will be "no big deal."
If that happens, football's experiment in Europe will not seem so wacky after all.