Deep North Episode 30: Sparsity Blues

einherjar football iceland

It’s Saturday night – and it’s feckin’ freezing.

Seven below.

Even inside the Egilshöll stadium, my fingers feel like popsicles. Taking notes means pitting the will against whatever half-responsive nerve cells are relaying messages from my benumbed digits.

Inside the locker room, Sigurður Jefferson is screaming his testicles off.

But not because of the cold.

“We’re the only fucking football team in Iceland!” he yells. “We’re fucking Vikings!”

It’s not the most original of sentiments – but it gets his teammates going.

And they really need to get going.

It’s halftime, and the Einherjar – literally army of one, referring to the warriors in Norse mythology who met their death on the battlefield and then caught a Valkyrie-driven Uber to Valhalla – are 20 points down.

34-14.

They’re losing to a ragtag bunch of Romanians called the Bucharest Rebels.

Everything’s going goddamn terrible.

Read the full story here.

Bjartur, 19 Years Old, to Play Football in US on Scholarship

Bjartur Eldur Þórsson

19 year old Bjartur Eldur Þórsson is heading to the United States on a full sports scholarship. And according to a recent conversation with Vísir, he intends to go all the way to the NFL

Always having been into sports, Bjartur has played as a wide receiver for the past one and half years for the Einherjar, an American football team based out of Kópavogur.

Bjartur stated to Vísir: “I started in the summer of 2021, so you could say I’m still kind of new to it. I started out in the youth league for Einherjar and worked my way to get a position on the starting team. That summer I was also playing [association] football, but I just found [American] football to be much more exciting.”

Bjartur will be attending studies at the Kiski school, a preparatory school in Pennsylvania. His scholarship is for around 5 million ISK [$35,000; €33,000] a year.

According to Bjartur, he and his father have visited the United States to see football games, from the NFL, to college, and even high school games. “I saw that I could definitely be there, and I thought it was just awesome to get to go and visit,” he said.

Bjartur and his father also received some outside help. Brynjar Benediktsson, an Icelandic [association] football player and founder of Soccer and Education has helped prospective Icelanders find scholarships and positions in the US before, but this was his first foray into American football.

After completing his studies, Bjartur hopes to play football in college, and hopefully even the NFL. His dream team, he stated, was the Baltimore Ravens. “But of course,” he add, “I’m happy to play for anyone!”

For more on American football in Iceland, read our profile of the Einherjar, Iceland’s only American football team, here.