Since the NFL brought multiple games to London in 2013 the game here seems to have grown massively, as loved as the game is over here by casuals and more seasoned fans it a challenge at times to be a fan with the games been late on a Sunday. So, here is a look at how I got into the NFL and how many of the other fans have to do to watch the games.
My story about how I came to discover the NFL was through video games on the PlayStation 2, I remember spending hour after hour playing Madden barely knowing what I was doing but loving every minute of it. The best memories of my childhood and American Football has to be on my favourite NFL video game of all time in the classic NFL 2K5 with Terrell Owens as the cover star. Not really having a team I chose the to be the Green Bay Packers because they were my favourite uniforms and loved decorating “The Crib “in the famous green and yellow.
However, I came to find my team when I started to watch games on tv and one Saturday morning I was in JD Sports in town with my Mum and she picked me up an on-sale Reebok Charles Woodson jersey and that is how I came to be a fan of the then Oakland Raiders. I still have that jersey until this day and have followed the Raiders ever since which has not been easy with some very mediocre years but at least there has been some hope of late with the likes of Darren Waller and Derek Carr combo mixed in with their solid offense pieces.
That is enough of me reminiscing so let me get onto how much better the coverage has gotten in the UK with Neil Reynolds holding a great Sunday show with the expert analysis of Jeff Reinebold, Shaun Gayle mixed in with other ex-NFL players such as Brain Baldinger. I prefer to watch the early games on the RedZone with Scott Hanson unless the Raiders are playing. The late games are where the fandom can become hard for us over here with the Sunday night games often starting at 130am so either it is a lot of coffee and not a lot of sleep for the work alarm a few hours later, I must admit I choose to watch the game after work on a Monday. Many people will be booking the Monday after the Superbowl off work to stay up and watch the spectacle that is a must watch.
The recent surge in podcasts has opened up a lot more content to the UK and world market with great shows such as the now defunct Dame Dameshek football program and my go to podcast to learn all about the top college prospects and for a more in depth look at the weekend’s games with Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks. The best football podcast out there for me has to be The Around the NFL podcast hosted my Dan Hanzus and other heroes the quiet storm Marc Sessler, Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling who I think I can speak on behalf of everyone that we can wish all the best in his battle against the big C.
I look forward to watching this Sundays Superbowl between the Bucs lead by the GOAT Tom Brady and the reigning Superbowl MVP Patrick Mahomes leading the Kansas City Chiefs, this one should be a classic!