Wednesday 20 December 2017

Why You Should Take a Chance on the NFL

american-football, nfl, fan

America's game - the clue is in the title, surely?

In actual fact, more and more people across the world are beginning to develop an interest in American football and the NFL, thanks to the sport's increasing accessibility, the International Series games and the league's desire to expand out of its home country.

Here in the UK, the NFL has always been around but seems to have remained out of mainstream sports interest. If you asked a random person on the street, the chances are that they will have heard of Tom Brady and the Super Bowl (maybe they've even half-watched one before) but rarely anything more in-depth.

However, despite this, the sport is still experiencing slow but sure growth here across the pond.

Is it time for more of us Brits and international sports fans to take a chance on the NFL?

Although it's a firmly-established sport with a long, rich and varied history, for many people, this past is unknown. This gives American football the feel of a new and emerging sport, offering a fresh perspective on the international sports scene and offering something completely different for jaded sports fans to sink their teeth into.

Granted, football won't be for everyone - many people lose interest at the breaks in play or the length of the games, not to mention the omnipresent comparisons between American football and rugby, but there are still many reasons why you should give it a go. After all, if you never try it, how will you know that it's not your cup of tea?

I was first introduced to the sport by someone I once knew, who in turn was introduced to it by accident, flicking through TV channels late at night (or early one morning). Not being a particular sports fan at all, I will freely admit that it took me a while to get into it and begin to understand the plays, positions, and why certain people were doing certain things. However, once I began to wrap my head around it, I appreciated the sport more and more.

The thing about American football is that, for all its intensity and muscle, it's a very logical game. Each play is carefully calculated, and the options are weighed up and debated before the quarterback even makes the call. Both offense and defense run special plays, feints and deceptions in order to progress their team towards the end zone and the distant call of a touchdown. When it gets going, it's a fast-paced, action-packed game unlike any other.

I'm now a regular fan, supporting my team(s) and heading along to watch as many regular-season International Series London games as I can afford each year. The atmosphere is truly exceptional - there's nothing like walking down Wembley Way before a game, with a sea of different coloured jerseys stretching as far as the eye can see.

American football is the first sport I've ever really paid any attention to and the only one I hold an active interest in - for a 20-something British girl, surely that must count for something?

Are you a fan of American football and the NFL? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

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