Many may not know but outside of being a Leeds fan I’m dead keen on the game that has become very popular in England, American Football.
The game has been played at Wembley for twenty two years with twenty six teams of the game coming across ‘the pond’.
I’ve been a regular for six years and to be honest it’s a superb way of meeting sports fan’s in general. Before the game we (Flowerpot Regiment, Yorkshire Regiment) play a game in ticking off every team’s shirts on fans who attend the pre match ritual at ‘The Green Man’ public house. Where else could so many fans of different teams meet, drink beer and there is not a hint of trouble or a heavy police presence.
My mate JP(who’s a Buck) with Seahawks fans.
Myself I’m an Oakland Raider’s fan, the team was very successful in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but it’s a long, long time since the team has had much success but they are the team I started following in the late 1980’s when the game was first televised on the fledgling TV channel Channel 4.
I was ‘hooked’ because the team had a reputation of being mean and nasty with fans that were notorious and dressed up in black and as characters from horror movies and even a gorilla! They are the NFL’s nomads because they’ve moved from Oakland to LA, then back to Oakland and in 2020 will move to Las Vegas.
Myself and a fellow American Raider fan who’s part of ‘The League Ambassadors’
Many may not know the rules, myself, I still struggle after all this time to understand all the rules. It’s the ‘event’ that attracts me and it is understandable that there is now serious talk of an NFL team setting up at either Wembley or the new ground where Spurs will finally end up sometime in 2019.
Every game for this international series was sold out months before the games and played. The games this year are the Raiders v Seahawks, Chargers v Titans and the current World Champions the Philadelphia Eagles against the team most think will be the team to set up home in the UK, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There is talk that a quarter of the money they (Jaguars) make in the entire season is made whilst they are in the UK. That itself is pretty incredible.
It’s probably a ‘marmite’ sport, you’ll either love it or loathe it, but it’s a sport that is growing year on year and one that away from my beloved Leeds I love to go and watch. Try it, you just might get as avid as I am.
The Oakland Raiders Cheerleaders. You don’t see this in Beeston!
By Keith Ingham