This guide will tell you how to get the best out of being a British NFL fan. I will advise you on everything from selecting a team, attending a NFL International Series game to hosting a Superbowl party! So grab a notepad and take note!
1. Select an NFL team
There are 32 teams in the NFL so selecting a single NFL team can be decision. I support the Minnesota Vikings because my dad lives in Minneapolis. I am able to go and watch them play every time I travel to the United States. If you’re unsure which team to support or if you want to know whether the team you’d like to support is right for you, you can take NFL 360’s ‘Official Team Picker’ quiz. This tells you which team to support based on your scores in a sport quiz, a mini-game where you have to throw a towel in a wash bucket and a non-sport quiz. It’s a fun and interactive way of choosing your team. Don’t feel like you have to abide with your results though!
2. Choose your favourite player from your chosen team
From the team you have chosen, the next step is choosing your favourite player. This is an important decision as you can have this player’s name on the back of your jersey and boast how good he is to your friends (if he is any good!) and cheer him on the most.
3. Buy your team’s NFL jersey
Buying your selected team’s home or away jersey with your favourite player on the back shows your dedication to your team. You can purchase your team’s jersey, along with other items such as hats, American Footballs and other NFL fashion and souvenirs at the NFL Europe Shop. You can go one step further by buying your team’s home and away jerseys.
4. Attend a NFL International Series Game
The NFL International Series Game at Wembley is now occurring twice a year unlike previous years where it has only occurred once. This upcoming season, Wembley will host the Minnesota Vikings against the Pittsburgh Steelers on 29th September, and also the Jacksonville Jaguars vs the San Francisco 49ers on 27th October. Due to the popularity of both events, they have both sold out in normal tickets but hospitality packages are still available. There’s a chance in the future that an NFL team could be set up in London too which is something to look forward to.
5. Take part in tailgating
A great way to take part in tailgating is to attend the tailgating party at NFL Wembley, host a tailgating party yourself or attend a tailgating party before a game outside your team’s stadium if you ever get the chance to go to the United States. Here you can sample great foods and drinks and talk about anything from the NFL with fellow fans whether that is past, present or future.
6. Host or/and Attend a Superbowl party
The pinnacle of the NFL is the Superbowl which usually takes place on the first Sunday of February each year. To get the best out of it, any British NFL fan should either host or attend a Superbowl party! At these parties you can watch the big game, eat great food and drink great drinks with friends.
7. Build a ‘Man-Cave’
Any game you watch at home should be done in style and what better way to do it than in your own Man-Cave! In this Man-Cave should be decorated in your team’s colours with memorabilia from your favourite team, a big flat-screen TV to watch the game and comfortable chairs to sit in. There also should be a computer in your Man-Cave so you check to see how other teams are doing across the country and see how well your fantasy team is doing. A fridge is important too to keep your refreshments nice and cool!
8. Watch your team play in their home stadium
This one does not come cheap but trust me it’s worth it. The feeling I got when I watched the Vikings play for the first time in the Metrodome was incredible. The fans over in the United States follow their team with the same passion as football fans do here in the United Kingdom so you’re bound to have a great experience. Whilst you’re there, you can take part in tailgating and view the sites around the city your team plays in. Purchase any memorabilia that you can’t get from any UK NFL shops too so make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase! It may be an expensive trip, but it will be worth every penny. Watch the video blog explaining why you should travel to America to watch an NFL game.
9. Join or/and Create a NFL Fantasy Football league
A great way to enjoy the NFL season to its fullest is to take part in a NFL Fantasy Football league with your friends or work colleagues. Go through the draft process and select your team to compete against your friends throughout the whole regular season. There are loads of good fantasy leagues out there on websites such as the NFL.com and ESPN.com. Earn bragging rights over your friends and work colleagues!
10. Purchase NFL Game Pass, NFL Network or/and NFL Audio Pass from NFL.com
Can’t find anywhere to watch the game? No problem. Purchase either NFL Game Pass or NFL Network to watch live games or purchase NFL Audio Pass to listen to live games on your very own computer, anywhere in the world. Prices vary depending on which package you pick on each one but it’s definitely worth it if you like to watch or listen to games in fantastic quality weekly. Each package has different features too such as previous game footage, exclusive interviews with players and coaches and pre-match and post-match analysis of all the games shown. With NFL Game Pass, you can also watch games through your mobile or tablet device.