American football: how is America’s favourite sport being played in Britain

Britain can date its relationship with American football all the way back to 1910, when the Daily Mirror sponsored a match that saw US Navy servicemen from the USS Idaho triumph 19-0 over the USS Vermont in front of a crowd of 10,000 at Crystal Palace.

Nowadays there is a huge interest in America’s favourite sport on this side of the Atlantic, as a record 1.3 million people watched the LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals live on the BBC earlier this year.

The commitment goes further than sitting in their own living room, over 80,000 people have watched the NFL International Series games at Wembley every year from 2007 to 2019, when Covid stopped this sequence.

There are even British players to root for in the NFL, former London Warriors defensive end Efe Obada was a big part of Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing: Carolina Panthers and now plays for the Washington Commanders.

Then in this year’s NFL draft, David Ojabo, who lived in Aberdeen for 10 years, went in the second round to the Baltimore Ravens, and likely would have gone higher were it not for him tearing his Achilles during his Michigan pro day.

But how far has this growing love affair with American football actually gone? Has watching the Jacksonville Jaguars lose in London every year put people off taking up the sport? Or has it made them realise that just about anyone can play?

Read the full story here.

Featured image credit: Teo’s89

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