NFL in London; My Rookie Experience

Posted on November 5, 2014

NFL animation

This Summer Digitize New Media happily started to represent NFL.com here in Ireland. The NFL is one of the largest sporting leagues in the world and officially has the highest average attendance of any sport. The sport is growing in popularity outside of the US at a phenomenal rate, this has been recognized by the NFL who now host games in London and Dublin annually. The Super Bowl, one of the world’s biggest sporting events, takes place each February attracting millions of viewers worldwide, grabbing sports fan’s attention and growing the loyal audience. The Super Bowl half time show has become one of the most watched and highly anticipated events, breaking US TV history for the last four consecutive years. We all saw Beyonce kill it, let’s face it!

Since we took on the NFL.com I’ve taken an interest in the sport and pledged my allegiance to the San Diego Chargers who enjoyed a winning spree much to my joy. As someone who had never watched a game before I knew it was similar to rugby which I really enjoy so I knew I would like it. I now take part in a Weekly Pick’Em league on NFL.com where you simply predict who will win the upcoming games. Much to the astonishment of anyone with NFL knowledge I have been doing really well and am currently sitting inside the top 10,000 worldwide 🙂

Our friends at the NFL were generous enough to give us some tickets to the International game between the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions in London recently. To say it was an entertaining experience would be an understatement, the atmosphere was electric and something I’ll never forget. Outside of Wembley I was overwhelmed by the throngs of people from the UK, Ireland and the US, most of whom were wearing NFL jerseys. Prior to the game each team had a pep rally featuring cheerleaders and everywhere you looked there were American food stalls and team merchandise on sale. You would have been forgiven for thinking you were actually in America and not North West London.

We were overjoyed to discover that the NFL had given us VIP passes that gained us entry to the pitch while the teams warmed up. I’m not a soccer fan but can appreciate that walking on Wembley grass is a major deal by itself let alone while world famous athletes are present training. It was a once in a lifetime experience to get that close to the players as they were put through their paces by teams of coaches. I was particularly enamored with their tall, strong, muscular physiques…..from a fitness point of view of course 🙂

Charging

Before the kick off there was even more entertainment and celebration; Little Mix performed, there were fireworks and both national anthems were sung.  As the game started the stadium exploded with excitement, anticipation and competitiveness. I have never experienced such a rush at a sporting event before.The game was really exciting; the first half was dominated by the Falcons but the Lions made one hell of a comeback to clinch the win on the very last play no less. If I had an interest in the NFL before I walked away from Wembley a fully converted fan.

Currently in week 10, we’re flying through the season and our traffic figures are showing continued and growing interest. The Super Bowl is quickly approaching and with Katy Perry confirmed as the half time performer, it is set to be another ground breaking year for the NFL. I for one will be tuning in and eagerly anticipating the new champion.

Mehand

Join the Weekly Pick’Em here

Carole O’Dwyer

Chargers fan and wannabe cheerleader

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