NFL View

Super Bowl LII preview

It is almost the end of this year’s NFL season which must mean the Super Bowl is close. For some people it’s the chance of a lifetime, the one shot of taking home the Vince Lombardi trophy. We say for some, for the New England Patriots Super Bowl Sunday is all too familiar. We speak to Gur Samuel, AFD’s Vice Chairman to give us his thoughts about this weekend’s game.

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Wildcard round whips up some interesting contests!

The wildcard weekend on the road to this year’s Super Bowl took place this weekend and the cast of twelve has been reduced to eight. Four different games took place and while four teams start their preparation for next season, for other teams, they live for another round. We take a look at the four games and what lies ahead. continue reading…

The Playoffs are here!

After one of the most exciting NFL seasons to date, week 17, the last week of the regular season provided us with non-stop, play-off dream making or dream crushing for far more than the eventual 12 teams whose seasons continue.

Of the teams that made it through to the playoffs in the NFC, half actually come from the same division, the NFC south, being the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons. The playoff teams in this division, where the only team that did not make the playoffs were Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all have at least 10 wins this season. It must be noted that three years prior to this impressive feat, the team with the most wins in the division had 7, losing 9 and having a negative win/loss ratio. continue reading…

Bryant, Bills and Great British success – a look at 2017 with Phoebe Schecter

Ever thought you had a busy footballing life? Then spare a thought for Phoebe Schecter who this year has been a real trailblazer for women in the sport.

 

After leading the GB Women’s team to a 4th place at the World Championships, she took up a coaching intern position at the Buffalo Bills, returned to be part of the Women’s GB Flag Football squad which gained a bronze medal at this year’s European champs before heading out to a coaching role with Bryant University. And the year hasn’t even finished yet!

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Colts loss is a definite gain for the Vikings

Like many people who will be coming into American Football this season, they may well pick their team based on the strength of who they see performing on TV in the London series.

That’s certainly something that a young Adam Chapman would be able to relate to as it was a chance football game, not long after he started playing the sport itself, that led him towards the Vikings. continue reading…

Feeling ‘Browned’ off at the not always lovable Cleveland losers

Paul McFadyen doesn’t mince his words when it comes to talking about his favourite NFL team. And for many people reading this blog who are strong followers of the NFL, they would think nor should he.

For being a fan of the Cleveland Browns, for thirty years (no really) he has seen plenty of lows and lows and plenty of opportunities that got away. In fact that was the start of his love affair with the sport, when the Browns were in their hey-day but just weren’t able to get over the line. Literally. continue reading…

Rams charged at the Bears to become David’s first love

David Stead’s love for the LA Rams started back in the mid eighties when he made a conscious decision to not follow the herd and go with a completely different team. The Chicago Bears were the hot favourite at David’s school fielding legends of the game such as Walter Payton, Jim McMahon and William ‘The Fridge’ Perry, but David decided to be a little less fashionable.

 

“Everyone at school became a Bears fan because they were such a great team then. But I decided to go with the Rams as they had a great running back in Eric Dickerson. Typically they were shut out of the NFC Championship Game by the Bears which was disappointing but I’ve stuck with them ever since.”

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How Tom became ‘Madden’ enough to build a birdgang

How many hours have you spent on Madden and how has it affected your football choices over time? Well for Tom Donlan, who is a big Arizona Cardinals fan, it helped cement in his mind the NFL team that he was to follow.

 

“I hadn’t any particular affiliations to the Arizona Cardinals but they happened to draft the player I had in Madden 09 and that seemed as good a reason as any to follow them. It worked out well, I do love supporting the team and five years ago I set up the British Bird Gang (@BritishBirdgang) to find likeminded Cardinals fans in the UK.”

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Late night video request leads to long term sport love

Late one evening back in 1985, Chris Fellowes’ brother in law asked if he’d tape a show on Channel 4. It was the weekly NFL highlights show and very quickly a 13 year old Chris was transfixed.

 

One of the teams being profiled was the LA Rams who had played the Green Bay Packers and one particular player, Ron Brown had returned two KO’s for scores as well as a deep pass for a score. In that moment, the Californian sunshine and the blue and gold uniforms of the Rams had secured another fan.

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How a splash of TV coverage turned to a Dolphins following

It will come to no surprise to football fans of a certain age that Channel 4 had a lot to do with getting people into the game. And Chris Fells is one of those people. Back in 1991, 10 year old Chris came across the televised game of Miami Dolphins against the New England Patriots. The Dolphins were victorious on that occasion with a 20-10 result and for Chris the deal was done. A Dolphins fan he would be.

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As the Saints marched into Idris’ life and never left

For many of the fans that we have featured during our London Games season, their journey into supporting their team came almost by accident. A chance late night television viewing it would seem for many, but for Idris Lawal it was a completely different set of circumstances.

Idris used to live in America and as a boy spent many years living in Louisiana and so became a Saints fan due to them being his home team. So for Idris he grew up with the game as his main sporting choice and he brought it back with him when he came to the UK. But for him the differences are still quite clear between the two countries.

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A ‘Walker’ on his high flying date at Wembley

For Ravens fan Joe Walker, the date of the 24th September is a day he’s been waiting half his life to happen. Finally he will see his beloved birds, the Baltimore Ravens play a live game of American Football and it couldn’t come soon enough.

 

He’s seen them play loads of time, he’s even influenced the way they play. Well haven’t all Britball fans who’ve played Madden? Because that for Joe, like many other people in the game fell upon a team almost by chance, by being one of the first teams they both encountered, and liked. continue reading…

What will the NFL bring to London this season?

Gur Samuel

This year’s London Games is just over a week away and we know that with each NFL season that passes, especially with the games played in London, that a new wave of American Football fans come along.

 

For those who aren’t so close to the game or just taking their first steps we’ve got the perfect London Games preview for you courtesy of AFD’s Managing Director Gur Samuel. He gives us the lowdown on the teams, who to look out for, and how much has changed since the first game in 2007.

 

 

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‘Houston we have landed’

Or more to the point the worlds media have descended in Texas as we build up to Super Bowl LI. And that’s certainly a phrase that’s been heard around the media circles this week.

Our Managing Director Gur Samuel is out in Houston reporting on the Super Bowl for Real Sport 101. We caught up with him in the frenzy of media week to get the inside story.

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Super Bowl Sunday – All you need to know

We realise that a lot of our followers are big American Football fans, but every day as we coach flag football and bring more people into the game we realise that for many, the Super Bowl offers them their first experience of our great sport.

With the UK boasting the biggest viewing figures for the Super Bowl outside of the US and Canada, we thought for new people coming in to the game that a few facts may be of use – especially if you need to explain why you’re so bleary eyed on Monday morning! continue reading…

It’s Championship time in the NFL

It’s down to the final four and this weekend will see us know who will be the two teams to contest Super Bowl LI.

But before that we need to crown a winner of both the AFC and the NFC and the four teams left in the hunt have had a range of battles over the weekend to get to this spot. continue reading…

End of the road or one step closer? Round up of wildcard weekend

Wildcard round is over and for the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders the season is gone. And for some they’ll be glad to see the back of the weekend’s games when their sides were not just beaten but horribly pulled apart.

The Steelers, Packers, Texans and the Seahawks all go into battle again this weekend but know that more challenging teams and locations all await. But in playoffs there’s no time to think about the past, just what lies ahead. continue reading…

NFL season goes wild

So for 20 teams in the NFL the season has well and truly finished. Time to reflect, recruit and rebuild for the next one.

But for the final 12 teams standing we have reached the wild card stages of the playoffs. For the first and second seeds of both the AFC and NFC conferences they receive a bye for this week, which means the Patriots, Chiefs, Cowboys and Falcons all have a week to recover and prepare for the road to Super Bowl LI. continue reading…

From field hospitals to the football field

When most people think of the 1970 film M.A.S.H they recall the highs and lows of working in an American field hospital during the Korean war, but for Riki Samuel, Chairman of AFD Limited, it offered another insight into a world he had never seen before.

“During the film the doctors started playing this game, the like of which I had never seen before and I was fascinated by it. Not just because it was new but because it was being played by guys of all shapes and sizes and everyone had their job. The contact and aggression was also appealing, and although I couldn’t understand the stop/start elements, I admit something clicked with me.” continue reading…

The American Football Giant which certainly isn’t sleeping

October 28th 2007. For many American Football fans based in the UK that day will go down in history as the first time the NFL played a regular season game outside of America.

 

On that day the Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Giants, with the Giants taking the game 13-10. Now, nine years later, they’re back and are ready to go into battle again, this time at Twickenham.

 

For Giants fan Keith Burton this will be an occasion he’s been waiting, almost his whole life for, a chance to see his team play live, and less than 50 miles than where he lives. And it’s fair to say, he can’t wait for that day to come.

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Jaguars get their season started with a win in London

It wasn’t always pretty, but yesterday the Jaguars took home team advantage to take their season start to 1-3 and hopefully use London as a springboard to greater success in the NFL this year.

While both teams made mistakes in the early exchanges, it seemed that Colts were the team suffering more with jet lag and also against the fans. With this the Jags fourth encounter in London and steadily becoming a more ‘British’ team, many of the fans were on their side. continue reading…

NFL International Series – a rookie’s starter guide

For many people, the annual International series is their introduction to the great game of American Football. For others it’s one of the key dates in the calendar (Super Bowl aside!) as we get some of the greats of the game playing in our country!

But for those who fall into the former camp, there’s a lot to wade through before you get into the game. You might have worked out the rules, but what do you really know about the upcoming games, and how do you ensure you can look as informed as the next football fan?

Well we teamed up with Chicago Bears fan (who are not playing in this International Series so feel there is definite impartiality!) Claire Ball to get her view on the games in London this series and also asked some other NFL questions for you to use at the water cooler after the weekends game! continue reading…

The fans in the football stands – who could be watching the International Series too?

With just under two weeks until the first game of the 2016 NFL International Series there will be fans across the UK will be looking forward to seeing their favourite side play, some of them for the very first time.

But what of the famous names that support these teams? With American Football being the No1 sport in America each club can boast some huge fan support from big international stars! Not chosen your team for London yet? Well maybe who their celeb fans are may influence you! continue reading…