It is one of the pillars of British sport that the teams we support, whether it be rugby, football etc., are based upon where we live or family. However, this way of thinking is thrown out the window when it comes to getting into the sport of American football.
As a viewer from across the pond, it can be difficult to form or find a real connection with one of the 32 NFL franchises. We at Franchise Sports share what drew us to our teams, or just the sport in general, in hopes that it may guide you to finding an NFL team to follow.
Sam Cox @SamRCox_ : I got into the NFL, as I think a lot of people do, from watching the playoffs as a neutral. The theatre of it, and that so many games end with both teams having a realistic chance of winning, drew me in. Redzone has since become a part of my winter Sunday evenings. I’ve never really adopted a team to support, preferring to follow games as and when I can, though Aaron Rodgers is a favourite of mine.
Luke Conboy @ConboyNFL : Growing up I was always a little obsessed with space, planets that kind of thing. Space City aka Houston was a strong interest. Then when I started getting into sports teams in America, about 10 years ago, it almost felt like it was meant to be. I initially started following the MLS and I made the Houston Dynamo my team. Then I started broadening my horizon and then the NFL and the Houston Texans became my new obsession. The first season I started following, we had just picked Clowney #1 overall, so it felt like an exciting time to get involved. Now that hasn’t quite developed as planned, I haven’t stopped backing them as my team.
Mark Gill @MarkGillNFL : In my first year at uni I happened to buy a Bears jumper from a vintage clothing shop. At the time I wasn’t a follower of the NFL which led to an embarrassing situation a few years later when in Niagara Falls when a bartender started asking me about the Bears when I didn’t have a clue. Many years later I got into playing Madden with my brother and picked the Bears partly due to that jumper (plus they were a team with historic success but languishing somewhat in the 2010s!).
Dean Fitzgerald @DeanFitzgerald : I became a fan of the Jets when I got Madden 11 and played Superstar mode. I made my rookie and was randomly drafted to the Jets, where I displaced Mark Sanchez (luckily enough). After that, I started following the Jets.
Steve Beavon @steveoo242 : I started watching the NFL when I was around 13, so 2012, as my best mate at the time was a huge fan. He was a Patriots fan and so you could say I supported them when I was first learning the game etc. However, I love a good underdog story and a very passionate fan base. I found out the Eagles hadn’t won a SB it was a match made in heaven. It also helped that Michael Vick, my favourite ever QB, had played for them. I watched a few games and from there on I’ve completely fallen in love!
John Dunham @JurassicSnarkk: Green Bay Packers – Brett Favre is the main reason. Gunslinger. He stands for everything I want in a QB even now. Hence why I love Rodgers/Mahomes etc. The more I got into it, the more I fell in love with the whole spectre of the Packers. An absolutely tiny market, a team owned by the fans yet still one of the most famous names in US sport.
A few quick-fire tips on finding an NFL team to support:
- Read into the history of the game. The more you know about a certain franchise or the NFL in general, that will surely aid in your search for a team.
- Play Madden! Madden is a fun way to learn about the NFL, not only are you exposed to all 32 franchises, but also get to play the game of football virtually.
- Pick a rival of your mates. If your NFL watching friend is a Seattle Seahawks fan, then maybe choosing the San Francisco 49ers will add a lot to game days!
- Look for a team on the rise. We naturally love a challenge, sure supporting the Patriots can be fun, but the pay off of seeing a team you stuck with from the bottom to the top succeed can be incredibly rewarding.
- Watch the games! This is naturally how most fans decide upon a team. If you like the style of play of a gunslinger quarterback or a unstoppable outside-linebacker then go where you’re naturally drawn to.
Whichever team you decide to support or do support already, sit back, relax and enjoy the new season!