Americans just love their sport.
They are not the only ones. Interest in the National Football League (NFL) is arguably at the highest it has ever been with the International Series going from strength to strength.
We are seeing much the same with the Premier League, American fans cannot get enough even if it is often shown at unsociable hours. Welcome to our world America!
I have been a fan of NFL since 1982 which was when I sat down with my father to watch the first ever live game to be shown on terrestrial television. It was all thanks to Channel 4. A channel that chose to take a gamble on a sport that could appeal to the British public. After all, they were deemed to be a new channel for the younger generation with the aim of bringing something new to television viewers.
We both sat down to watch the build up and decided to choose a team each. I plumped for the Dallas Cowboys and my father chose the San Fransisco 49ers. Little did we know the battles that the two teams would endure against each other in the years to come.
This was a time that really kick started NFL as an interest in the United Kingdom. Free access on television every Sunday became a ritual. Much like it always has been in the US. We were late to party but it is always better to be late than never, right?
To this day I cannot say why I chose the Cowboys as my team, or why my father chose the Niners. We both support our teams as closely as ever while neither having any connections with the US let alone with Dallas or San Fransisco. We still do not have any connections other than fans I have made friends with through social media due to the common interest.
The interest in NFL has gone through the roof as we look back at over thirty years since the sport was introduced to us. Many a very late night experiencing the highs and lows following our teams in both the regular seasons and some luck enough to enjoy post season action too.
Having followed the Cowboys through the eighties my sporting interest in the area grew. The next side to catch my eye was the Dallas Mavericks, a franchise that participates in the National Basketball Association (NBA). That meant more late nights with glazed eyes at work the next day. Then I took an interest in the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball (MLB).
Neither of these three sports had been readily accessible from afar but the interest failed to wane. Then there was the arrival of fantasy games and you start to wonder what you did in your spare time before all of this interest took a real hold.
All of these ‘franchises‘ as they are called in the US have provided a lot of ups and downs across the years. I still have no connection to Dallas or the area other than for the teams that I have taken a real fondness to and followed over the years. More recently, Major League Soccer team FC Dallas has been a natural progression seeing as the majority of sport I have followed as a kid is football. College sports have yet to grab my attention but if I had the time I am sure they would also find a place in my sports fan catalogue.
Clearly, the arrival of the internet provides us fans that follow our teams from a distance with the perfect way to keep in touch as if we lived nearby. It is as if the wonderful invention was thought up by a desperate sports fan that lived too far away to get to games.
I will get to Dallas to see one or maybe two of my teams in the flesh one day. Until then, I will continue to follow them as fervently as I ever have.
At the moment only the baseball and football seasons in progress. The Texas Rangers are pushing for a post season slot while FC Dallas have fallen away in their division after a good start to the season.
While the baseball season heads towards the critical post season phase, it is the return of the NFL that many fans are excited about. The road to the ‘greatest show on earth’ begins on Thursday 10th September as the reigning champions New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Check back here throughout the NFL season as hope to provide updates, comments and views from not just the NFL season, but all the major US sports I have mentioned above.