With another National Football League (NFL) season kicking off last night, let’s talk a little bit about the other sport that also insists on calling itself football.
It may not be the beautiful game as we know it, and resembles rugby more than it does football, but American Football is a growing sport worldwide and plenty of football fans across the globe have adopted an NFL team to support.
The NFL have been holding games at Wembley Stadium for a few years now, and this season there will be three more hosted by the city of London. There has been plenty of talk about a permanent team being established in England as well.
Meanwhile, over in the USA, the Premier League has taken root with every single game during the season available to a huge audience. Thanks to a gigantic television deal with national broadcaster NBC, in many cases, Americans have more access to games than English fans do.
Everton USA are doing a fantastic job promoting the club with 79 official supporters club affiliated to it across the country. Whether you live in the US or are just visiting, check out their page to find an Everton Supporters Club near you and watch the game with some fellow Bluenoses.
A recent story on ESPN FC highlighted some similarities between the teams of the Premier League and their NFL counterparts. Here is the section that drew a parallel between Everton and the San Francisco 49ers -
There was a time when these guys used to rule the roost, but it feels like so long ago. At Everton they yearn for another Dixie Dean, whose 60 goals during the 1927-28 season remain an English record. In San Francisco, every new quarterback lives in the shadow of Joe Montana. Both clubs have recently been at a low ebb but hope a new coach can revive their fortunes.
Remember, because of the differing rules of the game as well as the vast differences between how the Leagues operate and the infrastructure surrounding it, it would be quite impossible to find a direct comparison between teams. However, there are plenty of quirks in the histories of teams in both Leagues that allow for similarities to be noted.
So here’s a question to Everton and NFL fans alike - what characteristics of some NFL teams that you support remind you of Everton? Here’s an example -
Buffalo Bills - A blue-collar, hardworking team supported by a passionate fanbase far away from the bright lights of the big cities. Team seems snake-bitten and haven’t won anything for ages. Actually, ever.