In December 2019, i had the privilege of going to a NFL game in America.
I went to watch the New England Patriots against the Kansas City Chiefs in Boston during week 14 of the NFL season. This would be a game that would be won by the eventual Super Bowl Champions Kansas City.
So heres a recap of my experience in America watching a NFL game.
Watching a NFL game in America was on my bucket list for many years but i never had anyone that would have wanted to go with me to a game.
This always put me off but after seeing an advertisement for getting tickets to watch the Patriots v Chiefs, i made the brave decision to book a flight to Boston and book tickets for the NFL game purely by myself.
I am a huge Miami Dolphins fan but i also love Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. It was my chance to see the best quarterback to ever play the game against the league’s current best quarterback who would end up winning Super Bowl 54 and win Super Bowl MVP.
I wanted to see the NFL’s greatest of all time before i missed the opportunity.
I booked these tickets in October, two days before going to watch the Oakland Raiders v Chicago Bears in London at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. I was intrigued how the experience in America would differ to the one i have had in the past and would have in future London International Series games.
Fast forward to December and I made my way to Heathrow Airport before getting on the flight to America.
As i sat on on the plane watching Big, i could not contain my excitement at not only being in America but also going to a live NFL match.
I arrived in Boston and after three days of seeing what Boston had to offer, i woke up on the Sunday morning and got ready to make my way down to the Gillette Stadium.
I got on the bus and was soon in Foxborough. I was then treated to some tailgating. This for me was the biggest difference I noticed between watching an NFL game in America compared to the UK.
Tailgating is a huge part of American sports culture with some fans known to tailgate for three months straight.
In the UK, there are attempts of tailgating at Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur stadium with food and drink being sold as well as challenges and fun games for fans.
Whilst these are all very enjoyable, the American tailgating is on another level.
There were barbecues after barbecues in this car park with food everywhere you went. There was also people showing the other NfL games that were going on at the time. There was alcohol being sold as well as performances on stage.
We then made our way to the stadium to watch the game.
As the freezing -6C Boston conditions got colder and colder, I entered the stadium and made my way to my seat.
In terms of the game itself, there was no real difference in terms of the game itself compared to what you get in the UK. However, one big difference you noticed was the home team nature.
In the UK, you come across jerseys of pretty much every team when you watch a London game.
However, in the game I saw in Boston, whilst Kansas City Chiefs shirts were on display there was definitely a home feel to the atmosphere.
I may have seen a Dallas Cowboys jersey, a Green Bay Packers hat and talked to a Seattle Seahawks fan in the long queue for the toilet but most people in that stadium were supporting New England.
The UK games are more of a celebration of the sport, whereas in the Gillette Stadium you could see the real home support. When the Chiefs went on to beat the Patriots 23-16, there was a real silence to the atmosphere when walking out of the stadium.
This game would go on to have a major impact on the 2020 season as New England went on to lose to the Miami Dolphins in week 17 and therefore losing that first round bye whereas Kansas City beat England to the second seed and first round bye.
In conclusion, it was an amazing experience to go and watch an NFL game in America. I also managed to see a Super Bowl winning team play the year they won it.
I am especially glad i went now there is a realistic prospect of no fans at all in 2020 NFL games but once fans are allowed back in the stadium i would really recommend any NFL fan going to a game in America.
If you do go Boston to watch a game, make sure you wear more layers than i did.