Last week I had the opportunity to interview Guinness World Record holder Jacob Barnor.
In 2019, Jacob broke the record for the quickest time to watch a game in every single NFL stadium and did so in 84 days, 3 hours and 26 minutes.
I talked to Jacob about how the trip came about it and asked what gave him the idea to do the trip.
“I’ve been a NFL for 12 years now. I’ve always wanted to go and see a game out there”, Jacob says. “Im a Niners fan and my best mate is a Broncos fan. They play each other once every four years. A couple years ago, we decided that the next time they play each other we’ll go”.
“That then happened two years ago. It was a completely different experience. When I was there, I decided that I would love to do more of this”.
“I came up with the idea of going once a year and doing two to three stadiums until I’ve done them all”, Jacob says. “I was looking it up one day and thought surely someone has done it before. I was looking it up to see what groups i could do them in”.
“When I was looking at the article of the girl that broke the world record before me and saw that it was doable, I thought that it would be pretty cool”.
Jacob Barnor nearly missed out on his chance
Jacob talked about how the idea kept gnawing at him before he decided to give it a go. He was thankful he didn’t wait a year to save more money. The COVID-19 pandemic would have scuppered those plans had Jacob waited a year.
“Now I think back, I am so glad I did it that time. Its a bit crazy to think I may never have done it”.
Jacob Barnor mentioned throughout the interview that he is a San Francisco 49ers fan. I was curious as to how he got into the sport and what made him support the 49ers.
“When i think back, the first proper memory I have of the NFL is playing a really old Madden that my friend had. I think it was Madden 06. We used to mess around and press Hail Mary every time”.
“I then decided that i wanted to watch a game and understand the sport more. The first game I watched was a Niners game, which is kind of a reason why I am a 49ers fan. This is along with the fact that my dad used to work abroad. One of the places he used to go was San Francisco, so I used to get alot of San Francisco themed gifts and ended up with random Niners stuff”.
“I used to watch alot of first quarters and fell asleep on the late games. When I was 17, i was looking for a new sport to play and thought I would give American Football a go. That was where I properly fell in love with it and my knowledge grew, from playing the sport”.
I proceeded to then ask Jacob about the tailgating in America and was curious as to what the best tailgating he experienced on his time out in the States.
“Nothing comes close to Buffalo. It’s a completely different game out there. I turned up and they’re doing shots out of bowling balls. I went to a tailgate, there was a filing cabinet with pizza cooking in there. They had an old American style mailbox with a rotisserie chicken in there. It was insane”.
“One of my favourite ones was Detroit. I had alot of fun. There’s a hot tub in the tailgate. They were just the nicest people and happy to take you in. There was also LA. The fans get stick but the ones that do come are crazy”.
“The stadium i most want to go back to is Arrowhead. Old stadium, fun city. It is so loud. The tailgate is incredible, going as far as the eye can see”, Jacob answered when asked by myself what the best stadium he went to was.
The final stadium stadium Jacob went to in order to complete the world record was Atlanta. He went on the field as well as receiving a signed jersey of quarterback Matt Ryan. He said you could tell how much money was spent on the Atlanta Falcons stadium.
Jacob was also presented with a ticket for the Super Bowl, which would end up involving the team he supports.
“When I went to each stadium I had a Guinness World Record form. Someone who works for each of the teams had to sign that said Jacob was there. You had to watch the first and last play of each game. The Atlanta Falcons contacted me because they saw I was going to be breaking the world record in their stadium on Thanksgiving”.
“I thought the Matt Ryan jersey was the surprise. The reason they wanted me on the field was because they wanted the owner to sign the form to say i’d broken the world record. That was then what I thought was meant to be the surprise”.
“I’m talking to the owner, he signed my form. He then looked at me and hands me a golden ball”.
This ball said “You’re going to the Super Bowl”.
“Normally the Niners season is high stakes for me, but knowing if they got to the Super Bowl that I’d be there, ramped that up. It was the perfect way to end that season”.
“It really did live up to everything you would imagine it would be. Not just the game but the whole week. It was in Miami and the city is taken over with Super Bowl fever”, Jacob told me when talking about his experience at Super Bowl 54 in Miami.
“The experience was unforgettable. If you ever get the chance to do it, I would 100% think it has to be done. I might start saving so i can go again”.
My final question to Jacob was what the biggest highlight was for him across the trip.
“Obviously Atlanta and getting that Super Bowl ticket is hard not to pick as it’s something i will never forget. If I had to pick one moment apart from that, watching the Niners game was really good. My best mate was over there with me and it was his birthday”.
“We just had the best time seeing my team. That week where it was my mates birthday and saw 3 games in 4 days was really good. The other one would be Kansas City but it’s hard not to pick the moment in Atlanta. That day was just crazy. My phone didn’t stop”.
It was really interesting to hear all about Jacob’s time in America and it was certainly making me miss this year’s London games as well as going out to games in America.