The Super Bowl is always the biggest game of the year for NFL fans, and is essentially an unofficial holiday in America. Here in the UK, the Super Bowl doesn't enjoy quite as much attention, but still has a huge following. With Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons kicking off on Sunday, several Blitz players will cheer for their teams as they take to the stage. So what are their thoughts ahead of the big game?
Every NFL fan dreams of their team reaching and then winning the Super Bowl. So how did our Blitz fans feel? Daniel Gilson, a running back for the Blitz, was “A little relieved strangely.” Daniel is a Patriots fan, and he pondered New England's season: “The AFC has been poor this year and anything less than winning the conference would have been a disaster. We might not have too many chances left with (Tom) Brady and after DeflateGate I think every fan is dreaming of watching Commissioner Roger Goodell hand the trophy to Brady.”
Jasper van Dooren, a receiver with the A team, is also a Patriots fan. “People were sceptical at the beginning of the season with Brady missing four games, and it's amazing to see Brady and the Patriots reach the final stage once again. I like the heat the franchise is getting, people are just jealous.”
For defensive back Alexander Yeleseyev, seeing the Falcons reach Super Bowl LI was special. “Being a Falcons fan, I am extremely happy that we finally made our way to the Super Bowl. Matt Ryan and most Falcons players deserve to win the championship this year. However, the Patriots are a strong team too, setting franchise and league records regarding playoffs and Super Bowl appearances.”
Like their teams, our players' journey to Super Bowl LI didn't begin this season. The journey began from the moment they first declared their support. “I started watching American football in 2011. I had no idea who to choose.” says Daniel. “Honestly I chose the Patriots because they have England in the name and they were a good team when I started watching . It's always easier to invest in a team if they are winning and play good football.”
For Alexander, the reverse is true. “It's always nice to be a fan of the team that hasn't got as many achievements, because you'll always care and support your team. I started watching NFL back when I was in high school in 2012. I have always been an Atlanta sports fan, so it was an easy decision.”
Jasper's support for the Patriots runs deep, and dates back to the start of New England's incredible run of success. “The first game I ever watched was Super Bowl XXXVI between the Rams and the Patriots. It's hard to believe now, but the Patriots were the underdog for that game. I didn't know much about the game or the teams, so decided to root for the dark horse. After an upset 20-17 victory I've supported them ever since.”
Every team has both great moments and massive mistakes in the eyes of their fans. And on the biggest stage in sports, success and failure are multiplied. So what do our fans think is the key for their teams to hoist the Lombardi Trophy?
“The Falcons offense, especially Matt Ryan and Julio Jones; one of the most dynamic QB/WR duos in the league.” says Alexander. “Also, can't forget about Vic Beasley, who has been outstanding this season.”
Both Daniel and Jasper believe the key for the Patriots will be defense. “The secondary.” Daniel says. “Trying to keep Julio Jones quiet and forcing Atlanta to run the ball will be key as our run defense has been outstanding this year.” A tough task, but Jasper agrees. “If the Patriots' defense can slow down the passing game with double coverage on Jones, then we'll be in a good spot since our run defense has been superb this season.”
The Super Bowl means so much to American football fans. But for Daniel, Jasper, and Alexander, Super Bowl LI will mean just that much more.
Come enjoy the big game and join London Blitz for our Super Bowl LI party at Club Aquarium! Doors open at 7pm and the party continues until 4am! We have cheerleaders, beer pong, jacuzzi's and all kinds of American food and themed competitions! So come and watch the Super Bowl with the Blitz! Visit the link below to book your tickets.