State of the Nation – 16 September 2016

 Welcome Britballers to another whistlestop tour of the wider world of the BritballNation!

The  glory of the NFL season is upon us once more and its clear that appreciation of the game continues to grow in the UK

When they’re the London Jaguars, will the commentators still pronounce it JagWaars?

While the sustainability and practicality of a UK-based franchise continues to be a hot topic of debate, all signs continue to point towards the Jacksonville Jaguars laying the ground work for a hop across the pond.

Friend of DC and #Baller with a DSLR, Roger Goodgroves, shared the following article with DC, which gives some great insights in the intentions of the Jaguars and their progress in growing a fan base from the grass roots level in the UK.

Tellingly, in the article Jaguars Senior Vice President of Fan Relations, Hussein Naqi, notes that the Jags are now the UK’s 9th most popular team – up from near-last only a few years previously!

Perhaps the scheme that makes the Jags’ ogling of a London move most obvious is their focus on building the game from a grass roots level – most especially in the capital itself. JagTag is a simplified version of American Football that the Jaguars have begun implementing in secondary schools across London, meaning that were a London franchise to appear in a few years time they would already have a fan base that have grown in knowledge and familiarity with the sport ready and waiting for them.

It’s a really interesting read:

http://www.sporttechie.com/2016/09/14/sports/nfl/growing-americas-sport-in-the-uk-the-international-development-of-the-jacksonville-jaguars/

You know it’s getting big when the Beeb bother with Britball!

For the first time in a fair old while, the BBC is actually showing interest in American Football.

Previously the domain of late night television on Channel 4 and 5, or available only for those wanting to splash on Sky Sports packages or the glory that is NFL gamepass, this NFL season the BBC are actually devoting some attention to our beautiful game – and they’re not half-assing it either! Gone are the days of Danny Kelly and Mike Carlson huddled in a man cave – we’re talking full blown studio with premiere BBC Sports Presenter Mark Chapman leading the charge, and the greatest Britballer of all time, Osi Unmenyiora, alongside fellow NFL star Jason Bell.

NFL This Week is a good start, but even better is the BBC bothering to look at the sport on our own shores as well.

As part of the BBC’s ‘Get Inspired’ campaign, focusing on finding ways to get people engaged with new activities that they may not have tried before, inspiring them to improve their health, the BBC shared an article looking at how to get into the sport, with hints and tips to find your local club and the costs involved.

It’s clear the Beeb have seen the light and are looking to get ahead of the curve with coverage as the prospect of a London Franchise looms, even getting some in vogue stars involed – such as Leicester City star Christian Fuchs who shared his dream of being and NFL kicker with Osi Umenyiora.

 

Raptors continue to grow entering second season.

Jurassic Coast secure Sport England grant following the 2016 campaign.

After months of hard work, the Jurassic Coast Raptors have announced the award of Sport England’s small grant worth £10,000. The project that won approval from the lottery funded body was to make the sport of American football accessible to those in the area over 18, with the money to be used to purchase kit for 25 new players and training equipment to make practice more productive for current and new players.

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Nick

Nick 'Willy Tee' Wilson-Town hails from the South West where he's spent the last decade bouncing around various teams at the university and senior level. He came to fame on the now departed unofficial forum thanks to his regularly irreverent Uniball predictions and general 'BUAFL wafflage'. Follow him on twitter @WillyTee1