By Adam Walford (@touchdowntips)
For the NFL fan March is the ultimate down-spot, we had the climax of the season with the Superbowl, a week or two to recoup, then for all the college nerds the excitement of the combine then the draft in April, but March, well we’ve got free agency opening at least which gives a bit of excitement for a few days but ultimately it’s all just killing time until peak off-season excitement on draft day.
For myself as the betting expert at F10Y towers there’s a few things to keep myself busy. There were markets available on the combine, there’s already odds on teams to win each division, their win totals, MVP and the likes. So a few bits to keep me busy, but my main aim for the summer, much to the delight of the bossman is to reacquaint myself to Excel. Some high-level nerding has been going on with a little help from Tim and his uber-dorklike abilities. All in with the aim of finding any slight edge to gambling when the season comes a-knocking.
So with it being a little quieter I thought it would be a good time to give a shout out to the community in the UK and give a little promoting to the many fan groups available this side of the pond.
Originally I saw these tables posted by @BaseballBrit on twitter and for the most part the handles haven’t changed since he last updated his 2 years ago but as he’s now travelling the world and excellently promoting Baseball to a UK audience I’m guessing he hasn’t got the time to update so I’ve decided to take the torch and have a follower numbers on twitter.
Of course it might not be an accurate reading of followers of teams in the UK, but as most of my time is spent on twitter it’s where I was looking for numbers. There are of course many many groups on facebook which may be larger than these, but, it is what it is. Oh, and if you know of any other team groups worth a mention then let us know!
So without further blabbed, the AFC teams first.
Obviously with the Jags being the designated UK team it’s no surprise to see them atop this list, and while I guess it’s still a fan group, I’m assuming here, but it’s probably the only one run by the team itself, it’s definitely the only one with a blue tick, so should we really count them?
The Superbowl champs are in second having topped 10,000 followers on the day of the game this last season, for a true fan-run account it’s an impressive achievement especially as unlike quite a few teams in the list they didn’t have the greatest success in the 80s/90s when football was taking off on this side of the pond, as teams like the Dolphins, Broncos, and to a lesser extent my Bengals did.
A little shameless plug here for the hard work that Paul and Nathan (mostly Paul) do over at WhoDey_UK. As a short-term ‘in-the-know’ participant I had the smallest peek of some of the things they organise on a weekly basis and it’s not just them, there’s a dedicated and eager group of folks who create great data whether it’s college analysis, mock drafts, game previews or predictions and in my humble opinion (having not listened to others) the best team-focused podcast in the UK featuring players, former coaches, beat writers and a whole lot of fun irreverent chat. Earlier in the season they “celebrated” 30 years since the ’89 Superbowl loss to the 49ers but putting together an amazing interview with the sadly late Sam Wyche. One that even neutrals would probably appreciate.
A little surprising to me to not see the Cowboys at the top of this list, not only are they “Americas team” they were THE team of the 90s with the triplets helping them dominate a large part of the decade. Mick McCarthy is now the coach of them, but he led to the Green Bay Packers to their last Superbowl success a decade ago, I’d guess that led to a lot of the Packers followers, Rodgers and Favre being under center for nearly 30 years now and the fact they’re fan owned probably adds to their appeal. Fair play to the UKPackers and their followers. I can only imagine how large this fan group would be should they ever come over here for a game!
So I’ve tried my best to not make this a ranking exercise as the fact these things exist at all is a great indictment of growth of the game in the UK and the passion that fans over here have towards the game.
Here’s a shout out to all the founders, the participants and readers of good old UK based content! Keep up the good work folks.