This weekend I was invited to Belle Vue Stadium in Manchester to see behind the scenes of their photoshoot with the Manchester Titans.
Upon arrival to the stadium, the U19 team were mid-action for the Northern Britbowl Trophy Final where they faced Scottish team, the Highland Wildcats. Initially the Titans were 15-0 up, but the Wildcats had one hell of a comeback in the second half, and stole the win with just 16 seconds left on the clock. This was my first British American Football game and it was really interesting to see the difference in rules and how the game is played. It was also fantastic to see so much great support for the teams.
After the game, I was invited on to the field for an exclusive behind the scenes look at a photoshoot with the Manchester Titans. Here’s what I saw:
After the photoshoot, I was given the opportunity to a training session acting as Quarterback to demonstrate the Wilson X Connected Football. For those unfamiliar with the Wilson X, it is the world’s first smart football and puts you in to the game and tracks your stats by detecting velocity, distance, spiral efficiency, spin rate and whether a pass was caught or dropped.
Before our training began we were asked by the Titans general manager and former Great British Women’s Lions, Jonathan Homer, alongside Titans Women’s Assistant Coach, Abbie Johnson, to simply throw to ball (which you’ll see at the start of the below video). Admittedly this didn’t go so well, I must have thought it was shot put. but after some one-on-one coaching with Jonathan and Abbie, it certainly improved and I even managed to get a bit of spin on the ball. I’ll leave it for you to judge as to whether I should be the new Jets Quarterback!
I must admit, I was slightly dubious about the ball previously and wasn’t really sure how accurate it would be but I have to say the ball is lightweight, you’d have no idea it has a chip measuring your stats inside. I can now see the huge benefits for training and for those of us who love statistics, how great it’ll be, becoming a standard ball for the NFL games.
If you’re curious about the Wilson X Connected Football and fancy getting your hands on one you can purchase it for £160, or £150 for the junior size.