Celebrating NFL fans in the UK: Introducing Neil Dutton

Celebrating NFL fans in the UK: Introducing Neil Dutton

I’d like to introduce you to Neil Dutton, one half of the Waxing Lyrical with Mainz and Dutts podcast. Neil is a Philadelphia Eagles fan and shares with us how he got in to the NFL, how he made the choice of his team as well as more about his overall experience as a fan.

What got you in to American Football, and what’s your earliest memory of the sport?

I first started watching the NFL because two of my mates never came out on Sunday nights and I was curious as to why! So on November 19th 2000 I sat and watched the Jets against the Dolphins with them. It was not exactly a great game, but I was intrigued.

The team you support, was that encouraged by friends/family, or was that your own decision?

Reason behind that? – As I started to watch the games, my mate TOLD me that I needed to have my own team. He suggested the Eagles, as they were a quietly improving team at the time. I agreed, and 20 years later here we are.

What is your favourite NFL memory so far?

Oh the Eagles winning the Super Bowl and it’s not even close. I’ve joked that one of my security questions for my online banking is “Do you want Philly Philly?”

What do you enjoy the most about the NFL International Series? Or do you prefer watching games in the States?

I’ve yet to see a game in the US, but it’s on the bucket list. I love the coming together of fans of all the different teams to share in the experience. I’ve been to eight Wembley games, and I’ve NEVER seen any trouble. It’s heartwarming to see.

What is your favourite memory from meeting up with other NFL fans?

I’ve loved attending the after parties at Bloomsbury Lanes arranged by the Gridiron boys after games at Wembley. I’ve been lucky to attend a few NFL UK Live events in Manchester and New Brighton too, it’s always great when so many fans of different teams come together.

What player would you like to see the most play for your team?

Julio Jones. Best all round wide receiver in the NFL, and the Eagles wide receiver corps at present is…well it’s…it’s not good.

Outside of your own franchise, who is your favourite fanbase?

The Browns. They’ve been through so much throughout history, from Red Right 88, The Fumble, The Drive to actually losing their team. Then when they got the team back they’ve been a laughing stock for most of the last two decades in a league that is set up for EVERYONE to be competitive. Yet the fans keep on turning up. Incredible.

And just for fun, let’s play NFL Tinder, but you can’t choose your own team. Which team would you swipe right for? And which team gets a left swipe?

Tinder, that’s one of those young people’s apps right? I’m not down with the kids…I would swipe right for the Packers or Bears, fantastic history with so many great names from NFL past associated with them. Plus I’ve been to Chicago and I love that city. I would NEVER want to be a Cowboys fan, so I’m swiping left HARD on them. HARD.

I do love a good story from Neil Dutton, so be sure to check him out on Twitter too. You can read more like this on the Fan Series section of the blog.

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