What Happened When MH Trained With Pro NFL Athletes
Don't @ us baseball fans, but American football is America’srealpastime, and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s a brutal, high-octane chess game, played by some of the fastest and most physically intimidating men on the planet.
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But America’s pastime is slowly and surreptitiously becoming Britain’s pastime as well. According to the NFL, participation at an amateur level in the UK has risen by approximately 15 per cent every year since 2007, with the latest figures showing that 40,000 people aged 16 or older play regularly. The UK also now plays host to regular-season NFL matches, and there is talk of a team migrating from the States to give London its very own piece of the NFL. The sport’s popularity is rising at such a rate that we may soon have to drop the 'American' from 'American football' and start calling that other sport we like ‘soccer’.
(Related: 11 things we learned training with the England rugby team)
With this in mind, we decided to give American football a try for ourselves. To do this, we enlisted the help of three NFL players, Super Bowl winner and wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, Mack Hollins, defensive end for the Tennessee Titans, Jurrell Casey and defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks, Neiko Thorpe.
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With the NFL players on board we tried our hand at some of the drills practised by American ballers: Hail Mary passing, sacking, kicking, and catching a ball being dropped from a drone, which hasn’t made it into the NFL yet, but once they see this video it probably will.
We also grabbed a quick chat with two of the players, Casey and Alex Gray, former rugby union player turned tight end for the Atlanta Falcons, to discuss the workout routines and diets it takes to become a professional American footballer, as well as finding out which is the tougher sport, rugby or American football. Their answers may surprise you.
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