Footy, anyone? Sports fans cheer from afar

Early on Saturday morning, at half past midnight, a small but passionate group of fans would gather in front of American televisions to watch the grand final, the Australian Super Bowl governing football.

Something unites those of us – insomnia, perhaps? Those who choose to adopt a sport from the other side of the globe, one that transcends the comfort zone of our upbringing.

But dedicated fans cheer from afar for all kinds of sports, a comforting reminder of how shrinking the world is.

“I started watching it and really liked it,” said T.J. Sherwood, a 19-year-old college student in Tennessee who also happened to be a fan of soccer.

The kind of people in football-obsessed Britain, with a growing passion for the American football brand, brought to their side from the Atlantic with a major boost from the NFL and the increasingly diverse media landscape.

“It’s a good sport. It’s violence. We got the score,” said Joe Vincent, a Welsh national who founded Britain’s Jacksonville Jaguars fan club. “Once you go to a game, you get addicted to it.”