Marseille footballer Joey Barton talks NFL with the Paddy Power Blog ahead of a giant weekend of American Football
Joey Barton on NFL
I went to the Wembley game in 2011 — the Chicago Bears against the Glazers’ team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFL is a really transparent game and the FA could learn a lot from it, in terms of fan experience. It’s strange seeing English fans trying to ‘be American’ but… interesting. I went to the ‘afterparty’ and it was just ‘woah’… the players are giants. Absolute monsters.
The NFL obviously has a lot of control over the game because of the franchising system, but the way the game is protected and policed is much better than the way the FA does it — even down to the use of technology and the way it’s implemented. It’s streets ahead of where I feel football needs to be.
NFL has always been on the cutting edge of sports science too, along with rugby. I like the way they organise the game; the way they have two separate units, for attack and defence. It’s quite a strange philosophy for a footballer but I love the intensity of the sport.