Friday, July 31st, 2020

The NFL and Me: Gethin Jones

Gridiron

The NFL and Me: Gethin Jones

Gridiron NFL

This article, from Issue XXXIV of Gridiron magazine, originally appeared in 2017. For individual editions or subscriptions, click HERE



When did you first start watching the NFL?
It was in the mid-80s. We went to stay in New York with a family that we got to know through a student-exchange programme and they were massive Giants fans. If they weren’t watching, they were taking about it. It was during the time of LT [Lawrence Taylor] and the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. I loved it. I was hooked.

Is that how you became interested?
I was brought up on rugby – always enjoyed the one-on-ones, the big hits. I think I jumped on the success of that Giants side leading to their Super Bowl [XXI] win against the Broncos.

 


“Literally every day I’d rip a part of my school uniform. My mum couldn’t understand how I was doing so much damage playing ‘football’.”


 

Have you ever played?
There was a small group who played at school and I fancied myself as a wide receiver! Literally every day I’d rip a part of my school uniform. My mum couldn’t understand how I was doing so much damage playing ‘football’.

Think we know the answer, but who is your team?
The Giants. I’m even staying faithful this season!

Can probably guess this as well… Who is your all-time favourite player?
LT. There was a lot of number 56 on the bedroom wall.

Coach?
I’m gonna give a shout out to Andy Reid from the Chiefs. Yes, he has incredible personnel at his disposal this year, but how good have they been to watch?

Have you ever been to an NFL game?
This year while filming ‘Road to the Super Bowl’, every week I’ve gone to the producer and said, ‘Hey, I’ve had a great idea, how about I do this at the game on Sunday?’. We film the show in LA, so I went to see the Chargers at the StubHub against the Dolphins. I was also at the lowest-scoring London game of all-time at Wembley (Saints-Dolphins in Week 4).

We know it ain’t gonna be your boys, but who will win the Super Bowl this year?
Oh man! When I ask Jason Bell and Osi Umenyiora that question, they refuse to answer and I’m like, ‘It’s your job!’. But this year it seems impossible to predict. Everyone is beating everyone else. I’ll go for the Kansas City Chiefs, if the likes of Alex Smith, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt can stay healthy, and, erm, next question!

 


“Hurry the process of getting a franchise to London. The UK is so ready.”


 

If you were in charge of the NFL, what would you do?
Hurry the process of getting a franchise to London. The UK is so ready. Doing this show has opened my eyes to the fanbase, the podcasts, the local teams who play, the fantasy and challenge leagues. The way the NFL is covered is brilliant – it’s 24/7. Sky are showing primetime games at a good time in the UK, and I hope our little show is bringing more people to it, in particular new fans.

What’s the single best moment you’ve seen in a match?
Come on! We go through the highlights every week and have ‘Top Five Plays of the Week’ and the arguments in the office…seriously, every week, you have about 10 who could win it. Some of the one-handed catches – OBJ, David Njoku the other week, Nelson Agholor. Then again, Todd Gurley JUMPING over people always makes me yelp in a weird way!

Who is the most frightening player you have ever seen?
The Fridge. We loved William Perry! And I wouldn’t annoy Von Miller or Khalil Mack…or Osi – but he’s such a nice guy!

If you were playing in the NFL, which number would you wear?
31 – it’s always been lucky for me.

Why do you love the NFL?
It’s athletes in absolute prime shape, sticking to the plan and executing under pressure. They just do not hold back. May the best man win. And then have a look at the scoreboard…



This article, from Issue XXXIV of Gridiron magazine, originally appeared in 2017. For individual editions or subscriptions, click HERE

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