It’s no secret that as a nation, we love sport, with baseball being the ultimate pastime. Just as it’s no secret that we also have the best sports. When you consider this, it’s unsurprising that Brits wanted a slice of the action. After all, with so much to offer, it was only natural that our neighbours across the pond would get caught up in our amazing selection.
So, which of our beloved sports has made it across the Atlantic? Here are 4 American sports that Brits are obsessed with, proving that we do sports the best.
For years, American football has been increasing in popularity in the UK. It’s been embraced by universities, where teams dress in their colours and take part in embarrassing welcome rituals and initiations – although there aren’t of the any big college games or pre-game tailgates that we enjoy.
However, the number of Brits getting involved with the sport is on the rise. More are watching Super Bowl, attending games and there’s now even a dedicated NFL pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium – the first retractable, split pitch in the world.
You may think of ice hockey as an American sport, but did you know it’s been popular in the UK since the 1930’s? No, neither did we! It boomed with Brits after they won gold at the 1936 Olympics.
Since then, ice hockey has gone through phases in the UK, with Brits investing in ice hockey equipment – FYI, Proline has some great stuff. Currently, it stands as the third most popular winter sport and has the biggest attendance of any indoor sport. Pretty impressive, right? There’s also an official ice hockey league – the Elite Ice Hockey League – with twelve teams representing Great Britain.
We have the NBA and it’s hard to deny that our basketball players are the stuff of legend. The UK, on the other hand, has had a bit of an on-off relationship with this amazing sport. Brits are a bit love-hate with basketball, embracing it one minute and casting it off the next.
Although it goes through cycles, basketball is more popular with Brits than their beloved cricket, as well as tennis and golf. So, it’s definitely up there. Although, as of yet, there’s only been one Brit make it to the NBA.
If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s, then you probably spent a lot of time watching (or more accurately, idolizing), WWE. With wrestling heroes like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, The Rock and The Undertaker, our wrestling scene was awesome! It was popular in the UK, too, but in recent years, amateur wrestling has really taken off in Britain.
There’s loads of dedicated clubs across the UK, televised shows, and student societies dedicated to the art of wrestling, with British wrestlers even making it to WWE.
Undoubtedly, the Brits have some ‘odd’ opinions when it comes to sport. Although we’ll never understand their fascination with cricket – come on, it’s just confusing! – we can see why they’re embracing some of our most popular sports. What’s not to love about football, ice hockey, basketball or wrestling?