Meet Adam Goldstein: 

The Ultimate British NFL Fan

In 2008, British NFL Superfan Adam Goldstein decided to try and achieve the ultimate NFL fan dream: attend one live National Football League game, including those in London and Canada, at every NFL stadium in one season. 

He traveled over 65,000 miles, watched 40 American Football Games and spent 18 weeks on the road. 

Adam drove from stadium to stadium, sometimes travelling up to 800 miles a day. He met players and superfans alike and was overwhelmed at the warmth with which he was embraced by the NFL fan community. 

In his book: 'Tailgate to Heaven', Adam shares his experience in an engaging, fun and energetic way.

We got the chance to catch up with Adam and hear all about his trip, including what his favourite tailgate grub was, whether he preferred indoor or outdoor atmospheres and what tips he would share with any fellow NFL fans who were thinking of doing some tailgate road-tripping. Here's what he had to say: 

Adam, an absolute pleasure to be able to speak with you. So, first off and arguably most importantly, which set of fans were the most welcoming to you and who serves the best tailgate grub?!

 A: I would probably say the most welcoming fans were the Packers. Despite knowing that I was a Bears fan, they  were still wanting to make sure I had  a good time. I was also really impressed with both the Texans and Raiders fans.  As for the best grub, ooh that's a hard one! Again the Raiders and Texans are up there, but if you're a wine and cheese kind of person, head to the 49ers. Kansas City barbecues are supposed to be amazing - but when I went out there it was minus 26 so not so many tailgaters cooking up that day!

Minus 26! Goodness. So from your experiences, which stadiums breed the best atmosphere: indoor or outdoor?    

A: Good question. I recently experienced both extremes: Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers and the U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. The traditionalist in me would say outdoor stadiums are better, as they feel more in line with the "historic" element of football (especially at Lambeau), but when it drops to those crazy cold temperatures I'd take the indoor stadiums any day. The problem with indoor stadiums is that when the fans are hyped up and loud, they are very loud, but when they are not, it can be quite eerie. Though I do love modern stadiums and the wow factors, such at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. You feel overwhelmed to see such an amazing piece of architecture.

What was your best off-field football experience – was there a particular road trip, tailgating session or football party that has really stuck in your memory?

A: Meeting the Carolina Panthers Team after their Monday night game (on my 2 year anniversary) and having running back DeAngelo Williams give me his game day boots was certainly a highlight!

That's an incredible experience to have had! So what tips would you give to fans wanting to visit multiple stadiums on a budget? 

A: I would say don't be afraid of Motels, they are fine. I'd also recommend you travel with a friend to spread the costs of fixed things like accomodation and gas.    

 You quoted Bob Papa in your book, where he says ‘kick-off: as the action begins I feel like a kid ripping through the wrapping paper of a present. Each NFL game represents a different present for me’. Did you find it difficult reverting back to normality? By that I mean did watching the games back in the UK from a screen, often late at night, not seem quite as magical as it did before you went on your trip, or did you find your experience added to the magic of watching the games?  

A: I even noticed that during the games. If I wasn't at, say, a Monday Night Football game and I was watching it on TV, it felt oddly strange. Now I am able to watch games on both the TV and adjust, but yes coming back to 'reality' was strange because I spent so much time on the road. Even reading something non-football related was odd!

 You mentioned earlier that Green Bay fans were very welcoming. Does that mean that despite being notorious Bears rivals, you found yourself falling a little bit in love with their infamous cheesehead fan base? 

A: Oh for sure. If i wasn't a Bears fan I would have ended up being a Packers fan coming out of the trip. The rivalry is not as heated as people think. In fact, Packers fans make more fun of Vikings fans. I think the Bears-Packers rivalry is more of a brotherly one. I've been to three Packers-Bears games now (one in Chicago and two in Green Bay) and there was never any aggression between the fans.

At the start of your book, you described the difference between English and American Football in a way that I think we were all able to relate to and agree with. By that I mean the boarding up of houses versus the opening up of front lawns. Would English sport be better served adopting an NFL pre-game culture?   

A: Oh yes, absolutely.I feel that because of our history with hooliganism in soccer, many other sporting games get tarnished with the same brush and if you treat people like children, they will tend to act like children. I think we are seeing a shift at NFL games where just a few weeks ago at Twickenham Stadium International Series Games, the tailgating areas were left open for almost two hours after the games, to allow fans to stay on longer with friends and watch the Sky Sports Red Zone. That's a huge shift from ten years ago, when everyone was forced to leave Wembley almost immediately after the game.   

Finally, with the NFL on the rise in the UK, and over six million fans, which directions would you like to see it take? Do you feel a franchise would work well over here, or are you concerned about the logistics? 

A: The logistics will certainly be a barrier. I love the growth of the game here, not just from the National Football League side of things, but the female games, children playing and so on. I now coach at Oxford University and our team are growing all the time. I'm not sure that a franchise in London will be the same as going to games out in the States, especially from a tailgate point of view, London games do a great fan zone, but a real American tailgate experience is just magical.  

Adam's book is available to purchase via Amazon. To order your copy, simply click here.