The National Football League, or popularly known as the NFL, is the largest professional American football league in the United States.
Its main championship began this month, and although it takes place every year, this year it has a special feature: the NFL turns 100 and will celebrate in style with the participation of the 32 franchises established throughout the country.
The tournament is known all over the world, not only for the sport, but also for its dimensions. To give you an idea, American football is the most important sport in the country, and the final of the NFL championship, the Super Bowl, is the sports event with the most viewers in the whole regional television.
In Latin America, there are countries where the sport is more popular than in others, even having their own teams and leagues. However, so far it has not managed to surpass the popularity of classic football. But as time goes by, more and more Latin Americans are putting their support behind the most popular teams.
While most people believe that the American football championship began in 1967 with the creation of the Super Bowl, the reality is that it was born in 1920. Many things have changed since its inception, but broadly speaking, the spirit of the competition remains the same.
The rules, structure and even the participating teams have increased and become more professional. Today, 32 teams play; 16 from the Conference of American Football and 16 from the National Football Conference.
American Football in Latin America
As technology advanced and more and more television stations began broadcasting this mega-show, the NFL became more powerful and not just within the United States. For this edition, the championship is broadcast by Fox Sports across the United States.
However, in Central and South America, ESPN is another channel that broadcasts this North American classic. On the other hand, since the increase in streaming platforms, we can access the championship from all Latin American countries on the official NFL website.
The channels believe that this is due to a growing interest by viewers in acquiring new content. The globalization and popularization of North American culture continues to advance in this part of the world.
When we mention this there is no doubt that we must also talk about the incredible mid-term show. A show that has undoubtedly managed to capture the attention of hundreds of Americans who do not necessarily choose this championship for sport.
As for social networks, more and more Spanish-speaking media and influencers have decided to dedicate their time and make content about this sport in Spanish. This has helped a huge part of the Latin American population to access content that was previously impossible.
The Central American countries are the ones that are carrying this trend forward better than anyone else. Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are just a few of the countries that lead the way in Spanish content on American sport.
Mexico has its own national American football league, called the Liga de Fútbol Profesional de México (LFA). It was founded in 2016 as a private project to support various public institutions. The first season was made up of only four teams, all from Mexico City.
However, it grew quickly and currently has a total of nine franchises and is divided into two conferences: the North Conference and the Central Conference. In the same way that in the United States the biggest game is called “Super Bowl”, in this championship the final is called “Mexico Bowl”.
As time passes, the LFA gains more followers. In the last edition, the Mexico IV Bowl, had record attendance with more than 18,000 live spectators. The winner of this incredible show was Legion Condors from Mexico City, who won approximately USD 100,000 in prize money.
Latin American players in the NFL
The increase in immigration in the United States and the popularization of the sport in the southern cone has led to a significant number of “sangre Latina” players being placed among some of the best teams in the competition.
Do you know Jim Plunkett or Tom Flores? These two players are Americans, born to Mexican parents, and have managed to secure their place in the sport’s halls of fame. Flores became the first Hispanic player to be the starting quarterback of an NFL team in 1960.
Today, there are many well-known names who are of Latino descent. This not only helps more and more Latin Americans choose this sport as one of their favorites, but also helps more and more young athletes consider football as a career choice.