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How to make money from American Football

Let me paint you a scene: You’re about 6 weeks into 2019 and all of the post-Christmas goodwill and new-year-new-me optimism that you brought with you has firmly run out. It’s dark. The weather is shite. The Patriots won another, incredibly boring, Super Bowl. Your job has had about 25 productive, well-meaning days out of you and the time has come to start phoning it in and instead spend all day Googling “GFL player salary” and “Europlayers sign up” and “gain 20kgs muscle fast” and “what steroids non detectable”.

That scene is me, in case you hadn’t realised. And now that I’ve got you thinking about it, that scene is going to be you any minute now. Take a moment out of your flagrant procrastination and spend it reading this, another Fun List™.

Is this going to be a much-longer-than-really-necessary article to which the ultimate conclusion is “you can’t”? Well, you’re here now so I guess you’ll just have read to the end to find out! (spoiler: yes)

1. Play in the NFL

This is how the formula works, isn’t it? Option one is a sarcastic bit about something that’s very impossible, and then I tell you how very impossible it is, obviously, and call you an idiot.

But what about Efe Obada, eh? What about Menelik Watson, or Jay Ajayi, sort of, or Tigie Sankoh?

I think we’ve all shared a version of the same daydream; where a passing scout for the New York Giants (Q: Why is the scout passing a field in Staffordshire? A: It’s a daydream, shut up nerd) sees you training and is so impressed that he insists on flying you out for training camp, and then all of a sudden you’re lined up against Odell-fucking-Beckham, except now you’re lock step with him, he can’t shake you loose, and you’re doing the Revis finger wag and the coaches are just in awe, and now you’re on the 53-man roster, and then you’re starting, and now there’s highlights, and advertising deals, and pro bowls and parties and cheerleaders and fame and supercars, and now you’re older, retired now, and back in the UK, and it’s the Super Bowl, and Sky have you – you! – presenting it, and Neil Reynolds doesn’t know he’s been fired yet so he’s turned up, but you’re already there, sat in his seat, fixing him with an icy stare and flipping him the bird with both hands until he cries.

We’ve all shared that dream, haven’t we? Did you just… nod? Is that a… yes?

Ha, look at you! You thought you were going to go and play in the NFL! You’re not going to go and play in the NFL, idiot!

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: Obviously not!

2. Play in the GFL

A GFL player (L) pictured with a local fan

This is just option 1 again except you only make about €500 a month plus living expenses and you don’t get to flex on Neil Reynolds. So honestly, what’s the point?

Besides, Europlayers is already overflowing with Div 3 Americans who want to continue living in denial (a.k.a Finland) about their pro football careers.

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: Nein!

3. Something about the Leicester Falcons (allegedly?*)

We’ve all seen the memes, or done the memes, or angrily commented on the memes about how “paying for all my outstanding subs and membership fees and also travel expenses is perfectly reasonable, ACTUALLY”. As such, this is too much of an easy target.

I’m not here to beat a dead horse, I’m here to do about 1,000 more words than were really warranted of mildly amusing content. Let’s all move on with our lives.

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: I told you already, I’m not doing this one. But if I were, the answer might be something like ‘allegedly’.

*I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure if you write ‘allegedly’ at the end of every sentence you’re 100% litigation-proof.

4. Have some very pointless opinions about it on Sky

Pic: Twitter/neilreynoldsnfl

I might be entirely hallucinating this but I distinctly remember it coming out a few years ago that Neil Reynolds is being paid £12,000 a year by BAFA to ‘advance the local game’. That’s properly mad, isn’t it? Am I imagining that that ever happened? Imagine paying 12k to a man you could describe as ‘punchably smug’ just to do one tweet about the BritBowl! Is this entire article essentially a too-long subtweet about how bad Neil Reynolds is? Yes!

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: If you already RT the the final scores of your games to your 28 twitter followers then you’re doing as much of a job promoting the British game as Neil Reynolds ever has, so go ahead and submit an invoice to BAFA for 12 grand and see what happens, tbh. 

5. Get paid by the Fyre Festival dudes to say something nice about Fyre Festival

from “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” (Netflix)

Don’t think we didn’t see you too, Jason Bell. (Osi would never, we stan an unproblematic legend)

6. Write about it on the internet

Listen; I’m sure the NFL.com guys are getting paid for all of the incredibly wrong mock drafts they do, and maybe even the Double Coverage guys are making bank now in exchange for putting Leicester at #1 on all of their Power Rankings – couldn’t resist, sorry – but I can assure you that nobody’s paying me for this utter nonsense.

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: I dunno, would you pay for this?

That’s a serious question. My rates are very reasonable, I just want to buy a Speed Flex.

7. Promise the club treasurer that you are definitely going to pay your subs, but then do not actually pay your subs. For, like, 5 years.

A penny saved is a penny earned, as they say, so all of those awkward run-ins you’ve had with whoever handles your club’s finances about the £800 subs debt you’ve managed to rack up are actually just a sign that you’re getting! that! mf! bread! son!

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: According to my records, nobody else has paid any subs money since 2013 either, so it effectively cancels out.

8. Sack off playing and become a Ref

Some refs, deciding whether to call back your touchdown for holding or for a block in the back

The refs are actually the only people on the field earning any money for their time. They’re the real stars of the league! And the best part about refereeing is that you can flag someone for holding any time you get bored and there’s nothing they can do about it!

Dig a bit deeper and you’ll quickly realise that everyone on the sideline is on their own hustle. The St. John’s Ambulance crew are only here for the payday. The gameday photographer’s gonna charge you £20 before he’ll take the watermark off your new profile pic. Some clubs will even pay the chain crew for turning up! I’ve just realised that there are some Britball games where literally everyone in attendance is being paid to be there, except for the players! Britball’s good, isn’t it!

So, can I realistically make money doing this?: Money, yes. Powerful enemies in the BAFA illuminati when you let the wrong team win? Also yes!

Ultimate conclusion: you can’t

Quite frankly this is your fault for expecting anything better of me.  

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