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BTSC 2016 Writer Profile: Jack Heathcote

To help BTSC become an even greater community, we are doing BTSC Writer Profiles to give you a glimpse of the writer behind the articles.

So now to your token limey for his writer profile!

My name is Jack Heathcote and I've been with BTSC since late January this year. Anyone that knows me can't avoid the fact that I live and breath Steelers football.

I remember exactly what the first game of "american football", as we call it, I ever watched. It was Super Bowl XLV some six years ago, and it's safe to say I was hooked. I watched the physicality of the game, especially the likes of Troy Polamalu, and just thought "I've never seen anything like this!". Thus, I was a Steelers fan. I didn't actually learn that Pittsburgh had lost the game until some time after (that 6 hour time difference is a real pain for anyone into any American sports in the UK).

I'm 22 years-old, and graduated from the University of Birmingham last summer with a degree in War Studies (it's as awesome as it sounds). Since then, I've stayed on with the University of Birmingham for my Master's degree after landing myself a scholarship, so now I'm reading all things International Relations.

Other than the NFL and academia, I fill my time with rock and metal music and playing copious amounts of video games. I'm a big fan of Green Day and the whole American punk rock movement, as well as the likes of A Day to Remember, Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot. For someone who is so into football, I'm not actually a big fan of sports except for the Tour de France (Sir Bradley Wiggins is a boss).

I try my best to watch as much NFL as I can, but that time difference pretty much eliminates any chance of watching Thursday night and Monday night football, as well as the later games on a Sunday. So I've got into the habit of watching any and all games I can, regardless who's playing. Unlike many of the other writers on this site, I've only had the opportunity of seeing one NFL game, and that was Jaguars @ Bills in Wembley Stadium last October. In fact I've only been to the USA once, which was back in February for a university trip. We got nowhere near anything remotely football or NFL related in anyway. I'm trying to learn as much about the sport as I can and absorb as much knowledge from the other writers (and the commenters) here on BTSC. It's safe to say I've learned a phenomenal amount since starting.

Some of you may have heard that the UK does have a growing following for the NFL, and you would be absolutely right. I go see my university team as often as I can, the Birmingham Lions, and even wanted to play. I sadly couldn't play due to the price of the insurance and pitch fees (yes, we pay to play). Since then I've suffered an injury to a tendon in left shoulder, and therefore likely won't be rushing to play anytime soon.

In terms of how I came to write for BTSC, I have a course mate who writes for Bloody Elbow here on SB Nation. He said I should write because of how much I love the sport, and so he emailed his editor, who emailed the BTSC editor (our main man Jeff Hartman) who then got in contact with me. I sent Jeff a link to an online radio I hosted on the NFL with two of my close friends and course mates at the time (a Ravens and an Eagles fan) and here I am.

Due to the fact that I've only been learning about football for the last six years, I try and veer away from anything too technical with the sport, as well as any and all breaking news due to likely being asleep, because I simply haven't had any kind of football education. Instead I prefer things that deal with statistics and comparing them as well as other aspects of the sport which have less to do with fundamentals. I like to write things a little more controversial and see the comments section blow up. I like the debate and hate it when the community takes one opinion and that over rules everything else. Something I particularly like is when someone comments with lots of knowledge about the sport because, frankly, I can learn something. Does anyone remember that outrageous article about Artie Burns being a bit of a reach in the draft? Yep, that was me. I read ALL 400+ of the comments because a lot of them had some really interesting and clever counterpoints. Seriously, I may not comment often, but if you think I'm wrong, call me out on it; because it helps me learn and development as a sports writer.

Altogether, I do hope that you all enjoy reading my articles, and again, please comment (or even tweet me) if you think I'm wrong. It helps. As well as that, if you have any questions on the life of an NFL fan in the UK, or something to help me improve my football knowledge, shoot me a tweet. Either way, thanks for reading and I want you all to keep reading my articles!