Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak with Darren McMullen who is hosting a show on USA Network called NFL Football Fanatic (see preview below).
For those of you who do not know Darren McMullen, he was born in Scotland, moved to Australia at the age of 12, and roughly ten years ago he moved to the United States. Darren has hosted a number of shows in Australia, shows for National Geographic, and many others.
Darren spent a lot of his life dreaming to move to the United States. Now that he is in the US he feels one of the last pieces to his becoming a fully assimilated American is finding his own NFL team to root for.
During a trip to Scotland with his then girlfriend, Darren noticed how she was so enamored with the country he was raised in. “This is where the idea of the show came from. I saw my girlfriend at the time enjoying so many things in Scotland that it made me fall in love with my homeland all over again.”
This is the overarching idea behind NFL Football Fanatic. Darren wants to approach each NFL team from a similar angle, and his hope is that fans will fall in love with their teams all over again. At the end, Darren will pick his team based on which one meets the following key criteria:
- The location - it needs to be somewhere he’ll like to visit frequently
- Loyal fans - he dislikes fair weather fans
- Team culture, franchise history
It was incredible to hear about the Chiefs experience from an outsider who legitimately had very little idea what he should expect in Kansas City. Here are a few quotes from Darren during the conversation:
“I had no idea about the barbeque in Kansas City before I got there. I mean Australia is the BBQ king. I went to three BBQ places in Kansas City with Bill Maas, Deron Cherry, and Shawn Barber.” — The three places were Joe’s, Q39, and Arthur Bryant’s. “When I bit into the ribs at Joe’s it was almost like a hallelujah moment, it was like trying my first beer.” — “My first bite into it I was like Oh. My. God. I didn’t know meat could taste this good.”
“The two things that jumped out to me in Kansas City were the food and the people. The kindness of the people in Kansas City was humbling.”
“The Chiefs fans are the only fans I’ve seen who tailgate, while waiting in line to get in to the tailgate.” — “It was like a party, before the party, before another party.”
“Kansas City checked a lot of boxes for me. I was pleasantly surprised.”
“New York may be the best city in the world, but the New York Giants are not the Kansas City Chiefs.” (When speaking to the football team/city balance he’s looking for.)
“I went to the Purple Label and got a hair cut with Mahomes.” Mahomes then eluded to Monday Night football coming up and he wanted to look good for primetime.
“I asked Travis Kelce about what his favorite thing about playing in the NFL was. Travis Kelce said making 70,000 people happy at Arrowhead was his favorite thing about being an NFL player.”
If you’re interested to hear more, the episode focusing on the Chiefs will air on USA Network at 10 PM on Monday, January 22nd.