American football is looking for a home in a hostile land, the United Kingdom

It’s hard to find such a hostile land. Think for a moment about star and stripes football, its ability to paralyze an entire country during the annual Super Bowl mass, the oceanic hordes of fans that regularly accompany collegiate games, the colossal NFL domes that surround field goals and touchdowns, huddles and lines of scrimmage. Think now of the status the same sport boasts an ocean away, in the wary British Island.

It’s hard to find such a hostile land, it is. There where first rugby, then a different football saw the light, there where the noble line of these two disciplines has not for a moment ceased to pulse passion, there where the oval ball prefers to be passed backwards and the word football uniquely rhymes with goal. Right there, in the worst of the fiefdoms to be conquered, this sport born and bred in America is finding, against all odds, a niche of adepts.

“There is a growing interest, especially at university level,” photographer Anselm Ebulue tells us, “In college many guys are introduced to American football seriously for the first time, they understand that it is a highly cerebral sport, where strategy and efficiency are the keys to success.” His visual report introduces us to the Imperial College Immortals: a London enclave of yards and flags, a community that is trying to implement a complex process of reverse sports colonization. Enjoy this journey across the Channel.

PH Anselm Ebulue
IG @anselm.ebulue
Text by Gianmarco Pacione