From Leicester to Orlando – a DMU student’s trip to the Pro Bowl

By Tyler Arthur

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Mason Hoath, at the 2018 Pro Bowl

The best of the NFL gather, every year, at the end of January – for the annual ‘Pro Bowl’, an event to celebrate the fans of American football and provide a fan experience just one week before the final game of the season, the Super Bowl.

Mason Hoath, 21, is a big NFL fan who lives in Leicester while studying Computer Games Programming at De Montfort University.

He went to Orlando for a week, for the Pro Bowl and spent the week brushing shoulders with the likes of star players Antonio Brown and Russell Wilson.

“Being able to meet the players was great,” he said. “A lot of them are truly humble and down to earth. They live for their fans.”

Mason plays American football for the DMU Falcons, and he is a big fan of the New England Patriots, who are set to play in Super Bowl 52 next Sunday.

Last year, his father went to the Pro Bowl, and when he was flying home, he had a surprise planned for his jealous son.

“I asked how it was, and he said ‘It’ll be better next year when you’re with me.’ I couldn’t tell if he was being serious, at first.

“It felt amazing,” he said.

During his week in Orlando, Mason took part in the ‘NFL Experience’, which allows fans to take part in NFL Combine and ‘Skills Showdown’ activities, before the top talent head out and take part in their events.

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Mason making an impressive effort, at the Skills Showdown, just days before the likes of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry

Now, as he returns to normality, in Leicester, Mason is even more enthusiastic about his favourite sport, and he can’t wait for the Super Bowl, and getting back to playing himself.

“It’s made me more passionate about the game, and I’m itching to get back out on the field.”

The DMU Falcons have their next fixture on Sunday, against the University of Worcester.

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