The internet continues to be a beautiful thing. Last week, football fans learned that they can turn to Twitter to catch a few Thursday night games. While this will help to reach new international football fans, this same social media platform already helped bring together a group of people that shared two things in common: their language and their love for the Patriots.
Roughly three years ago, Pablo Maceda, a 22-year-old engineering student, started tweeting other Patriots fans that lived in his home country, Spain. After tweeting the 10 fans consistently, they organized a GroupMe chat so that they could talk more frequently. From there the Patriots fans set up a Patriots España Twitter account to cement their status as a virtual club.
"Even though we're not like a physical group, fan club, we wanted to just be like the Spanish fan club for the Patriots," Pablo said.
Pablo, who became a fan of the Patriots when he studied abroad in Boston six years ago, figured the group shouldn't stop there. They became an official Patriots fan club through the Fan Club and Bar Registry in 2014. Now boasting just more than 1,100 Twitter followers, the 10 guys wanted to unite Patriots fans all across Spain. It's tough for the group to gather at a meeting point since the country is roughly the size of California, but getting the entire group to meet in one spot and watch the game together is a top priority on their to-do list.
For now, they use the content and podcasts they create to continue to strengthen their group's bond. After talking Patriots news constantly in their GroupMe chat, the co-founders decided to take their thoughts to the internet and started a podcast in May 2014. Since then, Patriots España has gained almost 300 regular listeners who tune in weekly.
During the season, the group produces a weekly podcast that recaps the previous week's game. They also look ahead to the Patriots upcoming matchup. In between all of that, they talk about general news that's floating around the NFL. During the offseason, they dial back on the number of shows they produce since there's less activity.
With fewer than 10 people working on the podcast, the group switches off every week so that everyone has a turn.
"We have fun with it," Pablo said. "People like it. So we enjoy doing it."
Since the internet and Twitter helped to bring these Patriots fans together, Pablo appreciates the steps that the NFL has taken to reach fans on a broader level. Though games will most likely begin around 2 a.m., Pablo promises he'll be up if the Patriots are playing.
"It's a great tool for us outside the U.S. to get to watch the games," Pablo said. "It's being shown more on the ESPN here. Like three years ago they had nothing about the NFL, now they even have regular column writer, section on their website."