For years, NFL fanatics in Europe have been forced to watch games by themselves, when and wherever they can. Only recently has social media given them an outlet to find and meet up with others like them. Paul Hirons, a lifelong resident of England, and a Bengals fan since high school, helped found Bengals UK, which started as a way to connect with other Bengals fans online, but has recently become a way for fans to gather and watch the team together in person. Bengals fans gather at the Admirality in London on Friday night. The Bengals play the Redskins on Sunday in London. Katherine Terrell/ESPN.com Hirons, who was in attendance at the Admirality on Friday night, said actually having the Bengals around this weekend has been a surreal experience. The NFL supporter experience in the UK is sometimes a lonely and disparate one, so we wanted to bring people together, as idealistic as that sounds, Hirons wrote in an email. Hirons, who was born in England, has been a Bengals fan for 30 years, most of those spent without a connection to the fan base. It was the year after the Bears 85 Super Bowl win, and William Perry had become a big media star over here, he wrote. Subsequently, the game had begun to gain some cult appeal.
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