The National Football League and The Walking Dead fight for ratings on Sunday nights, but there is plenty of love between the two television juggernauts.
Two of the most popular programs on television are The Walking Dead and the National Football League. While Sunday night belongs to the undead, much of the day is filled with great NFL franchises going head-to-head.
Despite the NFL and The Walking Dead going head-to-head on Sunday nights, there is still a lot of love and admiration between the most popular sport in the United States and the most watched show in the world.
In a recent article on the ESPN website, it was revealed that there are some NFL superfans among the cast and crew of AMC’s zombie survival drama, and one of the most passionate is executive producer and special effects guru Greg Nicotero, who loves the Steelers.
"“I grew up, born in ’63, so I was in Pittsburgh when it was the City of Champions — you know, when the Pirates won the World Series and the Steelers were winning, one for the thumb, all those Super Bowls. I lived there through the first four. Terry Bradshaw and Joe Greene and really when the Steelers were at their absolute best. So that was just sort of ingrained in who I was as a kid, spending time with the family watching football and going to games and stuff like that.”"
A cast member who is very passionate about the NFL is Josh McDermitt. His favorite team is the Packers, and he’s not afraid to tell you to shut up if the game is on…and don’t even think about asking him to watch Green Bay play at the local sports bar.
"“In my family you either root for the Vikings or you root for the Bears, and I didn’t want to pick one side of the family over the other, so I picked the Packers. And I didn’t pick the Lions because who would root for the Lions, really?”"
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Other cast members of the The Walking Dead are very supportive of the NFL as well. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a passionate Seattle Seahawks fan and Ross Marquand loves the Denver Broncos while many others were rooting for the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl LI, including IronE Singleton, Khary Payton, Jayson Warner Smith, Joseph Hardin, Chris Harrelson, and Roe Digi.
The love does get returned from the NFL players to The Walking Dead. Many players have professed their love for AMC’s zombie survival drama, with the best example being former Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, who has appeared on Talking Dead and actually had an undead wedding to show his inner zombie.
Detroit Lions defensive back Darius Slay is another massive fan of the show. Not only does he love the gore and drama, but he loves watching people rise to the occasion, just like on the football field.
"“I just love the story, and I love gross and nasty stuff. It’s like a little romantic, and then it’s like, ‘Who is gonna die next?’ It’s like us: ‘Who is gonna make the play next?’”"
Do you watch both The Walking Dead and the NFL? What happens when your favorite team plays on Sunday nights when AMC is showing a new episode of the zombie drama? Let us know your situation in the comments section below.