|Titans LB Tim Shaw returns to his native country to help promote Super Bowl XLV this week.|
Shaw will join New York Giants defensive end Osi Emenyiora, Carolina Panthers kicker Rhys Lloyd and cheerleaders from the Indianapolis Colts for "Super Bash," the largest and only official NFL Super Bowl party in the UK.
The annual event, which celebrates the best in NFL football on both sides of the Atlantic, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 6, at IndigO2, London.
"This is a great opportunity for me to connect two things that I love -- football and my heritage," said Shaw, who was born in Exeter, England and moved to the U.S. at the age of two. "I never would have thought that being born in England would relate or affect my career as an athlete. It's important to me to represent my home country in a positive way and try to relay what the game of football has done for me."
Shaw was claimed off waivers by Chicago in September and ended up leading the Titans with 20 special teams tackles. Now he's hoping to spread some NFL good-will to those not as familiar with the American sport. Soccer, cricket and rugby are the major sports of interest in his native country.
"They're not as familiar with the rules and concepts of American football over there. They don't understand why we stop the game every 10 seconds and wear so much padding because in their sports they don't do those things," said Shaw, a fifth-round draft pick by Carolina in 2005 who also spent time with the Jaguars and Bears. "We're hoping that having British-born NFL players promoting our game over there will help connect with them and be impactful. I think meeting or seeing an NFL player will definitely increase the visibility of our game over there."
Shaw said the NFL's annual scheduling of a regular season game in London is beneficial.
"I like what the league is doing and we need to continue to build on that," he said. "I would love to play in that game one day. We need to increase the broadcast of games and continue to have events such as this Super Bowl party to keep things going in the right direction."
While overseas, Shaw said he will spend time with his parents, grandmothers and cousins. But most of all, he said he's looking forward to seeing the excitement from the English people.
"I'm looking forward to watching the Super Bowl with my cousin, Steven, and just enjoying the British hospitality and atmosphere," he said. "There are all kinds of activities and interactions planned with the fans, so it's going to be an awesome event!"