Archive for October 17, 2009

The Buccs have a 'home' game in London next Sunday

The Buccs have a 'home' game in London next Sunday

After just about recovering from a Miami road trip earlier this month it’s time to prepare for the annual pilgrimage to London to see some REAL NFL football.

The 2009 NFL International game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots looked a bit more appetising in September than it does right now.

Before the Week 6 games are taken into consideration the Buccs and the Pats have a combined total of 3 wins – yuk.

Tampa Bay are in fact swimming amongst the used condoms in the zero win sewer, whilst New England are looking like a shadow of their former selves, having lost to the New York Jets and the 5-0 (it grinds my gears to even say that) Denver Broncos.

So what am I looking forward to seeing? Despite this not being the most appealing Week 7 NFL game there are a number of key matchups that will be worth watching.

  • The opportunity to see Tom ‘Two time Superbowl MVP’ Brady passing to Randy ‘yes sir I’m joining Brady in the Hall of Fame’ Moss in my own country is pretty special. Whilst both players may be just starting on the way down their career arc, watching Brady to Moss is something special – a bit better than Cleo Lemon to Tedd Ginn Jnr for sure !!!
  • Watching Bill Belichick in his tramps hoodie pace the soggy Wembley sideline will be fun for sure. After losing to his ‘pupil’ Josh McDaniels in Week 5 this season Belichick will want to get in and out of Europe with a win and no injuries. I still have this abiding memory of Belichick when he was the Browns head coach looking like Obi-Wan-Kinobe after he lost a fight with a razor.
  • Tampa Bay will likely be starting rookie 1st round draft pick QB Josh Johnson, in only his 4th game as the protagonist. With Jerod Mayo back fit and grandpa Junior Seau patrolling the field Johnson will have a hard time finding any rhythm. The Buccs WRs are having a torrid time so far and no-one has shown up from that group.
  • One Tampa stud to emerge in 2009 (and boy there are not many) is the son of Chargers TE legend Kellen Winslow – Mr Kellen Winslow II. Although Winslow is averaging under 10 yards a catch (9.9) after five weeks, he does have 4 tds (team leading) and 26 catches (again team leading). Having played TE when I was on the Crawley Raiders II team I have an affinity for the position, and love to watch dominant TEs.

What is everyone else looking forward to seeing at Wembley next Sunday?

It’s official I have the best wife in the world. I’ll now explain why.

For our one week road trip to Miami, which was going to be heavily sports dominated, I thought I would look for a non-sporting event for us both to go to, so I visited the Miami American Airlines Arena website to see if there were any concerts.

It was a miracle, between a sandwich of Disney on Ice was a lone The Killers concert on the Saturday night at 8.00pm. Perfect I thought, my wife loves The Killers, all that ‘somebody told me you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year’.

I did let my wife know that the Miami University v Oklahoma football game would be earlier that day at 1.00pm, but she did not mind, and despite my football excitement my wife told all her work mates she was seeing The Killers live in Miami – very cool.

It wasn’t until the night before we flew to Miami that I had an email from Ticketmaster saying that unfortunately the Miami U game had been moved from 1.00pm EST to 8.00pm EST because it was the nationally televised Saturday evening college game of the week.

Shit I thought. My wife however was that amazing that she sacrificed seeing The Killers to enable us to go and see Miami U v Oklahoma at Land Shark Stadium instead.

The worst part for my incredibly gracious wife was that the American Airlines Arena is situated right next to the carpark entrance to the Bayside area of Miami, the place you go to visit the Hardrock Cafe or catch a boat tour to see the likes of Vanilla Ice’s house or Will Smith’s luxury pad.

I think this is Will Smith's Miami pad - not bad eh!

I think this is Will Smith's Miami pad - not bad eh!

We did collect The Killers tickets as souvineers, but the look on my wife’s face as she played a Killers tune from her mobile phone standing outside the Arena was enough to make a grown man cry.

Categoric proof that my wife is in fact the best wife in the world

Categoric proof that my wife is in fact the best wife in the world

 

I have promised my wife free tickets to see The Killers when they next come to the UK, but I guess it will never quite sound as cool as saying ‘I saw The Killers in Miami’.

Dearest wife I am forever in your debt for this and I love you for the sacrifice you made.

After a 9 hour flight from London and faced with the prospect of a lot of driving around Miami my wife and I decided that on our first night in Dolphin country we would be taken by cab to experience some real American food, at none other than Shula’s original steakhouse.

The meat menu is painted on a genuine NFL football

The meat menu is painted on a genuine NFL football that is signed on the unpainted side by Shula himself in a silver pen

Named after Superbowl winning head coach Don Shula Shula’s is certainly no burger joint, it’s quite a classy joint in fact, with framed pictures of players from the Dolphins perfect 17-0 season in 1972. There is also lots of great photographs and plaques and some cabinets with memorabilia from the 70s.

Despite our taxi driver looking like some sort of hispanic gangster who couldn’t find his way from his own bedroom to his own bathroom, meaning we arrived over an hour late, we bowled up at Shula’s in Miami Lakes very hungry (even though we were actually staying on the same road as a more recently built Shula’s).

Shula’s is famous for serving up a 48oz – YES a 48oz porterhouse steak. They come up to your table with a meat trolley. No kidding the waiter or waitress rattles of a load of details about cling film wrapped pieces of cow and then asks if you want a gut busting 48oz slab of steak, which if you eat all of you get a signed Don Shula t-shirt and picture and membership to the 48oz Club.

The legendary 48oz Shula steak is in the middle and is about 8cm high

The 48oz Shula steak is in the middle and is about 8cm high

 

Having thought about having that much beef ducking and diving through my intestines I decided that Shula’s signature will need to be obtained without eating the side of a cow’s body.

I had the French onion soup for a starter, and that was enough on its own to fill me up. It was packed with giant croutons and topped with an entire slab of melted cheese.

Call me a wimp but I only went for the 8oz fillet mignon and a shared caesar salad, and my  wife went for the crab cakes (which she dined on for two days after).

At Shula's was the ball given to Don to mark his 100th NFL  coaching win - a 52-0 whipping of the Patriots

At Shula's was the ball given to Don to mark his 100th NFL coaching win - a 52-0 whipping of the Patriots

 

One of the 'Perfect Season' display boards at Shula's

One of the 'Perfect Season' display boards at Shula's

Above all a great way to start a holiday and I have a few napkins and pens as souvineers!
Above all a great way to start a holiday and I have a few napkins and pens as souvineers!

We did not bother with a desert as we were full, and because the taxi driver was so inept he waited  in the car park for us and took us all the way back to our hotel for half price.

 
Overall if you want a real American treat visit Shula’s Steak House, but expect a big hit on the old credit card.
 
Just like the infamous 17-0 Dolphins the food was perfect!
 
Anyone else been to a Shula’s or eaten a 48oz lump of steer?