Archive for October 26, 2009

The NFL Tailgate party at Wembley yesterday included some incredible prize draws to win a plethora of 2009 NFL gear, from signed shirts and signed helmets to signed balls.

Here is a selection of some of the signed helmets that you could have won. You just wrote your name, email address and phone number on a scrap of paper and put it in a post box below each piece of merchandise. Most NFL teams donated a signed object, and I have to admit I did enter about 10 different draws. Fingers crossed I get one of these…

Former #1 overall pick Carson Palmer the Bengals QB signed this helmet

Former #1 overall pick Carson Palmer the Bengals QB signed this helmet

 

The entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers team signed this helmet

The entire Tampa Bay Buccaneers team signed this helmet

 

5,000 yard passer Drew Brees from the New Orleans Saints signed this one

5,000 yard passer Drew Brees from the New Orleans Saints signed this one

 

This signed Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers helmet looked particularly impressive

This signed Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers helmet looked particularly impressive

 

Not sure who signed this Carolina Panthers helmet

Not sure who signed this Carolina Panthers helmet

 

The lone bright spot on the St Louis Rams roster RB Steven Jackson signed this mini-helmet

The lone bright spot on the St Louis Rams roster RB Steven Jackson signed this mini-helmet

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Here I am at the Redskins stand with a giant Clinton Portis wall

Here I am at the Redskins stand with a giant Clinton Portis wall

Some of the fans dressed up - Nice sporran !
Some of the fans dressed up – Nice sporran !

This one one of the first scenes I saw at the NFL International Tailgate Party before the New England Patriots took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley yesterday.

The NFL made a genuine effort to impress the fans lucky enough to get Tailgate tickets.
Aside from a wide selection of food stalls and a big Coors beer tent there was a huge exhibition stand containing a video screen for all 32 NFL teams.
Some of the teams even  donated a signed shirt, helmet or ball that you had a chance of winning. Some of the exhibition stands are featured below.
A ball signed by Redskins TE Chris Cooley -  doubt Ill win it though

A ball signed by Redskins TE Chris Cooley - doubt Ill win it though

Even the Cleveland Browns have fans in the UK

Even the Cleveland Browns have fans in the UK

11.30 am –

The road to NFL football goes through Wembley Way !!!
The road to NFL football goes through Wembley Way !!!

Having stocked our bellies on a McDonald’s breakfast just outside Birmingham my wife drove us to Hillingdon Tube station, and for just £1.00 we parked the car for the afternoon.

 
1.30pm – The tube stop at Hillingdon was already gaining an eclectic mix of NFL fans as I spotted a Packers #12 shirt, a Falcons #33 shirt and Saints #24 top.
 
2.00pm – Walking down Wembley way always brings a smile to my face and now the new stadium proudly dominates the skyline with the giant arch. Very cool.
 
Despite some very dodgy scarves there were official merchandise stalls

Despite some very dodgy scarves there were official merchandise stalls

2.30pm – Having managed to walk down Wembley Way without getting drenched (pretty much a first) we headed to the tailgate party. Now the 2007 party was wisely indoors and was great fun. the 2008 version was goddam awful with a soggy beer tent and a few token ball tossing exhibits.
Some of the NFL branding on Wembley Way

Some of the NFL branding on Wembley Way