Archive for October 30, 2009

After adjusting to the sensory experience of the marvels of Wembley Stadium it was time to spot the players from the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warming up for this regular season NFL game in London.

As is the tradition at all NFL games it is the kickers, punters, long snappers, holders and then the kick and punt returners that take the field first, and Wembley was no exception. It was quite fun to see Steven Gotskowski warm up, but I have to admit it wasn’t what I really wanted to see.

That sight came after the offensive teams hit the field to warm up, and a giant cheer warmed the stadium as the starters began to remove the travel cobwebs and get the blood pumping through their masculine North American shoulders.

It was then, through my zoom lens, that I spotted the most famous NFL player of the last 10 years, two time Superbowl MVP, three time Superbowl winner and four time Superbowl starting quarterback for the New England Patriots – Mr Tom Brady. It was worth the ticket fee alone just to say ‘I was there when Tom Brady came to England’.

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Tom 'the second coming' Brady warms up at Wembley Stadium, London

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#83 Wes Welker looks on as Tom Brady drops back to pass

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#81 Randy Moss chills out with Brady before the game in London

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Patriots offense v Patriots defense in Wembley warm-ups

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With seats purchased in section 522 at Wembley Stadium, and my personal but irrational fear of heights, I had to stare at some random blokes arse in front of me as I ascended escalator after escalator before arriving at the entrance to the seated area.

Arriving and finding that I was 24 rows up from the small window into the Stadium I decided that I would do the typical tourist thing and just gawp in awe of the 85,000 seats in front of me, the holy Wembley Stadium grass resplendent in its new gridiron shaped map, complete with two stunning painted end zones, depicting the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers official NFL typeface. I love seeing the NFL logo on the 50 yard  line.

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There is nothing like Wembley Stadium after an NFL makeover

 

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Each endzone at Wembley had huge inflatable helmets - I was nearest the Tampa Bay side of the field

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Unfortunately I had to wear a Jason Campbell top at Wembley - thanks to the security man for taking my pic

 

Following the rather hurried trip past the Superbowl rings last Sunday inside the Hall of Fame tent at Wembley Stadium my wife and I then were handed some 3D glasses and proceeded to be seated in amongst approximately 500 seats layed out cinema style.

The NFL were showing off some of their 3D footage, including a regular season game between the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers, plus some clips of the New England Patriots Superbowl win over the Carolina Panthers.

To see Jamarcus Russell throw an interception from 10 different angles in 3D was strangely hypnotizing, and jaw droppingly amazing at the same time.

Following this performance we went back to the NFL tents for one last look at the NFL merchandise prizes available.

Below are some of the other signed items available to win, donated by NFL teams this season…

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Carolina Panther QB Jake Delhomme may be having a torrid season but at least he donated a signed shirt

 

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Philadelphia Eagles shutdown CB Asante Samuel signed his shirt too

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#1 overall pick in 2009 NFL Draft - Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford signed one of his balls

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#1 pick in the 2008 NFL draft Miami Dolphins OT Jake Long has a very small signature for such a big person

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Baltimore Ravens stud safety Ed Reed signed this ball

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After seeing all those ace items it was time to get inside Wembley Stadium for some live NFL football