I haven’t missed an NFL game at Wembley Stadium since 1987 (Los Angeles Rams v Denver Broncos) until tomorrow.
Whilst it has been painful to think that a real NFL regular season game is taking place about two hours drive from my doorstep tomorrow I do have a legitimate reason for not attending the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Chicago Bears in England – the birth of our first child Gabriella Ruby Vos.
Gabriella is just over two weeks old, but in terms of due date she arrived almost two weeks early so there was never a chance I was even going to have bought a ticked to the 2011 NFL International game.
For the first time since 2007 I will be watching the two NFL teams that have made it over to this side of the pond from the warmth of our living room, wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
I love the game atmosphere and the fact I am witnessing a game that actually counts, but I never loved the weather in late October – its usually raining at Wembley and it is normally quite nippy.
Watching the game at home will be a new experience – and a much cosier one.
I am gutted that I wont get to see Devin Hester electrify Wembley with his dazzling kickoff and punt return skills, gutted I wont see Julius Peppers attacking Buccs offensive tackles with his super-human wingspan, and gutted I wont see the Bald warrior Brian Urlacher (makes me sound like a Bears fan!).
I hope Tampa come back with winning on their mind as they were pretty awful when they last came over and got embarrassed by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
My predictions for the game are as follows:
- Score – Buccs 20-17 Bears
- Game MVP Earnest Graham the unsung Buccs RB who is the perfect workhorse do-it-all backup and a man who deserves more love.