Posts Tagged ‘NFL game in London’

It wasn’t a close game, and in fact it never was going to be, as the New England Patriots bossed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from start to finish at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Still, six total touchdowns, no rain, and a masterclass from Tom Brady was well worth the entrance fee, and the slick Patriots offense had all of the fans from across Europe hypnotised.

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It was fun to see #24 Cadillac Williams and #34 Earnest Graham warm up in front of me

I was sad not to see Randy Moss score a touchdown, but I did enjoy seeing the likes of Buccaneers RB Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams warming up in front of me, as well as witnessing Junior (oh the irony) Seau suit up and go after Josh Freeman as late as the fourth quarter.

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He may be in his 40s but #55 Junior Seau still knows how to play football

The big questions now being asked are Can London host MORE than just one NFL regular season game? and in the future could there be enough interest for England to have its very own NFL franchise?

Judging by the knowledgable fans (yes here in England we do know the difference between the Wishbone and the Wildcat, and we can spot someone who has just been found guilty of illegal motion) I think that it is possible to sustain an NFL franchise here.

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I can't wait to come back to London to see NFL football in 2010

84,000 fans made their pilgrimage to Wembley from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and many countries across Europe. I saw people from Germany, Italy and Finland just as a start.

If Roger Goodell needs any more proof that there are dedicated and loyal NFL fans in England then I do not know what to suggest.

Thankyou Roger and thankyou to all of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organisation, including the fans in Florida. You sacrificed a home game to enable passionate NFL fans from Europe to witness real NFL football in the flesh, and we are forever grateful.

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We all went home happy after seeing Tom Brady strut his stuff at Wembley

Roll on 2010 – with maybe two NFL games in London. Can I put a bid in for the Redskins to come over please!

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I can't wait to see #12 throw a bomb to #81
I can’t wait to see #12 throw a bomb to #81

Its now just under twenty-four hours until I park my rear in the gods of Wembley Stadium to witness two future Hall of Fame enshrinees have some fun beneath the giant arch and the drizzly London sky.

 
This will be my third year in a row attending a regular season NFL game at Wembley, having seen the New York Giants swim past the Miami Dolphins 13-10 (2007) and the New Orleans Saints outgun the San Diego Chargers 37-32 (2008).
 
It will be my 9th NFL game, having been present at six NFL pre-season games in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
 
Without doubt Tom Brady and Randy Moss are THE biggest names to come to Wembley in the three years of NFL International Series games.
 
Brady with his three Superbowl winners rings and two Superbowl MVP trophies and Moss with…. well bizarrely no Superbowl wins at all and only one appearance.
 
To any non-UK fans reading this and curious about the pre-game hype over on this side of the pond, I must say that it has barely registered a blip on the zeitgeist of contemporary popular culture.
 
There was quite a decent article about Brady in the Independent newspaper today – the writer James Corrigan managed to draft a whole page of text without mentioning William ‘the Fridge’ Perry. I did spot one mistake – he spelt Bernard Pollard, the Chiefs safety who knocked Brady out of the 2008 season, with an extra h Bernhard. Maybe Bernard thought he deserved the hard title for keeping the Patriots away from a fourth Vince Lombadi trophy.
 
Talking of Vince Lombardi trophies an email from the marketing bods at NFLUK said that every single Superbowl trophy will be at the official tailgate party – if that is really the case then that is simply amazing.
 
Maybe if no-one is looking Ill grab one of the three Redskins Superbowl trophies (XVII, XXII or XXVI) after all about the only trophy the Redskins will be adding to their display cabinet is ‘Worst offense in NFL history’.
 
Above all I love the fact the NFL is still committed to trying to expand the game around the world. I wonder how many NEW fans are going to Wembley tomorrow? I would be interested to see how many repeat offenders there will be attending?
 
Unfortunately one person who will not be making it three in a row in my Black Country pal Garry. Garry and his wife Heather had prepared a bar-b-q behind the stadium for my wife and I in 2007 and 2008. This time they are on a USA road trip. Gaz – the game simply wont be the same. That and the fact we will be pocket raped by Wembley Stadium catering services.
 
Lets hope the drizzle and the 0-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers dont get in the way of some Brady to Moss fireworks.
Buccs defenders young and old are Wembley ticket stars in 2009

Buccs defenders young and old are Wembley ticket stars in 2009

With a month to go until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the New England Patriots it was with a great sense of relief that I was able to go to my local sorting office this morning to pick up my tickets.

As the game is being treated as a Buccs home game the tickets were always going to have Tampa players on them.

The decision to go with wily veteran five-time Pro Bowl and Superbowl winning cornerback Ronde Barber (who maybe playing his final season this year) and rising star inside linebacker Barrett Ruud is a wise one.

Barber has been there for the entire Buccs revolution, from the Orange days of woe to the Pewter Power champions of the NFL.

Ruud in my humble opinion should have made the 2008 Pro Bowl, yes he is that good. The former Nebraska star already has 18 tackles in just two games.

As you can see above I was also lucky to get Tailgate tickets for the Wembley game. The NFL are supposedly bringing some items from NFL legends for all of us fans to gawp at. I will be bringing my camera for sure.

The catalogue is also a nice move. I will not be buying any Buccs or Patriots gear but I think this catalogue is a genuinely good marketing tool. On the front is wide receiver Antonio Bryant (centre) defensive end Gaines Adams (left) and Ruud again (right). Unfortunately Bryant has been injured but I hope he is going to be fit for October 25.

Interesting to also see Pepsi Max as the sponsor of this International Series game. Pepsi Max are also sponsoring the Channel 5 NFL magazine show. It is a very encouraging sign to see one of the fizzy drinks giants putting money behind promoting the NFL.

The game ticket has some very smart silver embossing on the NFL logo, and where the teams are named on the top right hand side.

The tailgate ticket has all 32 team helmets on it which is a nice touch. The NFL marketing people have done a lot more thinking this year.

Lets just hope that there is no rain before or during the game this time, the rest seems pretty much in hand.

What are your thoughts on the tickets?