Posts Tagged ‘NFL London pictures’

The Vikings and Steelers season had been like these inflatables - full of hot air.

The Vikings and Steelers season had been like these inflatables – full of hot air.

Streaking, not a man with a shaved head and his shriveled tackle swinging side to side as he gets chased by stadium security, but the ability to do something consecutively.

Streaking is something I like to do, so it was with regret that I missed the NFL regular season games played at Wembley Stadium in 2011 and 2012, after watching games in the flesh between 2007 and 2010. I was unable to attend as I had more important matters to attend to, namely the birth of our daughter in October 2011, and her development as a 1 year old in 2012.

Going back to Wembley this year was a 2012 Christmas present, that I had to wait ten months to unwrap. I also had the rather unwanted gift of travelling down from Birmingham by coach alone, as my wife and almost two-year-old daughter were not going to have as much fun on the M6 with me.

After getting to Birmingham’s revamped coach station an hour before the coach arrived I was then told the departure time had moved and the coach would be leaving an hour after it was scheduled, so I had to take my time sipping my cappuccino, munching on some Polo mints and listening to the latest Rich Eisen podcast.

Wembley Way was packed.

Wembley Way was packed.

I didn’t open my mouth during the journey to Wembley, as the guy I sat next to looked rather angry and wanted to sleep. I listened to a few more podcasts, the latest ESPN Fantasy Focus Football podcast and Tuesday Morning Quarterback. I ate some Wine Gums and almost choked as the man beside me scoffed not one but two rather bulbous scotch eggs.

Arriving at Wembley was a bit frustrating as we drove straight past what I thought was the coach car park, around the back of the stadium, and to what must have been a smaller over-spill coach park.

As I arrived about 3.30pm the place was buzzing and there was an eclectic range of NFL shirts, worldwide NFL fans and sellers of unauthorised and inappropriate (as in irrelevant) dodgy game day scarves.

My first task of the day was to find my internet friend from Minnesota.

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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!

Brandon Merriweather’s two interceptions in the first half of the first quarter (including¬†one he ran back for the first score of the game)¬†were enough alone to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the New England Patriots decided to give the London NFL fans a show none the less.

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Sam Aiken #88 is congratulated by Patriots team mates after his first ever NFL touchdown thrown by Tom Brady

The 2009 Wembley NFL crowd saw Tom Brady throw three touchdowns, one to WR Wes Welker, one to WR Sam Aiken (his first ever NFL touchdown) and one to tight end Ben Watson.

The Buccaneers managed just one score themselves, in hurry-up time at the end of the first half, Josh Johnson passing to WR Antonio Bryant.

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Time-Out New England Patriots - Future Hall of Fame WR Randy Moss #81 takes a breather

The final scoring play of the game was a Laurence Maroney rushing touchdown that I managed to capture on film.

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Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicks one of his five extra points in London

New England Patriots 35 – 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the final score. Here is the NFL gamebook from London.

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Watching NFL football live at Wembley Stadium in London on a sunday evening is pure heaven