Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay Buccaneers’

It was a blowout when the New England Patriots beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium in London just over a week ago.

The Buccs looked ugly, and I tend to agree with the guy from the Florida Tuskers UFL team (the 4 team league set up this Autumn) that said they could beat Tampa Bay.

I imagine one guy who was sure glad to be part of the on-field mobbing was Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. Maroney spent 2008 injured and was not expected to be a huge ‘playa’ in 2009.

Maroney has defied his critics and is performing well in a crowded New England backfield. With Sammy Morris injured Maroney made sure he looked good in London, and his late touchdown was a just reward for his efforts.

I was lucky enough to capture his score into the Patriots painted end zone. He took two attempts to score but he looked very happy. I managed to catch his celebratory hip hit jump after the score as well as his walk back to the sideline.

Enjoy.

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

After a year, and a memorable encounter between the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints in the memory bank, it was time to settle down and witness the three time Superbowl champion New England Patriots play the one time Superbowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not in my living room, not at Ray Jay or Foxboro, but here in England, yes here in England. The third consecutive year the NFL have graced Wembley Stadium and London with a regular season american football game.

It is downright weird to to think that we drove on the M42 and M40 motorway, did not catch a plane, or get on a cruise ship, travelled about 10 tube stops and there we were at a regular season NFL game.

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Brandom Merriweather returned this interception for the first touchdown - I just about captured the play

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Huddle up Tom Brady is gonna call a play!

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Tom Brady grabs a gulp of Gatorzade before taking the field at Wembley

 

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The Buccaneers offense discusses a play call during a tv timeout - note the magic sky camera !

The three pre-game acts for the NFL International game in London between the Patriots and the Buccaneers were to say the least unable to float my boat.

Calvin Harris may have got all the girls, but I can name about 100 acts I would rather have seen do the pre-game musical extravaganza. Someone like The Killers, Kings of Leon or even some Kanye West or a bit of boom boom pow from the Black Eyed Peas. 

Toni Braxton (blast from the past) did the USA national anthem, but it was not that memorable, and Katherine Jenkins suitably warbled through God Save the Queen.

Not that I could see him very well but it was Welsh Boxing world champion Joe Calzaghe who was the Tampa Bay honorary captain who was involved in the coin toss.

We were now just minutes from kickoff…..

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Calvin Harris strutted his stuff at Wembley prior to the NFL game

 

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Some military people unfurled this giant Buccs flag - it looked great

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My wife and I were concerened the Tampa Bay Buccanners cheerleaders were all going back to Florida with colds

 

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Wearing a #1 Buccs shirt boxer Joe Calzaghe helped with the coin toss - joined by the team captains

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

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