NFL Game 5 in London: Bucs vs Bears

I have an amazing mother who surprised me with two tickets to see the Tampa Bay Bucs play the Chicago Bears…this was not any ordinary NFL game. This game was played in London at Wembley Stadium! This was game 5 of the NFL games ever to be played here in the UK…and let me say…I was completely shocked at how many people were there to support American football!

My date to this event was Kathryn, so we had one Bears fan (her) and one Bucs fan (me) to keep things balanced of course. Sadly, the Bucs lost 24 to 18…but at least they tried! Either way the experience in itself was amazing to go to! First off…Wembley Stadium is GORGEOUS! WOW! I can not even explain how pretty and clean the stadium is..good job London, it is phenominal. For Brits I must say they tried to help us Americans out with our usual football rituals. They had a designated area for tailgating, which was funny.  They also had lots of delicious game day food…EXCEPT my favourite…nachos. I mean seriously! Who doesn’t sell nachos at a football game. I may need to send a couple recommendation e-mails to those who run the consession stands at Wembley. 

One down side to a football game… each quarter is the LONGEST 15 minutes of my life. I mean seriously! Who knew 15 minutes could take so long to finish. Plus all the stop and go gets a little drab after a while of sitting there watching. Also, both teams seemed to be having issues with catching the ball today… not sure if someone put vasaline on the ball or cooking oil? But man, they dropped the ball more than they caught it I am pretty sure.

Funniest part of the game though…which has NOTHING to do with the game itself of course, was the very first quarter. All the sudden people start laughing and cheering as soon as the first quarter begun…low and behold you look on the field and guess what is running across it scared to death…a SQUIRREL! It was so funny! The poor little animal kept running back and forth trying to figure out which way to go, since there were screaming fans and big scary men running around everywhere. At one point the squirrel made its way to a touchdown, and of course the entire side of the stadium that could see it cheered…to bad it then ran back onto the field. It even ran past a referee at one point, who I don’t believe saw the squirrel. One of the plays even went towards the squirrel and a player just pointed at it and was like WHAAAA? The squirrel eventually found its way off the field, and of course got a hardy applause from the fans. Even woodland creature in the UK are getting into American football apparently. 😉

After the third quarter I ran back to my place to grab my marantz to record some vox pops from fans after the game was over. Come to find out lots of Brits actually enjoy the NFL because it is so different than what they are use to. Curiously enough…of the 76,981 people that were at the game.. I wonder what the ratio of Brits to Americans would have been? Interesting thought hmm? I thought it was a great turn out for a a sport that is not British. We almost filled the stadium. Pretty legit if I do say so. Maybe it helps that the Bucs are owned by the same people who own Manchester United (the footy team)? Or Brits are truly ready for a new (and better?) sport to take hold of all their free time. Who knows really. Either way..American football has jumped across the pond and has become quite popular.

Arriving at the stadium it was insane how many different NFL jerseys were being rocked by people. Now sure whether they were American or not…but I saw everything from Patriot jerseys to Seahawk jerseys. I even saw a Miami Dolphin jersey…which must have been an American because no one ever knows the Dolphins are a team. Then again Kathryn did not know who the Bucs were (tisk tisk). That one I will let her get away with..since she isn’t anywhere near Florida on the map.

Either way. Not everyone can say they went to a NFL game in ENGLAND! So I love my mommy for buying me the tickets…and i love Kathryn for being my date… and of course I love the Bucs for once again losing a game 😉

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