Patriots in London

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Ian and me went to Wembley for the Pats against Tampa three years ago. We were incredibly lucky that they were playing again in the NFL International Series game against the St Louis Rams, again at Wembley Stadium.

We stayed in a hotel in the City for a change, very near London Bridge. What a gorgeous part of London! Stunning architecture, and a short walk down to the Bridge and incredible views down towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.

On the Saturday we just wandered around the area, and had a nice meal to prepare ourselves for the big match on Sunday.

We travelled by Tube to Wembley (by far the best way to get there!) and went to the Tailgate party just outside the ground. This had stalls, food, beer, and in a big change to three years ago, terrific entertainment which included interviews with lots of ex-players. It is very noticeable how articulate and interesting ex-American Football players are compared with our football players! The interesting discussion took a dramatic dive when the Rams Cheerleaders were interviewed . . .

Taking away the lack of articulate discussion, there is no denying how good the cheerleaders are. They must train seriously hard as they rarely stop throughout the entire match (lasting over 3 hours) and all in time. The standard is dramatically higher than the drivel rolled out at Hillsborough on a Saturday afternoon.

We chose Club Wembley tickets this time as three years ago we were in the top tier. Club Wembley seats are padded, have lots of space and had it’s own floor with loads of food outlets and plenty of room to sit down. Well worth the extra money.

The match was excellent for the Pats, and with the pre-game talk being about a close match and even a Rams win, the Pats basically stuffed them. Brady was at his best, the Gronk was brill with two touchdowns and two great celebrations (after spiking a microphone the previous day in Trafalgar Square) and running back Stevan Ridley was outstanding. It was also pleasing to see the Pats’ defines stepping up and not letting the opposition get away.

On Monday, we travelled over to walk through Whitehall, through St James’ Park and into Green Park. A new Memorial was unveiled this year by the Queen to those who lost their lives in Bomber Command during the war, and also all those who lost their lives due to bombing on both sides. The memorial is impressive, the roof is made out of the metal of an old bomber (a Halifax I think) and shaped like its fuselage. The casting of the men is superb and so life-like, they looking towards the sky for their fellow crew (actually on the flypast into one of London’s airport now, which has a very strange effect) but with some looking downwards in reflection. Very moving.

This is a short video at a time I thought we were going to score – we did two plays later!!

This is a slideshow of other photos I took during the weekend – click on Show Info for a description window:

Author: Neal

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