This year the NFL has scheduled three regular season games at Wembley stadium. And since the first of those games involved the Miami Dolphins, a team I have followed since ’84, I have been forced to go and watch. It’s been a busy time for us so I have been quiet here lately, these are just a few pics and some notes about the trip.
Saturday and the NFL have taken over Regent St, London. They think about 600,000 people visited the area, most wearing the colours of their NFL team of choice. The bars, the shops and the surrounding area flooded with American Football fans. Many wearing either aqua, or black, the colours of Miami or Oakland respectively.
The stage played host to players from both teams, old and New, lots to look at and shout about. The atmosphere is friendly and full of anticipation for the game. Sunday starts early as everyone heads to the stadium to enjoy food, drink and the carnival that is the NFL coming to town, this years series sold out within days. Wembley itself is a great venue, with plenty of space and organisation to keep everything moving along.
This is the second time I’ve been able to watch the Dolphins play live, the first time in 2001 at the Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami. I was a bit excitable and Jane had trouble keeping control. It was a great experience and with Miami running out 38 – 14 winners I was happy.
Dan the Man, my hero, I watched him for so many years, so close but never a Superbowl ring, perhaps the best never to have achieved it, I might be biased though.
Once the game started, I stopped taking pictures and watched the game, got to concentrate when the Dolphins are playing. And although Miami ran out easy winners against a Raiders team that is struggling this year I didn’t mind. I couldn’t have dealt with too much stress, it’s bad enough watching them win and lose on TV, I needed an easy win this time.
I think Wembley and the NFL have done an outstanding job of selling this sport in the UK, and of making the whole event a great weekend out. There are rumours of an eventual team for London, so we’ll see how that pans out, in the meantime, I have two more games to see at Wembley, the Lions against Falcons and the Jaguars against Cowboys. (The Detroit game has come and gone now, a great close finishing game.)
Just one last shot from a few years ago, me playing DE for the UK team North Sea Hurricanes. I played for 7 years, at Nose-Tackle, Defensive-End and sometimes filling in on the O-line. I had great fun and would probably still be playing if not for an injury. I’m the second d-lineman from the left with a dark facecage.
In the meantime, enjoy the coming changes in weather, the good and the bad, but still get out and do some walking in the hills. It’s always worth the trouble.