American Football in England’s capital!
Here at Voltage sport we are massive American Football fans, myself more than Caroline but she is slowly coming round to the idea that its one of the greatest games around. My interest in this great sport has always been there, I can remember staying up late as a child to watch the Super Bowl with my dad but in recent years I have not really kept up to date with what's been going on. That is until a few years ago when I got some tickets to watch an NFL game while I was on holiday in the US, I attended the Chargers vs the Jaguars in San Diego and I was instantly hooked again, I loved it and can now say proudly that I will be a lifelong Charger fan…Bolt up!
Every year the NFL stage a number of international series games in London at Wembley stadium so we got ourselves some tickets and booked our travel and accommodation for the trip at the end of October.
Our game was the first to be played on a Sunday afternoon here in the UK, this was a trial to see how the early morning audience in the US would respond, from what I've heard it went down really well!
We woke up really excited on the morning of the game, having attended the NFL in the US we know how much fun the whole experience can be. It's not just the game on the field but the whole build up and post game activities that make American football unique so we were really enthusiastic to see if the UK embraced the same game day culture that you get in the states.
We suited up in our Chargers jerseys and headed for breakfast, one of the great things about the NFL in the UK is that every team is represented by fans from all over the country who have come to show their support for growing the game this side of the atlantic.
After breakfast we headed to Wembley on the tube, the carriages were packed with NFL fans wearing their teams jerseys turning the tube into a mass of colour and excitement, upon arrival at Wembley park we were greeted with a magnificent sight, as you exit the tube station you stand on some steps overlooking Wembley Way and the stadium. It was absolutely packed - A hive of activity and anticipation where the atmosphere was electric. It’s such a welcome sight to see fans of rival teams laughing and joking together, in some sports here in the UK this is unthinkable so it’s a heartwarming experience to be part of it.
We grabbed a couple of Budweiser's and made our way to the fan zone to see what was going on. Their were big screens showing interviews with the teams, stalls selling merchandise and lots more, we even got to see the Vince Lombardi trophy which is handed out to the winners of the Super Bowl!
Now onto the game, we grabbed some drinks and snacks, made our way to our seats and got ready to enjoy the pre-game entertainment which was provided by UK band Little mix. Our game was a matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons, the Falcons were the home team so the stadium was set up to represent home field advantage for Atlanta, it was a mass of red and we were provided with a flag to wave in support of the Falcons.
There were motivational videos on the big screen done by Samuel L Jackson which was pretty cool! Atlanta’s motto is “Rise Up” so we were encouraged to get involved with this rallying cry whenever the words came on the big screen, we were also provided with a blue bag and given the instruction to hold it above our heads during the national anthems, these colours turned the stadium into a huge mural of the US flag, the Union Jack and the NFL logo, it looked so cool and it felt great to be part it.
Its fair to say we chose the best Wembley game to attend, the final score was 22-21 in favour of the Lions with the game winning field goal going between the uprights at the second attempt as the clock ticked down to zero in the final quarter, ending the game in nail biting fashion. It also completed a remarkable turnaround from Detroit who were 21-0 down at halftime! We were on the edge of our seats and the atmosphere was incredible, everyone knew they were witnessing a special moment in NFL history, the greatest game played in London and a game that will be talked about for years to come.
You can check out some video from the game over on Caroline's lifestyle blogtoo!
WOW, what a game, what a day! Once we had caught our breath and recovered from the drama we were ready to head back to central London for some cocktails, food and an evening reliving and recapping our incredible adventure.
Did you attend the game? Are you a UK fan who loves the NFL?
Until next time, love and light