Last weekend I had my first NFL type experience…and it was awesome!
Saturday morning I woke up nice and early to meet Ally (I had to be at hers for 7am…so yes early for a saturday!). Her other friend was already there, so we got wrapped up and headed to Wembley where everything was being held for the pep-rally type event, the day before the game.
We did stop halfway, at Waterloo, for some breakfast to fuel us for our day and a nice Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte to get us going. Yummy!
This weekend was the Cowboys vs the Jaguars, and it was the first time ever that people were being allowed in to the stadium to watch the walk throughs – for all those out there who don’t know American Football terms, just like myself before saturday (and my knowledge is still limited!) this is the time the coaches and players will walk through their different plays they would use for the game on sunday.
We queued from 8.30 to ensure we were in the 2,000 lucky people allowed to watch, and upon getting in found a seat on the front row!
The first thing I noticed were the poppies which were designed over the seats in Wembley stadium. Look how awesome they look…
We sat down and watched the videos on the screens of the cowboys, music videos and other NFL related things. The cheerleaders came on twice – the cowboys cheerleaders are said to be the most well-known cheerleaders! They were really good, if not looking a little chilly in their outfits 😛 There’s me in 6 layers and them in cowboy boots, short shorts and long sleeved crop tops!
The commentator did a couple interviews with fans from the crowd which was a nice touch too! The lady he interviewed had come from Texas to watch the game – such a supporter!
The Cowboys then made their way on to the pitch. They did their warm up from the midway line out to the 10 yard line, numerous exercises from heel flicks to side steps and skipping, before splitting into two lines down the side of the pitch and the coaches running through the plays in the middle. It was fab to see, even if in slowed down time, but was over rather quickly. I think overall they were on the pitch for about 20mins.
We then headed out to the carpark where everything else was being held. They had a number of food stalls, budweiser tents, NFL games for the public to play and a stage.
We grabbed a hot drink and headed to the stage to watch the cowboys interviews with the UK commentator. It was great to get to watch this. The coach and several players were all interviewed – all were very pleased with London and the welcome they got. It was great to hear their passion and definitely made it more real – you don’t get this with english football, going to watch interviews on a stage outside.
We popped off to get a drink, Ally bought some merchandise from the huge pop-up NFL shop near the carpark, and we met a few more of Ally’s friends before watching the Jaguars enter the outdoor area and their interview.
The Jaguars are London’s official team- they’re the ones you’ll see advertised when London holds NFL events on Regent Street etc. They had great personalities, looked pretty fun and showed just as much passion for the game. They appeared really pleased with everything in London too and said they’d even been out selling poppies during the week! The Jaguars’ cheerleaders also performed on stage before we headed off for some lunch and to escape the cold.
When we came back to the NFL festivities after lunch, we went to explore the games they had. Ally and I enjoyed watching the competitiveness between the guys, while they tried to beat the speed game – a game where you have to hit the button which is lit, of which there are about 10 spread out across a board taller than you and three times as wide..it looked pretty fun.
We then headed to the NFL Lab where again we enjoyed watching others take part – it was too cold, and to be honest I don’t play ball games for a reason 😛 They had numerous challenges, including throws, a vertical jump and a 40yard dash to finish. Again it looked super fun, and if I was to go again (perhaps if a little warmer) I would definitely give this a go!
Unfortunately the cold then got the better of me and I decided I couldn’t be out in it any longer. I’d had so much fun but it was time to head home and warm up!
I didn’t go to the actual game, but that’s my plan for next year!
First up though, Ally is going to get me watching the SuperBowl at the beginning of next year. I will let you all know how I find it.