NFL At Wembley In Pictures

The day started really well and by that I mean that is was raining as we left making us drenched before we reached the train station. From there things got much better and by that I mean that the trains weren’t operating for the first five or so stops so a nice, slow bus service was in use instead. But once we were on the train things went swimmingly at long last. And by that I mean that there was engineering work around Clapham Junction and the train needed to sightsee Chertsey and Staines before it could arrive at Waterloo tacking on another 25 minutes to the journey. There are no pictures of this part of the journey. There are pictures for other parts of the journey taken with my – as it turned out, rather crappy – camera phone. Yes, even the ones that look like they weren’t.

We boarded the Tube for Wembley!

Wembley NFL

The Tube was hot. Real hot. The kind of hot that makes Satan whip up a memo stating "Turn it down, would you? Regards, Dark Master."

But we arrived at Wembley after a small trek from the Tube station in the pouring rain. You’d think we’d appreciate it after the heat but we seriously didn’t.

We found our seats early.

Wembley NFL

Wembley NFL

Ooh! Right in line with one of the End Zones! Where all the exciting action would take place!

There was a pre-game show involving the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, some band I’d never heard of, an inflatable thing, and two giant team shirts carried around, rotated, and flapped by people.

Wembley NFL

The Cheerleaders were good.

The game started after some awesome booing for John Terry, honorary team captain for the day, during the coin toss. We do so like to boo John Terry. Clever move, NFL, asking him to come along.

Wembley NFL

Action on the field of play!

Wembley NFL

It was raining a little bit, but not so you’d really notice. Luckily we were dry as the roof covered us nicely. I pity the fools near the pitch action though.

I started noticing those horrible things called "other people" in the stadium. For example:

Wembley NFL

Observe the heads of the people in the row in front of me. These "other people" had apparently turned up not to watch a real, live game of American Football in Wembley, but rather to see just how much beer and food they could buy during the first quarter, and then try to better that record for the second.

With absolutely no exaggeration I can confirm that they left their seats and returned with beer and food – much of it spilt on themselves – no less than fourteen thousand, seven hundred and thirteen times before half time. Well worth buying those tickets, wasn’t it?

Wembley NFL

There were students in front of us too. Chumbawamba-loving students too, I’d warrant. The girls had studenty hair and silly studenty hats. They had designer glasses on and whooped in a studenty fashion. They whooped a lot. Sometimes they stood up while talking on their mobile phones because consideration for people behind them trying to actually watch the game is not something a student has in his or her student brain.

We had to stand up sometimes because the people in our row also needed food and drink every three minutes. Most often though we stood because a girl in the middle of our row needed the toilet every ninety seconds OR SHE WOULD DIE! I do believe that having a bladder the size of a flea’s penis should trump any desire to go to Wembley.

Wembley NFL

Action on the field of play!

Wembley NFL

The rain continued to come down. But not on us, so who cares?

Half time arrived and we avoided the marching band by spending the entire time queuing for coffee in one of Wembley’s World Famous Pinnacles Of Inefficiency Food Centres.

Wembley NFL

The coffee was hot. Real hot. Also cardboardy. The coffee was made from some of the finest blends of cardboard coffee beans in Cardboardia, the cardboard-only country across the cardboard sea. Cardboard coffee beans have special qualities, allowing the water they’re infused in to be superheated way beyond boiling temperature. This keeps the drink from being consumed – a dangerous thing! – and burns off any tastebuds during the attempt that may have been able to detect any traces of actual coffeeness to the coffee. Leaving just that cardboardy goodness and tenth degree burns to the mouth. All served in a cardboard cup! For extra cardboardiness!

We returned to our seats to see …

Wembley NFL

Action on the field of play!

Wembley NFL

And it was still raining a tad.

Wembley NFL

The people in front had stopped getting food and drink. I suspect they had reached a critical mass at this point and were simply physically unable to move from their seats.

Wembley NFL

The students were still finding things to whoop about. It must have been all that …

Wembley NFL

Action on the field of play!

Wembley NFL

And rain! Perhaps students like rain. I don’t know! They’re students. They seemed to find whoopable joy in everything.

The food and drink-consuming record-breakers did finally move once more. It was to leave early. What a shame they missed …

Wembley NFL

A Miami Dolphins touchdown! Everyone was very happy. We cheered. We left the whooping to the students.

There was just a final bit of …

Wembley NFL

Action on the field of play!

Wembley NFL

And rain to observe before it all came to an end.

The "other people" who didn’t seem interested in the game annoyed me. The students annoyed me. The kid four blocks over who kept blowing a fucking whistle during the game without getting beaten to a pulp and ejected annoyed me. The coffee annoyed and scalded me. The dreadful food and drink areas in Wembley annoyed me. The programmes and souvenir areas’ woeful lack of organisation annoyed me. The groups of empty seats around the stadium despite the huge rush for tickets and the number of people complaining about not getting tickets surprised me. And annoyed me.

I loved it all and I’ll be back if we get another game.

So, we left Wembley, shuffled along with tens of thousands of other people, and were herded onto a Tube back to Waterloo.

Wembley NFL

The Tube was hot. Real hot. Hotter than before and now cramped. Satan would have been really quite peeved at all this.

After the Tube was the train with the detour around outlying areas of London once more. And then the bus service. And then a walk home in … quite pleasant early hours of the morning weather. I guess all the rain was still up in London.

And then I blew my nose.

Wembley NFL

I assume what came out was the tar that is ever-present in London’s air. Mmhmm, that’s the best thing about London! Atmospheric tar! Mammoths, STAY AWAY! NFL, come back!

The End.

Author: Mark

Share This Post On

4 Comments

  1. I’m glad we could provide the full experience of overpriced beverages, underinspected food, and girls kicking high that comes with American sporting events.

    Post a Reply
  2. Awesome article. Looks like they did capture the American Football experience for you. All the talking heads here were all cryin’ hard about playing in London. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that two east coast teams making the trek to London is just about the same as playing on the west coast of the US…but we’ll just keep that our little secret shall we? Idiots.

    Post game it appeared the players had fun on the slip and slide you guys call turf over there. Someone said it is engineered to be slippery so that a soccer ball would skid across it unlike the stadium "turf" we have here. It was pretty funny watching them slide for 20 yards out of bounds. Maybe at some point you can come stateside and you can take in a real NFL game in a real NFL stadium. There is no where better than Soldier Field in this great city of Chicago….the team on the other hand is a completely different matter all to itself.

    Post a Reply
  3. I’m still confused about the whole football thing. I just yell loudly when my nephew does things that are apparently ‘good’. Like ‘recovering fumbles’ and ‘knocking the ever-loving snot out of the opposing players til they are begging for mercy’. Although I have been known to get mixed up and cheer for the incorrect ‘Actions on the field of play!’ which gets me dirty looks from others in our section.

    High School football fans are a vicious lot, I tell you.

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>