Well this was my opportunity to see The Rams at close quarters after many years of following the scores to greater and lesser degrees.
I have been much more interested this year after buying tickets as soon as they were available - £80.00 a piece to sit in the third tier at around the 15 yard line - than at any other point over the last 20 + years. I have followed my Association Football Club (Hull City AFC) for 20 years but my fondness for the Rams pre dates this.
Well the NFL certainly know how to throw a party! I assume the NFL put together the London game rather than the "home" team anayway.
My Steelers friend and I set off from Brough in East Yorkshire on the 0935 train ready for a day of NFL talk and the match, during the previous week my Steelers friend dropped the bombshell that despite being a Steelers fan for many many years and originally hailing from Memphis, she had never actually attended a Steelers game in the flesh. It also looks like we will be attending next year as I return the favour of lending my support to her team.
The journey down was fine and we high fived a few Rams fans along the way and hissed a couple of groups of Pats fans too.
Quick trip to our hotel to drop off the bags and we were at Wembley just before 2 pm, I had a couple of photos taken next to the massive posters of the Rams players and admired the way that Wembley had been be-decked with Rams colours, logos and images.
On the tube we met a family of Pats fans from Boston who we chatted to for a while - at one point four other Rams fans joined our carriage and we actually out-numbered the Pats fans 5 to 4 !!!!!!!
We headed pretty much straight away to the Official Tailgate party and the Rams logo'd bar area where my friend was very excited to find Bud Light on offer!!!! No sooner had we started to drink our first beer of the day we heard a massive boo from the 500+ fans in the Bar area - the NFL Network was on the big screens and Tom Brady had made his first appearance of the day and the majority of people were happy to show their feelings!!!!
We sank a couple more beers and grabbed some food and avoided the massive queues for mechandise (lets be honest we can grab this stuff online a lot more easily).
We then headed over to the Green Man to see if the unofficial tailgate was still in operation and wanted to curtail our drinking for a while. We arrived at the Green Man at about 1530, after side stepping a collapsed Chargers fan in the street, and grabbed another beer there. Decent location selling beer by the tray full and you can tell they are set up for this type of event on a regular basis!
It was really good to see so many NFL fans in all the different jerseys with so many different accents - french, scandinavian, german, japan etc etc Evena few american fans who were based in London but had never attended an NFL game before.
The first five minutes of the game were immense and I actually thought we might have a chance to match the Pats - that thought didn't last and we all know how it ended up. I really do think that the majority of fans at the game would have loved the Rams to turn up and stick it to the Pats but that just didn't happen. Yes there were a lot of Pats fans there but if the Rams could have just kep the scoreboard ticking over it would have taken the roof off the stadium.
I enjoyed the experience incredibly and will look forward to next years game as well, however I have a new ambition to see the Rams win a match when I am attending!! You never know it could happen sooner than you think :eek:
Sorry not to have met up with other members of the Clan Ram members but I hope to do so at some point in the future!
:helmet:Even though the team totally shutdown after a great touchdown throw by Bradford to Givens. Did the Rams front four actually touch Tom Brady at any point. Because before the game I was confidently predicting a few good licks on Tom Brady to some Pats fans. However, atleast now I can say Ive seen the Rams play in the flesh for the first time in my life. I'll remember the introduction of Steven Jackson to the Wembley stadium crowd till the day I die. Roaring into the stadium with his locks flying everywhere. He looked every inch the beast Ive enjoyed watching over the last nine years.
I got to see Tom Brady in the flesh. The Gronk, and many more. The Rams cheerleaders were not too shabby either.
Im also sorry I couldnt meet up with some of the Clan. I came down on the coach which ran into some heavy traffic forty miles outside London, and didn't arrive at the ground till four o'clock. It was a frustrating day, let me tell you. The coach back to Manchester was at 9-15, so their was little I could do unfortunately. Freaking Patriots.
After waiting 25 years I finally got to see my beloved Rams in action. I even got interviewed on Sky Sports before the game and really believed we had a chance to not only put in a good performance against the Patriots but beat them. I have been to all the previous games at Wembley and the atmosphere was sensational but this year it felt kind of flat. Perhaps this was because after agreeing to play a regular season game here for the next three years the Rams pulled of that deal to rightly focus on their Home Fans in St Louis. Perhaps the players felt this? as did I when my idol Marshall Faulk ignored my request for an autograph at the tailgate party before the game, it just didn't feel right? In my interview I stated that so far this season the Defence had been superb. How wrong could I have been. Talk about Brady being untouched in the pocket? He could have kept his hands in his pockets and still have time to get his many passes away. This was despite our only defensive play seeming to be blitz, blitz, blitz. I know we were in London but the last time we saw a blitz on this scale it was by the Luftwaffe! It didn't work then and it didn't work now. How could our so called defence fail to notice Rob Gronkowski (all 6ft 6" and 265+ pounds of him) sneek un-noticed into our back field time and time again for eight receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns? Surely, our defensive co-ordinators have picked this up even if our players out on the field didn't. I still believe in Sam Bradford especially after our sensational opening drive culminating in that amazing 50 yarder. Could this be real. The Rams are actually a good team again. Sadly no. Please do not dismiss my comments because I am an NFL fan and particularly the St Louis rams from the UK, I have been since the days of Jim Everett in 1986. But please can we play defence, actually play tough defence that reads what the opposition are doing, not just blindly charging heads down and hope for the best. Give Bradford a chance and turn the ball over a few times by reading and anticipating what is actually going on out their on the field. It felt like every play I watched at Wembley when the Pats had the ball, the announcer said 1st and Ten, New England. Any body else get that impression?