By: Russ Goldman
On October 28th, I had the pleasure of seeing the Patriots play the Rams in London England. This was a very special trip that was just not about the Patriots victory, as it was also about the people I met, and the overall experience I had in London.
I have always been fascinated with England, and when the opportunity came up to go to see the Patriots play in London, I did everything I could to make it a reality. Luckily, a few months before the game, I was able to make plans for this very special trip that turned out to be much more than I could have hoped for.
It started right from Logan Airport, as I walked on to a plane the Thursday night before the game filled with Patriots fans going to the game. It was great to see how many fans were making this trip as well.
Now, the hospitality I received on this trip again started from the very beginning which was Friday morning. Jamie MacRae who is a member of UKPatriots, which is a huge fan club for the team, met me at the airport to make sure I got to my hotel in one piece. I can’t tell you how nice it was to see a friend at the airport to go with me on the tube which is a huge subway system in London.
On Friday Night, I met up with many members of UKPatriots at a Sports Bar And Grill in London for an event. I have met many of these members here in Massachusetts, but it was nice to see them again in their part of the world.
What is so great about this fan club is the passion and knowledge they all have for the New England Patriots. I can tell you that these fans know as much about the team as I do, and it was just nice to talk about their experiences of following the Patriots.
At this event, I also had the opportunity to talk to Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. He actually filled me in regarding Ras-I Dowling being put on injured reserve by the team, and that Aaron Hernandez did not make the flight. Mike was in high demand as many members wanted to talk football with him.
This was a special night as even though I was in England, I felt right at home talking Patriots. If you get a chance please do check out the website UKPatriots.com to interact with Pats fans across the pond.
Saturday was my day to see the soccer club I follow in England which is Fulham play in a match. I traveled outside of London to see my club play, and that was very special as well.
However, on Saturday during my soccer trip, I was surrounded by reminders of the Patriots. I saw Patriots gear on the streets of London, and also everywhere I went on the Tube.
I even had the opportunity to talk to a few Patriots fans on a train coming back to London. These Pats fans came all the way from Sweden to see the game.
This all leads to Sunday, and the Patriots game at Wembley Stadium. I was looking forward to this game a great deal, but what happened next made this trip even more memorable.
I was asked by my friend Amelia Harris Lindsay, who is a sports presenter for BBC News and BBC World, if I would like to be interviewed before and after the game. I obviously agreed, and it was so much fun to be a part of their coverage.
We first filmed a cut-in before the game just outside of Wembley Stadium. She asked me a few players to watch for in this game, and also my prediction which was 31-21 Patriots.
During the game, I got to watch the majority of it from the BBC Hospitality Box at Wembley Stadium which just happened to be looking at the 50 yard line. I couldn’t have asked for a better view of this game.
After the Patriots huge victory, we went down to the field at Wembley as Tom Brady and the coaching staff were coming off the field. We did our other cut-in which was talking about the result of the game.
To end my visit to Wembley, I was able to have access to the Patriots Press Conference. I got to hear questions given to coach Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Devin McCourty.
Going to London would have been special on its own, but being able to experience a Patriots game the way I was able to, is something I will never forget. I want to thank Jamie MacRae, and the rest of the fan club UKPatriots for making my trip so enjoyable. I also want to give a huge thank you to Amelia Harris Lindsay, and the crew from the BBC that were a part of my day at Wembley Stadium. I can’t thank you all enough for letting me be a part of your coverage.
In closing, it is not every day I get a chance to go to another country to see the Patriots play. This trip became extraordinary because of the people I met and shared it with.