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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ironwasp, Oct 29, 2007.

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  1. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    For what they are worth, my thoughts on the Giants-Dolphins game at Wembley last night

    + It was an incredible thrill for me to be at an NFL regular season game; even a fairly poor one featuring one ordinary and one bad team that I have few feelings for. There is an enormous NFL following out here in the rest of the world, and last night felt like a real celebration of our love of the game. The atmosphere in the stadium was great from start to finish. Hats off to the two teams and the NFL for making a big effort throughout the week, and for having the courage to come out here. I sat there most of the night thinking how great it would be to see the Pats here (I know few of you would agree and I absolutely understand why) and I am now indescribably excited about visiting Foxborough for the Eagles game next month.

    + Those saying London is a poor choice because of the weather should understand that this is the first Sunday during the regular season that it has rained here. Any other week and the weather would have been great. That said, I have no idea why the powers that be chose not to close the roof. The weather (among other things) prohibited the game from being the spectacular affair the NFL and the fans would have wanted.

    + The 80,000 plus fans there last night formed a knowledgable crowd. I suspect it was a pretty hard core NFL crowd. You could hear from the noise that they knew exactly what was happening and why 98 per cent of the time. This is a marked difference from the exhibition games played here 20 years ago when nobody knew what the hell was going on.

    + The Dolphins are not a good team, but they are a courageous team. They were second best all night but hung in there until the end. The defense (helped by the weather and a pretty average performance from Eli and the Giants offense) stood up well. Jesse Chatman ran hard all night and the moment of the game was Ted Ginn Jr's great TD catch late on which gave the crowd what they really wanted to see. Ginn in particular seemed up for it all game long and was constantly urging the crowd to get behind the Dolphins, which mostly it did. I don't think the Dolphins will go 0-16.

    + The Cleo Lemon era there should not last long. The guy has no arm whatsoever. Without any sort of vertical passing attack it was pretty easy for the Giants to neuter the Dolphins. THat said, I think if Ronnie Brown had played last night, they would have won.

    + The Giants are not a team to fear particularly. Looking down the rest of our schedule you might mark that game out as a potential problem. But they didn't look that strong, and I think they'll struggle to beat good teams.

    + The NFL should NOT be tempted to bring the Superbowl here. It's an American original and belongs in the US, a festival day for the fans of the game over there. But I do hope we see another regular season game here before too long.

    I know some other posters from here were at the game last night and I'd be interested to hear their thoughts.
     
  2. PatsWickedPissah

    PatsWickedPissah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for posting these interesting observations.
     
  3. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks a lot for this.

    I've got to admit that I only glanced at the game for a play in the third quarter, but it looked as though the turf at Wembley was getting really chopped up. What state will it be in when they get back to playing football there? ;)

    I'll be very interested in your thoughts on the difference between Wembley and Foxborough.
     
  4. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'll be interested in that too. On the face of it there are three major differences: the Gillette is clearly much more open to the elements than Wembley; WEmbley is bigger with its 87,000 capacity (cut last night because seats at ground level would have no visibility behind the benches); the turf. It seems to me that in modern stadia which have big high bleachers and limited sunlight it is very difficult to kep turf in good condition in climates that get rain. Wembley cut up badly. I think they would be better off at Twickenham where the grass is allowed to grow longer.

    The other major difference of course will be the support. By shirt sightings, the Patriots were probably the third best represented team there last night. There were a lot of 12s on display, a few 54s, plus one Ty Law and one David Givens.

    The item to be seen in last night, though (apart from #13 Dolphins shirts) were Red Sox caps. They were everywhere.
     
  5. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, I've never been to the new Wembley, but I went to the old one a few times and, yes, Gillette feels far more open. The sidelines make it a bit more like those stadiums that used to have running tracks around them. And, of course, there is the open end (and no protection from the rain, as I well recall!) So even if the place were packed it would be hard to get that sense that the place is really throbbing.

    That said, Gillette is a beautiful place. It has a lot of character, the sight-lines are great and there is a lot of space below for concessions/restrooms and so on.
     
  6. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Yes, it looks fantastic. My only game to date was at the old Sullivan stadium about 20 years ago. At the time I was so thrilled to be there I didn't think a lot of it, but in retrospect it was dreadful. Truly awful. Much like the old Wembley.
     
  7. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Cheers.

    The game itself was a bit of a nightmare, but experiencing the NFL live is still a thrill.
     
  8. billpa

    billpa Rookie

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    I'm glad to hear it was a knowledgeable crowd- with the way the game played out it could lead a new fan to say it was a bit boring. I know in the UK there's already a lot of critics who say there are too many breaks in the action in American footy. I'd be interested to know how the local broadcast went. Didn't it air on the BBC?
     
  9. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I believe the BBC ran highlights, and will be airing the Superbowl this year for the first time. They also ran live commentary on radio - half the game on a national network - but being at the game I didn't hear it. I don't know if they used their own commentators. I would doubt it.

    We get great coverage generally, with your commentators plus our studio "experts". They tend to be the weak link, but this year it's been good. We have a former Eagles guard called Ian Allen, who's an articulate guy, as well as the former Bear Shaun Gayle from time to time and he's pretty good. We had John Offerdahl a couple of weeks ago, and another regular is a Patriot, Scott McCready, a receiver who was on the practice squad at the time of the 2004 Championship.
     
  10. billpa

    billpa Rookie

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    Sounds like when I watch the EPL here in the US- great on-site British commentary and a half-time that leaves a lot to be desired.
     
  11. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What you said, ironwasp. I would add that, on at least a couple of occasions, Cleo Lemon might as well have pointed at his WRs, such was the way that he locked on them. Eli Manning confirmed my very low opinion of him.

    As an aside, it was my first pro game. We were sat near the 20 and not too high up. You get to see so much more than TV such as the routes, coverages (as someone said to me in a PM) and who is open. I found myself shouting "he's open!" and pointing manically.

    I was struck by a couple of things:
    One was the safeties. You could see them talking to each other and on occasions splitting wide. You could also see one safety go to the ball on the run and the other one cover in case the RB broke through. It made sense in hindsight.

    The other thing I really noticed was the gaps that appeared in the line. You can see the running lanes open up and watch the LBs and DBs fill them!

    I was struck by the camaraderie. I got talking to lots of lads (and ladesses) who were happy to chat and who knew their stuff. We watched the first half of the Skins game afterwards but I had to go home.

    The one sour note was the arsehole who shouted "The ones still in their seats don't understand American Football" to a random stranger because he and a lot of others left, once Manning took a knee. "Oooh, look at me. I'm proper, knowledgeable fan. I know the game's over". Want a medal, mate?

    I've taken some pics. I'll edit them and either post them on here or Flickr.
     
  12. harrylime70

    harrylime70 Practice Squad Player

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    I went last night and it was a pretty average game at best...had to laugh at one point at Lemon's throwing (much to the disgust of my mate who is a Fins fan)...he takes Noodle Arm to a whole new level :D

    You are right about the atmosphere though it was superb and I thoroughly enjoyed my 3 hours + there. Had a good bit of banter with some Jets fans (Americans not Brits) in a bar before the game. I was getting a chorus of Cheaters Cheaters due to my Pats top. Had to remind them of their lowly postion in the AFC East of course....

    Shame about the weather but it happens at a lot of games. Unfortunately the roof at Wembley is not fully retractable and only keeps the fans under cover while the players brave the elements...

    Hope they come back with another game (Pats would be nice - road fixture against the Jets perfect) but I agree with Ironwasp i think the Superbowl should be kept in the States
     
  13. Sariana

    Sariana Practice Squad Player

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    Nice to see an observation from over there. I was living in Belgium for many years and they never considered American Football a sport, let alone something to pay money to watch...lol

    I was surprised to see so many people there to be honest. I agree that they should not have any of the post season games anywhere but in the US. It is a US sport and important games like that should stay here. I wouldn't mind seeing more regular season games there.... however I think that the players should get there sooner then Friday morning to be honest. The time difference hits too hard to have a good game....
     
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