NFL Across The Pond

This weekend Wembley Stadium in London will host the final matchup of three NFL regular season games. The NFL’s presence in London is now in it’s eighth year, and each time NFL teams gear up, the party gets bigger and the number of British fans increases. Whether it’s true fan fervor or mere curiosity, Wembley Stadium is the place to be on Sunday. Here’s a look at what fans can expect.

NFL Tailgate

The NFL is promising an authentic all-American tailgate experience. It will include live music and more food than can possibly be eaten, but there will be one major difference. The festivities will be presented to fans who will need tickets to access certain parts of the tailgate area such as the viewing platform. While there’s no doubt that it will be a lively party, it will be missing the local flavor of longtime fans cooking up their favorite foods and the camaraderie that occurs at tailgates in the United States. Perhaps in a few more years, the Brits will catch on and be able to pull off tailgate parties of their own, even if the menu has to include meat pasties and shepherd’s pie.

Package Deals

There are a variety of package deals available for fans. The perks vary from hospitality areas with open bars and gourmet food to Friday night Kickoff Cruise Parties on the Thames River with players and cheerleaders. From standard to deluxe to diamond, there is a VIP package for every budget and taste.

The Perfect Matchup

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been part of the International Series since its inception. They are widely considered the Brit’s favorite team, and by some logic can be seen as having home field advantage even though they are a couple thousand miles from Florida. The Dallas Cowboy are known as America’s team, and it’s more likely that any Americans in London would be Cowboy fans than Jaguar fans. So in some sense the table is set for a revolutionary repeat: the Americans v. the British.

Sports Bars

If you can’t make it to Wembley Stadium, there are plenty of places in London to catch the game. If you are seeking a bit of American comfort food to accompany your game viewing, your best bets are Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Café’s Back Room Bar. If you prefer a more traditional English pub experience, check out Riley’s on Haymarket or Indigo 2 at The O2 that shows up to five games at once.

Regardless of which side of the pond you are on, the Cowboys and Jaguars are going to put on a show worth watching. The Cowboys have their eyes on the playoffs but last week’s injury to Tony Romo has their ability to contend in doubt. The Jaguars are in desperate need to turn their season around. Will coming home to London give them an advantage? The only thing that is certain is that the British must be developing a taste for American football. The NFL has already announced the International Series games for 2015.

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