London Day 2
Like Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the Chelsea Football Club training ground in Cobham, England carries with it more than just a bit of historical sporting significance. Chelsea served as the locale of New York's first ever regular-season overseas practice. Shortly after arriving in London following their six-hour flight the Giants boarded buses for the one-hour drive to Chelsea, where they conducted a two-hour practice.
"To be honest with you, I think everyone is handling it well," Michael Strahan said. "Earlier in the meetings you could see guys were tired. A few guys look like they were beaten up pretty badly. But now everybody is awake, everybody feels good.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin admitted he's excited to be part of NFL history.
"We're very proud to be here," he said. "The New York Giants are very proud to be part of this first-ever regular season game to be played outside of North America. I do think, being interested in history myself, it's very fitting the game be played in the United Kingdom."
Coughlin and four players – Eli Manning, Michael Strahan, Amani Toomer and Shaun O'Hara – posed for pre-practice photos with Chelsea Coach Avram Grant. Coughlin and Grant exchanged jerseys. Coughlin received a blue Chelsea shirt with his name on the back, while the Giants presented Graham with a white No. 1 Giants jersey.
Now on to the exciting stuff: TGI's travels. After practice, we toured around and saw the absolutely beautiful St. Paul's Cathedral. That's where the Duke of Wellington is buried, which should be especially interesting to Giants fans since the late, great Giants owner Wellington Mara was named after none other than the Duke of Wellington.
After missing seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace by a day due to our tour guide's ineptitude, we continued on to the famous Albert Pub, where a rather nice – and large – surprise was waiting for us: Harry Carson. After spending some QT with the Hall-of-Famer, we continued on to see Big Ben, the Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London, including both the famous London Bridge and the much more aesthetically pleasing Tower of London Bridge.
Our night concluded with a pub tour, which included visits to the oldest pub in England, which was frequented by Charles Dickens, and an appropriately named pub called the Mayflower, whose shores served as the actual launching point for the Mayflower in 1620.
Hallowed Ground: Day 2
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