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Tuesday, October 23, 2007 


I'm a big American sports fan, and miss that part of my old life terribly, but do try to keep up. As a student I can't afford special satellite or internet packages that allow me access to the games, but I do alright via ESPN, etc. So imagine my surprise last month when it became obvious to me that London was keeping better track of NFL schedules than I was:

At first I just shrugged it off, "They're in two different conferences but whatevs, that's the trend nowadays with nearly all American professional sports leagues-- wait a minute, I'm not in America! Why the hell is the NFL being advertised on the tube?!"

The answer, as of course I'm sure you know by now from the advertising blitz that has ensued this week, is that the Giants and the Dolphins are playing each other at Wembly Stadium. Something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime, mainly because I was sure I'd die before Wembly would ever be finished.

I'll root for the Dolphins because 1) they are 0-7 this year and 2) three years abroad has not tempered my hatred for the Giants and Jeremy Shockey. I doubt anyone else in London will even care. I've given up trying to convince them that it's a sport worthy of their attention, and I figure this will be even more difficult after all the excitement generated by the Rugby World Cup. American football players wear a ton of gear to protect themselves, only play either offense or defense (meaning each player only plays about half a game) and on top of that, play stops every few seconds. It takes over three hours to watch a game consisting of one hour of play. So compared to rugby or soccer which are much more action packed, I don't think this is going to go over well here at all.

Of course, please don't anyone tell Christian Slater this.

Love your blog! I have always thought about moving over there (I am a dual citizen through my mom), and I love reading your perspective on the locals.

Anyway, it's nice to hear someone echo my disdain for the NY Giants, and especially Jeremy Shockey. Eli Manning is not much better either, he gets what he deserves for playing the big shot and refusing to play if drafted by the Chargers. Being from Baltimore it is too close to the whole Elway thing. Not sure if you have heard, but Chris Chambers was traded to San Diego last week. I noticed he is one of the players in the pictures you posted. Blatant false advertising!

I don't understand why they're going to so much trouble to promote the thing in the Tube. The game sold out straight away -- I wanted to get tickets.

Allegedly there is talk of hosting a Super Bowl in London, which is at once ridiculous and appropriate. The Super Bowl has become so overhyped, so removed from the game that it actually makes sense to host it several thousand miles away from where the game is played.

Personally, I have long argued for the establishment of Super Bowl Island. The NFL could buy one of the Mexican islands off Baja, put up a stadium and make the whole place a sort of semi-autonomous state dedicated solely to perpetuating NFL hype.

I watched the super bowl in Christchurch, NZ on my way here this year. I was really surprised by how enthusiastic the kiwis were to watch rugby lite. I asked some of the locals about it and they said they got interested in the sport after playing Madden video games. Go figure.

You'd be surprised how many people are interested in the NFL over here, as Cope points out - Wembley sold out ridiculously quickly. Thousands of people stay up late and tune into channel 5 to watch Am.Football (Infact they're possibly the only Channel 5 viewers..)

if i was in an alley with a football player and rugby player, i'd fear the rugby dude cuz he could chase me down, steal my wallet, then run and mug someone immediately afterwards. the football player would beat me down, but would have his co-mugger take my wallet and run away. i have no point.

Not a football comment, but I just had to tell you thank you for your blog. I'm moving to Oxforshire in a month or two and I'm having totally mixed feelings about it. It's very helpful reading the experiences of someone else who went through what I am now going through. Moving across the ocean is tough business and quite emotional. So pleased I stumbled upon your blog.

i'm please i stumbled upon the american in london too. she's quite dandy.

Most of the people who attended the American football match at Wembley Stadium were Americans! I doubt that American sports will ever be popular internationally - the Americans tried it before and it didn't work. Though invented in Britain, soccer (i.e. football to the rest of the English-speaking world), cricket and rugby doesn't represent a particular country; whereas American sports are just too, well, American. American football is quite a sissy sport - they need a load of body amour which make the players look buff even whilst sporting a beer belly. Baseball is sometimes compared to cricket, but it's more like rounders (a school sport) - cricketers use a wooden ball rather than those soft balls baseball players use. Basketball is played in some UK university clubs, so it has more chance in becoming an international sport than American football - I'd compare basketball with netball (another school sport, usually a girl's sport). American sports never focuses on the sport itself - there's always half-naked cheerleaders prancing around; half-time, pre-time, post-time performances (lol), American junk food (yucky), glittery stuff, shiny stuff, and a whole lot of cheesyness - if all these are taken away, would America still like their American sports? In my opinions, no. I think (and I hope) American sports will never become popular elsewhere other than the USA. [US] American culture in general is just corny!

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