Last weekend I attended the NFL International Game at Wembley Arena where the Bears took on the Buccaneers! This was my second year in attendance while it was the fifth year that Wembley has played host to the NFL. No matter what the year, the experience is the same – exhilarating!
Now I have to say that I write this with a heavy heart as I’m quite upset. I had taken my camera to the event and taken pictures of everything from the atmosphere outside to what the crowd was wearing inside! I even captured the little chicken pies that the press were served at halftime. Only when I came home I found that my Nikon had let me down and all my files were corrupt (yes, it’s time to finally buy a new camera). Now if I ‘m being honest here, I need no pictures to remember the atmosphere that filled the arena on that day. It was as if someone had taken an American Football stadium and lifted it straight off American soil and dropped it right on the outskirts of London, complete with fans and hot dog vendors! For me, as an American, this is both a wonderful and strange experience.
I’ve lived with American Football my whole life. I grew up with three brothers so you can imagine it was entirely unavoidable. But I also had the wonderful opportunity to attend every game in Charlotte, North Carolina, after our city brought in the Carolina Panthers. I think when most people think of football fans they think of those crazy guys that spray paint their entire bodies in their team colours and wear only shorts and a giant foam finger. I must admit that these people do exist for every team. They’re part of the crowd and they make the games even more of an event! However, when I used to attend games in NC, the crowd was as much about the glamour as they were about being fanatic. I can remember women battling the cold in chinchilla jackets and diamond earrings bigger than anything I could ever hope to one day wear on my finger. Most men came in button down shits and nice trousers and showed their support for their team with either a baseball cap or a jersey thrown over a tie/shirt combo. It was a place to see and be seen.
The same held true for the game in Wembley arena. We had the enthusiastic fans who came dressed as bears or pirates. Near where I was sitting there was also a small group of women who looked like they had just stepped out of a photo shoot to quickly catch the game before they returned for round two with Mario Testino!
Every single person in the crowd came with a style all their own and they rocked it to the bitter end! So I must apologize that I don’t have any style photography to share this year but you can expect some serious making up of lost images when I return next year! And I hope I’ll see you there! Trust me, this is one experience everyone should have in life. Attending an NFL game is like nothing you will have ever experienced before! Oh and did I mention it’s all men in tights on the field. Honestly, ladies, what’s not attractive about this scenario?
See you out there in 2012!!!!