American Football in London
Yes, American football in London. It’s a thing. The NFL International Series started in 2007 to promote the game and its brand abroad. The American Bowl, preseason exhibitions games, were not doing enough. The International Series are games held in London during the regular season. I’ve known about them only because of confusion as to why football was airing so early sometimes. That and The Electrician is a devoted fan of football and I get to ask him a ton of questions about this fascinating subject.
The timing was just too perfect to pass up. After purchasing tickets on the global “StubHub” Viagogo, our tickets were delivered to our hotel.
The New York Giants would play the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium, somewhere in the middle of the quiet London suburb of Richmond. After a pint, we walked through the path to the stadium, usually a rugby grounds, to find about 90,000 American football fans, many from The States. It was easy to tell the difference between the Americans and the English folk. The Americans had on Giants gear; the English folk had on every other team jersey, a veritable rainbow of arbitrary NFL gear.
As if our time in London was not memorable enough, we discovered upon arrival at our seats that they were pretty much perfect. Two seats at the top of the stairs, no one in front of us, nothing but the concrete wall that made up the stadium entrance to the right of us, and a friendly English chap to the left of us.
Yadda, yadda, yadda the Giants won and I had freshly made churros (from Los Churros Amigos, check the v-bomb on upper left), as well as several souvenir cups of good ol’ American Budweiser. It was a fantastic experience.
After the game and a long ride back to Central London, we took a taxi to Brixton. I was determined to try a version of vegan fish and chips while in London. Though my attempt to get the dish was thwarted at Dovetail and Dove Pub was closed and Coach & Horses was rumored to no longer have the dish (or any dish? I can’t remember), we headed to Vegbar. It’s an all-vegan eatery who’d reliably have my fish and chips. I even called to make sure.
Though “tofish” and chips implies the use of tofu, my preference to a processed science meat patty, I was a bit let down that this tofish was not tofu at all. It was that weird science meat, wrapped on one side with seaweed then beer-battered and deep-fried. Because anything beer-battered and deep-fried is delicious, this was, especially with a big gob of vegan tartar sauce. An inkling of disappointment lingered. But the “Hey, I’m eating vegan fish and chips in London!” was much more powerful.
London is tremendous. I look forward to returning to see more. But now, it’s back to reality.