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Chargers @ Saints: The View from Section 234

Okay guys, I need to be brief because it is late and I have an early flight in the morning. Below are my notes and observations from this most amazing game in London. I haven't looked at any stats whatsoever so excuse me if I am off base here. After the jump are some pictures from the pre-game festivities. There will be more pictures of the game later.We have plenty of time to discuss everything with the bye week coming up.

  • I think you probably saw it on television but there was just a complete amalgamation of NFL jerseys from all different teams and time periods. They Brits went deep into their closet for this matchup. All CSC jersey rules have been suspended over the pond but man was it bad. Even Falcons, Bucs and Panthers paraphernalia. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. I was happy to see some Brits wearing Saints jerseys and adopting the team. Of all the teams though, the Dolphins and the Redskins seemed to be the most popular. Adam explained that British football fans are very big on Dan Marino.
  • Adam has become quite the celebrity in his town now. He had about three interviews before the game and a few people he talked to would say, "I saw you on the telly" or "Oh, I read about you." Pretty funny.
  • There were performers like Rebirth and Kermit Ruffins playing on stage at the tailgate party. Between acts was an MC. At one point the MC asked, "Who supports Obama?" then cheers. It is amazing how closely they follow our election and how much they love Obama.
  • Blaine Kern Studios shipped over a couple of Mardi Gras floats. I wound up talking to one of the guys who works for them and he happened to know the captain of my Krewe.
  • The rumour (British spelling) is that the NFLUK is trying to get about 5 games a year to be played there.
  • The Jambalaya at the New Orleans Food truck was yellow. I don't think so. They also were selling pecan tarts. Whatever.
  • The security at the gate gives you a pretty thorough rub down. Much more so then in the US. I wondered if I was supposed to tip him for his gentle hands. 
  • Wembley is a beautiful freakin' stadium. Tom Benson...take note.
  • Wembley had stands inside called "BetFred." Apparently it is legal and accepted to bet on sporting events IN the stadium! Cool.
  • There was a female announcer who says, "The cheerleaders will begin their performace in 15 mintues." This also happened at 10 minutes and 5 minutes. 
  • Stereophonics opened the show with a performance. Pretty good actually.
  • They had the same Saints music and video intro as they do for normal home games.
  • Ne-Yo sang US anthem. Joss Stone sang the British. Almost everyone sang along to "God Save the Queen." Talk about national pride.
  • The Chargers logo was in one endzone. Not acceptable. This is a Saints home game and I believe the Dolphins had their logo in both endzones last year.
  • The Saints started with a great first drive and showed their commitment to the run. Payton let up a bit later in the game.
  • How about Billy Miller. This kid is starting to impress me. Cheers to him.
  • Stecker saw a bit more time than usual.
  • Even Adams father, Harvey, knew Mehlhaff missing the extra point was pathetic. Adams dad was pretty cool.
  • Usama came up big with that strip on the kickoff. One second the Chargers are returning it and the next Usama is running the other way with it.
  • Deuce got in the endzone on fourth down but I think he should have gotten the call on third down.
  • There are no vendors walking up the aisles selling food and drink. Most fans remained seated the entire time.
  • I had totally forgotten that Colston was back until his nice catch and run. I guess he will slowly be eased into the gameplan.
  • Pretty dissapointed with the lack of pressure from our line. Not sure there were any sacks by either team in this one.
  • Matt Lehr did a pretty solid job filling in for center. I didn't even notice a difference. 
  • The halftime show was a miniature Mardi Gras parade.
  • Do the Saints have a secondary? Fortunately, I'm sure Charger fans are also looking for their own secondary. 
  • This game was filled with penalites, particularly pass interference calls. I guess that's what comes with bad secondaries who start to get desperate.
  • I'm a little irritated that Payton continued to call passes late in the fourth quarter when we needed to run out the clock. If that interception call had not been overturned, heads would have rolled.
  • I understand the safety call at the end of the game but why the hell didn't Drew run around the endzone a bit? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?
  • They did not play any commercials on the scoreboard during breaks. 
  • It was no where near as loud as the Superdome but that is to be expected.



The walk from the tube to the stadium.



A lot of people were selling these scarves.



The crowd at the tailgate party.



My ticket to the tailgate party.



They didn't get him with his tongue sticking out.



More Wembley.



Some crazy dude.



The guy on the right is Alistair Kirkwood, the Roger Goodell of NFLUK. Adam went up to talk to him and Allistair actually knew him.



Mardi Gras float.


Open Thread Roll Call. Great job guys!

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