Wednesday, November 19, 2014

american football in london

One warm Saturday on September 27, London closed off Regent Street - one of its busiest high-end shopping districts - to host a celebration for its American residents and visitors. 

NFL on Regent Street marked the start of the International Series Games of 2014, broadcasting the first game of the series, which was the Oakland Raiders hosting the Miami Dolphins.

The streets were splashed with the logos and faces of the six participating teams: aside from the Raiders and Dolphins, there were booths for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Dallas Cowboys, the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions.

The fans were also out in force. Many of the fans were Americans visiting or living in the UK, but there were also a large number of British and international fans who had fallen in love with 'the other football'.

There were photo opportunities, inflatable playgrounds, food and entertainment and places to buy team jerseys. Numerous fans came with their families, excited to share this unique passion.

Others came with their friends, making an event of it. Several fans showed up in costume, adding to the festival atmosphere by wearing kilts or masks with their team jerseys.

Many of the team players and former players were there to celebrate in person, taking pictures with their fans and spreading American goodwill.

For the American residents of London, it was not just a welcome taste of home and a last chance to enjoy the warm weather, but an opportunity to share their favourite sport with their British friends. 

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