Sunday, October 23, 2011

NFL International Series Game 5: The Chicago Bears Take London

Tim's dad called one Saturday and said he heard the Bears would be playing in London. American football in London? No way! A quick Google search confirmed that the NFL does in fact play in London as part of the NFL International Series in which one game per year is played the last weekend in October overseas. I didn't even have to ask if Tim wanted to go; I knew the answer would be yes! We had been planning to visit the Canary Islands for eight days, but a little shifting of our plans, a multi destination plane ticket, and two lower level tickets to Wembley Stadium, we added a stop in London to our itinerary.

On game day, Wembley Stadium was packed full of Americans and Brits alike all eager to cheer on the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Goo Goo Dolls kicked off the party with a pre-game concert. In a show of American patriotism, each seat on the lower level had either a red, white, or blue card to be held up during the national anthem. On queue we all donned our cards and from overhead, the cards made up a Union Jack inside the stadium while those on the field became the American Flag. Both the American and British National Anthems were performed.

The Bears led 21-5 going into the fourth quarter after touchdowns by Matt Forte, Roy Williams and Marion Barber. The momentum then switched to the Buccaneers with Kellen Winslow and Dez Briscoe both going over over in the space of five minutes. But a field goal and an interception made it safe for the Bears, who came back to win 24 - 18.

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