NFL Goes to London for the Third Time: Time to Show Them How to Tailgate

Glenn CardSenior Analyst IJanuary 29, 2009

On October 25, 2009 at Wembley Stadium the third regular-season NFL game will be played in London.


The New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are teams scheduled to play.


Ticket sales are reported to be going well. The previous two games were sellouts and the same is expected for this game.


Londoners have accepted and embraced the spectacle our export.


It would seem that the London game will be a standard outing for the NFL as long as the ticket sales stay robust.


That leads me to my next point. Somebody needs to go over there and teach those guys how to do a proper tailgate.


Londoners have half of the pre-game ritual down pat. They mastered the fine art of beer drinking long before we Americans thought to introduce them to our favorite pastime.


There is not much that we would be able to teach the Londoners about drinking. They have a pub on every corner.


It’s the other half of American ritual, the food prep and cooking that they need instruction for.


Part of the problem is Wembley Stadium does not offer the generous parking lots that are commonly found throughout the US stadium venues.


The populace does not drive as extensively as we do here. As a matter of fact their government has taken many steps to reduce automotive traffic in London proper.


Here in the US, I have several friends that have single purpose vehicles that are devoted to the tailgate experience. They have spent mini fortunes on their mobile sports bar.


What I’m imagining is that some enterprising Londoner should do a conversion on one of England’s famous double-decker buses. They have plenty of seating, more than enough room for a couple of flat panels and the obligatory grill.


No parking? No problem. Keep the bus moving and drop everyone off at the gate when it’s game time.


The second issue that our new NFL brethren would need instruction on is the proper food choices that need to be offered for the occasion. Fish and chips and dumplings do not offer the variety that is necessary.


English food, in general is mild and bland. They need the taste of our stout fare.


I’m not saying that there are few cooks in England. Only that they are not getting the full NFL experience without the culinary delights that Americans have become accustomed to with our tailgate parties.


We need a number of our barbecue Master Chefs to make the trip over and show those guys the finer nuances of doing sauce soaked ribs, steaks, burgers and chicken on an open flame or smoldering briquettes. They need the exposure to the many varieties of Chili and of the varying degrees of spicy temperatures that we offer.


Fish and chips are considered just an appetizer among many at our tailgate parties.


Do they know what it is like to take the stroll to the entrance gates and be assaulted by the aromas of multiple grills sizzling meats, amongst fans from both teams taunting and cajoling with each other.


Not being able to walk 10 yards at a time without bumping into another smorgasbord. They need to witness the rivalry between neighbors not about the teams but about the culinary aspects of the proper cooking time or preparation of another meaty delicacy.


What Londoners need now is the feeling of rumbling in their collective stomachs to be able to properly rumble with the crowds in the NFL bleacher seats.