LONDON -- The New England Patriots made their presence felt on Saturday in London, appearing en masse at the NFL's Fan Rally at historic Trafalgar Square ahead of their NFL International Series game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
British fans were treated to a stage appearance from quarterback Tom Brady, owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick. However, as has been the way over the past 12 months, it was Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski who stole the show.
As he was interviewed, the 20,000-strong crowd chanted "spike the mic" to Gronkowski, and the crowd-pleasing tight end did as he was bid, smashing the microphone onto the floor of the stage so that it was no longer usable for the next man up, receiver Wes Welker.
Fortunately for the British fans, who had turned out in large numbers and battled cold and wet weather to catch a glimpse of Patriots and Rams stars, they had already heard from Brady, Kraft and Belichick when Gronk threw a spanner in the works with his trademark spike.
"Gronk showed his true colors," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said after he had exited the stage. "Let's hope he does that during the game tomorrow."
After his attention-grabbing performance on Saturday, any on-the-fence British fans could show up wearing a Gronkowski No. 87 jersey at Wembley.
Follow Henry Hodgson on Twitter @nflukhank.