The sun is out, this massive stadium is beginning to fill and we're closer than ever to kickoff. Here are our early-morning takeaways:
- Let's start with what unfolded Saturday night in the streets of London. At the conclusion of the jam-packed NFL on Regent event, Conor Orr and I had the privilege of meeting with a wonderful gang of Around the NFL Podcast listeners. We were floored by the turnout. Expecting to meet with a dozen football heads, we encountered a swelling crowd of 50-plus in London's quaint Red Lion pub. It was an absolute gift to meet this crowd of men and women of all ages and hear tales of how they discovered the NFL. Originally planning to stay for an hour, Conor and I wound up deep into the city night with this unforgettable crew. They arrived in garb from all 32 teams, but this vintage sweater stole the show:
- Something else about the fans we met Saturday night and this morning outside Wembley: Their knowledge is legitimate. When the NFL first came to Europe, it was joked that extra points drew the most crowd noise. Not anymore. The combination of live television access, fantasy football and grassroots growth have created an international fan base that brings the heat. Everyone we spoke with knew their teams up and down. Their questions and feelings about the NFL revealed their detailed passion for a sport now taking hold with a vengeance. Sunday's game is the big event, but we'll remember these fans more than anything that happens on the field today.
-- Marc Sessler
- Tailgate culture seems to have come a long way here. Saturday night at our Around The NFL podcast meetup, many crossover football fans talked about the lack of pre-game festivities before soccer matches, but admired the pregame NFL and college football culture. Sunday morning saw the surrounding areas of Wembley Stadium flooded with fans who were not only deep at the beer tent, but several barbecue and burger stands as well. A massive, friendly crowd.
- Wembley Stadium is absolutely massive. The home of the English national team, the 90,000-seat arena trumps just about anything we've seen in the states in terms of size and scope. The Cowboys' arena in Dallas certainly comes to mind, but Wembley is a stunning open-air technical masterpiece. It will be interesting to see how the noise level compares to some of the NFL's best stadiums like CenturyLink Field and Arrowhead.
-- Conor Orr
Wake up and watch with the world. The NFL is live on Yahoo. For the first time ever, the NFL is streaming a live game on Yahoo. Bills vs. Jaguars live from London, Sunday, October 25th, at 9:30 a.m. ET.