‘Wembley, Wembley, we are the famous Pats and we are on the way to Wembley!’ this is the famous chant usually heared around football stadiums when FA Cup games are being played. An FA Cup final at Wembley is equivalent to the Super Bowl Final.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been one of the more vociferous supporters of the NFL’s annual trip to London and now we all know why. Each time there has been a NFL game there has been a sell out. It is not a hidden fact that there are many fans of NFL around Europe. Northern European countries such as the UK and Scandinavia have a soft passion for the sport. Not to forget that last year Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher compared Paul Scholes to a NFL quarter back.
Three years after their 35-7 demolition of Tampa Bay here, Robert Kraft’s team enjoyed another Wembley rout as they brushed aside the self-destructing St Louis Rams behind an outstanding display from none other than quarterback star Tom Brady.
Before the game, Kraft lent his support to the notion of London one day becoming the permanent home to a league franchise, but until that day comes perhaps he ought to schedule in a few more trips to old England for his Patriots.
His opposite number – Rams and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke – will instead be happy his team backed out of plans to come here again in 2013 and 2014.
Theoretically this was a ‘home’ game for the Rams, who gave up a contest in St Louis to be here, but it was played in front of a sell-out crowd dominated by Patriots jerseys and they were treated to a vintage display from the on-fire Brady.
The 35-year-old completed his first eight passes and eventually piled up 304 yards and four touchdown passes.
It could be said that american football fans have descended upon London as the NFL makes its annual pilgrimage to Wembley.
Supporters braved the cold snap engulfing Britain with tens of thousands of fans descending on the home of English football for the sixth consecutive year and it was also a near sell out crowd.
The Patriots made their second visit to Wembley after seeing off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009.
‘There’s been a decent amount of turnover since then. But you know, the experience for those of us that went, you have some idea what to expect. There’s something to be said for that.’