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Ready to Roll: NFLUK

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by rexy2006, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    24 October 2008 5:31 PM - Cory Sterling
    Related: National Football League, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers

    When the NFL announced that the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints would be playing in the 2008 Bridgestone International Series in London, they probably had no idea how much would be at stake.

    Sporting identical records (3-4) at a pivotal point in the season, Sunday's result from Wembley Stadium will catapult one team back in playoff contention and deeply dampen the other's postseason dreams.

    As both teams finished up their Friday practices, it was clear that the drastic impact of Sunday's game were on their mind.

    "We almost have to win," said Saints wide receiver Lance Moore. [​IMG]

    Moore has been an integral part of the Saints passing game so far this year recording 32 receptions for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

    "We need to get back to 4-4. A 3-5 record would be extremely detrimental to the team and our season," said Moore.

    Although each NFL game counts equally and the season is yet half over, the team's current junction and performance on Sunday may prove to have implications bigger than just one meeting.

    "There are still eight games to play after, but we would have to go on a huge run after that. Being 4-4, you feel a little bit better about your situation."

    For Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, he never thought his team would be playing a crucial game at such an early part of the 2008 season.

    "We're right in the thick of it," said Rivers. "That's not where we want to be, but we certainly want to have a chance. We have that chance. We win Sunday, which is the objective, to get to 4-4 and you're half a game back."

    Understanding the urgency that both teams feel to get back on the right track adds an exciting element of competition and consequence to the 2008 International Series.

    The 83,000-plus fans that are lucky enough to attend an NFL regular season game outside of North America will be entertained with two talented teams, looking to do anything that helps them lands in the win column.

    Of course, one can never discount how exciting the game is itself. Just ask LaDanian Tomlinson, the 2006 league MVP and holder of many impressive rushing records.

    "In the National Football League, any game can go either way," said Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson. "Chris Berman (from ESPN) always says, that's why you play the game.' It's because you never know what is going to happen."

    Ultimately, Tomlinson believes that no matter who emerges from Sunday's game victorious, the real winners will be in stands. "We are two very good football teams and I think the fans will see that on Sunday.":bolt:
    _______________________________
    Too bad they couldnt spell "LaDainian" correctly.:no:
     
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  2. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Another NFLUK article:

    CULTURAL MIX

    23 October 2008 7:31 PM - Cory Sterling
    Related: National Football League, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers

    Preparations have hit full speed in London, as the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints practiced for the second time in two days. Both teams have been working tirelessly since arriving in the United Kingdom to be in the best possible position to emerge from Sunday's 2008 Bridgestone International Series game victorious.

    Despite the pressures of winning a regular season NFL game, the players and coaches from both teams have taken a proactive approach to making the most of their new cultural surroundings. [​IMG]

    The New Orleans Saints received their fare share of British sporting culture when they stepped off their buses at practice today in Shenley, Hertfordshire. The breezy, brisk autumn weather combined with perfectly trimmed grass fields offered every indication the team was about to practice somewhere special. These notions were vindicated when the site of a red and gold cannon with the word "Arsenal" gleamed from a distance. Sure enough, the New Orleans Saints were practicing at Arsenal FC's training ground in London Colney.

    From the eyes of a coach, the perfectly maintained pitch served as the ideal practice grounds for a team adjusting to a new environment. "They have a great facility here," said Saints head coach Sean Payton. His words served as a true testament to the care and delicacy used for one of England's most famous football clubs. "The amount of field space and the conditions of the field were outstanding."

    As a player, the surface proved even more beneficial. "The fields are simply incredible. The surface is really fast and true." said Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who has recorded 63 tackles so far in 2008. Playing on a surface conducive for both types of football bred brilliant results. "It allowed us to have a great practice with guys flying around," concluded Vilma.

    For the San Diego Chargers, their taste of British sporting culture came in the form of Martin Johnson, who [​IMG]paid the team a visit during their practice today. Johnson was captain of the England national rugby team and currently serves as the team's manager. An avid fan of American Football', Johnson took full advantage of the opportunity to observe a full NFL practice. The differences revealed themselves lucidly.

    "It was interesting for our coaches to see how the NFL works," said Johnson. "The NFL has a huge number of specialized coaches on the field." According to the former English skipper, this is a trend that is naturally finding its way on to the rugby pitch. "That [specialized coaches] is starting to happen in rugby now. The things we are doing in rugby are now more similar to the NFL as our sport evolves professionally."

    "Johnno" insists watching the Chargers practice wasn't all fun - he was looking for some coaching strategies as well. "I am a big fan of the NFL but we would have come down as coaches anyways because it is all ways good to see first-class coaches at work."

    After practice, Johnson had a chance to converse with the Chargers running back Darren Sproles. The site of the two conversing side by side was priceless, as Sproles is one of the smallest NFL players at 5'6" and Johnson was one of the tallest rugby players at 6'7".

    During their conversation, Sproles inquired if Johnson was a wrestler because of his deformed ears. After a brief explanation from Johnson and a smile on his face, the San Diego running back quickly understood the nature of the physically brutal game of rugby and the impact it leaves on its brave athletes.

    As both the Chargers and Saints huddled together following their respective practices, there was a superficial sense of familiarity. Although the two teams participated in practice like they would before any normal game, there was an unspoken connection that all present were sharing a once in a lifetime moment.

    By grazing and playing on a field deemed sacred to so many and interacting with a living rugby legend, each team gained something special their from their respective experiences. Undoubtedly, the gift for both teams was a grander perspective of what it means to participate in the NFL International Series. This goal was achieved by the players as they practiced their own game while paying homage to the land and people who are hosting them.
    ________________________________
    I thought these were good articles because they are written by a British writer, with all the interesting cultural differences mixed in.
     
  3. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Thanks for the great reads Rexy. :tup:
     
  4. rexy2006

    rexy2006 Well-Known Member

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    Preparations complete
    Type: Latest News
    25 October 2008 6:59 PM - Henry Hodgson
    Related: National Football League, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers

    The New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers completed their preparations for Sunday's 2008 Bridgestone International Series game by visiting Wembley Stadium on Saturday for a pre-game walkthrough.

    The Saints arrived at Wembley first, with the entire team emerging on the field for their first look at the stadium that will be their home on Sunday when they 'host' the San Diego Chargers there.

    [​IMG]After spending an hour walking through the details of their gameplan against the Chargers, the Saints players boarded their bus and returned to their hotel in central London where they will stay tonight before returning to Wembley on Sunday for the game.

    They were replaced on the field by the Chargers, who were led out of the locker-room for their walkthrough by former NFL MVP running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who visited the stadium for the first time back in June on a reconnaissance visit to London.

    "Looking around here there really isn't a bad seat in the house," said Tomlinson. "There is going to be a great atmosphere here when the game kicks off."

    San Diego's walkthrough ended after an hour, following which the team also returned to London to rest ahead of tomorrow's game.

    With both teams at 3-4 after seven games of the season, they know that they have to produce the goods on Sunday to stay in touch in their hard-fought divisions.

    "It's an important game for both teams," admitted New Orleans head coach Sean Payton. "There are nine games left in the regular season, and we head into the bye-week wanting to get to 4-4. Being at .500 for the second half of the season is our number one priority."

    "Obviously we were both hoping to have better records, both of us, but does that mean we're not two good football teams, no. We are two very good football teams and I think the fans will see that on Sunday," said Tomlinson.

    Both teams will return to Wembley Stadium for the 2008 Bridgestone International Series, which kicks off at 5:00pm.

    Fans in the UK can watch the game from 4:00pm on Sky Sports 2 or 4:30pm on BBC2.
     
  5. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Git'r'dun Chargers!! :bolt:
     
  6. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

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    Onea Shammie's cows?? :icon_shrug: :icon_huh:
     

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