Monday, October 27, 2008

That's another New Orleans Saints....

.....First Down!

So Pedr was down this weekend. We drank, we ate, I bought a coat and a yellow music stand. All was well with the world. We also started an inappropriately named NFL franchise on Madden 09 on my Xbox 360.

2 grown men laughing like school children because the first game of the 09 season was the Rimjobs at the Browns.

All of this highbrow activity was a mere preamble to the main event, which was the San Diego Chargers (booooooooooooooooooooooooo!) @ New Orleans Saints (WHO DAT!). Only not really, it was the New Orleans Saints home game but at the awesome-o Wembley Stadium, the awesome-est stadium in the world (It's a fact, no need to look it up).

I won't bang on about the game itself - which was a massive improvement on last year's and was amazing to watch - you can check out espn for that. They did throw a tailgate party this year and the Lt. Governor of Louisiana was knocking around the place apparently, as were the Louisiana tourist board.

There were give aways, NFL Experience things going on and live music. Which was mainly jazz, which is fine because it was what I term 'good jazz'. Not the musical in-joke, clever, smug and awful sounding 'experimental' (for experimental, read discordant) crap that is more interested in mutually assured musical masturbation than in entertaining anyone beyond their own little clique. I'm glad we have made the distinction, now we can move on.

Wait. I should clarify, in case there are musical types out there (Rob I'm talking to you) - I mean good in a the pure 'Good Vs Evil' sense. The Devil was clearly the superior fiddle player to Johnny but he still sounded like shit because he spent all his time trying to be clever instead of trying to sound good.

So, the jazz. Lots of brass too, which was bent towards further jazziness. The rain did not deter the enthusiastic folks whose job it was to bring a little piece of Louisiana to a car park outside a stadium in Wembley. I'm sure the irony was not lost on them.

Of course, jazz isn't really my kind of thing - even good jazz (see definitions above). It suited the setting, anywhere else and I would have been ready to stab someone in the eye with a clarinet reed after the first half hour. The whole thing though was a really good idea. nearly 20,000 attended the tailgate, it generated a really cool pre-match atmosphere and certainly made my mind up about who I would be cheering for. After we'd decided to be Saints for the day (a bigger deal for Pedr as he is a 49ers fan), we proceeded to bully Nick to do the same. Undeterred by the weather, the Louisianartians and the NFL(I think that's what people from Lousiana are called.....) put on a great day that even made this curmudgeon marginally less scowly.

Highlights? For me it was standing in a queue. There is nothing more fundamentally British than queuing. We are born to it.
There were these guys wandering about with beer dispensers, Pedr and I joined a queue for one of these selfless slakers of thirst. After a few minutes it became apparent to Pedr that there was no one at the end of the queue, the beer man had gone off somewhere. We were standing in a queue that had nothing at the end of it, it was the single most British thing I've ever done and unless I am able to subjugate other countries at will, or take up casual racism, it's the most British thing I ever WILL do!

It genuinely filled my heart with unparalleled joy. Our queuing powers had temporarily evolved. No longer did we form queues to get something, we now formed queues and waited for a good/service to arrive at the front of it. And so it was, the man returned replete with fresh beer.

The second thing was the flags. Everyone got a 'Be a Saint' flag in the stadium. Essentially this meant it was possible for there to be no actual Saints fans. None of these flags indicated allegiance to the Saints, they merely encouraged it in others.

Downside? Another British thing. Local radio DJs. The NFL comes to town, very American. Louisiana come to town, bringing their amazing food (more on which later), music, dance and atmosphere with them. We had to do 1 little thing, just one - get a decent guy on the stage. Seriously how hard can it be to find someone who wasn't made in a vat with the rest of these countless and pointless pricks?! Here's a clue whoever made that decision - get someone who fucking knows something about the game, or the teams, or anyting at all. This should preclude all DJs. Just let the NFL send their guy OK?!

For those outside the country, over here it's tradition whenever there is an outside event to use a Radio DJ for announcements. No one knows why it's a tradition, but slavery was a tradition until someone noticed that it was inhumane. I'm not saying that Local Radio DJs as events presenters/announcers are as bad as slavery...... that's for you to decide.


Olivia said...

I about fell over laughing at the queue forming story! Loved it.

But what's the deal with the NFL going over to Wembley all the time now? Who thought that was a good idea? I'm not complaining, just really puzzled that the American game has reached a venue in the UK of all places...

MattJ said...

I think I'll leave Pedr to answer that one next time he swings by here, he knows an awful lot more about the domestic support and NFL Europe etc....

Glad you liked the story though, if you need to know about queues I'm your man! :D

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