In all, he made nearly 40 games, maxed out all his credit cards, met Mike Ditka and Michael Irvin, logged nearly 70,000 miles by air and ground, learned the meaning of the word "cluster-f*ck" (our little contribution to international relations) and nearly died attempting to drive down the highway the wrong way.
Sounds like our kind of guy ... except, you know, he actually left his mom's house.
He met tons of people – even befriending Raiders fans – and learned a lot about American culture in general and football/tailgate culture in particular, and otherwise seemed to have the time of his life.
Now he's trying to close out his trip in style, with a ticket to the Super Bowl. As of yet, he hasn't scored one of the rare ducats, so he asked us to spread the word and maybe somebody can help the man. We don't have high hopes ... but it never hurts to ask. If anyone can help Adam, shoot us a note here
or shoot him a note here
Plus, it gave us and you a chance to gain some perspective on the Great American Game from the point of view of a crazy limey who devoted an entire season to our fair little sport.
Why he did it & his favorite team
I love football and the NFL and being from London I only get to see a one live NFL game a year, if I am lucky.
I saw my beloved Bears come back from 20-0 at half time against Arizona on a MNF a few years back. I walked out and that is when I saw tailgaters watching the game in the car park, which blew my mind. So I wanted to see what it is like to be a fan of each team, and look at the cultural differences of each team. For me the sport is all about community and having a good time.
Hopefully in a fun irreverent way I am trying to get more people from the U.K into the sport, and proving that you can have a good time at a football game because of the "event" even if you dislike the sport. Plus I can think of a better way to spend a chunk of change. Change that I only got by the sale of my apartment.
The Bears are my favorite team, but I always supported the home team wherever I went – made it difficult when my Bears were beating the Colts in Indianapolis.
Lambeau for overall atmosphere, then probably Heinz. But in terms of architecture it would have to be either Arizona or the Colts
Best game he saw
I saw some pretty good ones, but the best was either Eagles at Dallas on MNF or when my Bears beat the Packers in Soldier Field.
Probably the Raiders fans. Although they looked like they would take your first born, they were polite and very supportive, great fans.
Best thing he ate/best tailgate
Good question. Has to be the ribs and steak in Arizona, they were excellent.
Hopefully in the next year or so I would love to open my own NFL-themed restaurant in London, with a dish from every team/city. Best tailgate was probably either Arizona, Green Bay or Oakland
I did not see every city, sometimes due to the fact I was driving some 600 miles after a game. I spent a fair bit of time in Pittsburgh that I really liked. I have already seen the big cities like New York City and Chicago, but I had a greater appreciation for the smaller cities where the NFL team has a greater impact on its surroundings. I really liked Nashville and Cincinnati.
Most memorable moment
When I met the Panther players after they beat the Bucs on MNF. DeAngelo Williams had a great game, tapped me on the shoulder. He knew of my trip and he personally gave me his game-day boots signed from that game!
Things he learned about the US/US culture that he didn't expect
Once on the highway you are fine, but getting on and off can be tricky. One day leaving Indianapolis I drove up the two-lane highway the wrong way, to then be confronted by two trucks driving 70 mph right at me. I somehow survived!
I noticed 3 things about U.S culture:
- Red Solo cups (we don't have them back home and you guys love 'em!)
- Leave a penny take a penny. Genius.
- Free t-shirts! American's go nuts for free t-shirts. I gave out about 400 "Adam's Football Trip" t-shirts.
The great regional difference in food, the tailgates were not just hot dogs and burgers.
Things learned about the US that confirmed expectations
People love their food. Not in a bad way. People love talking about gas prices. That everywhere I went people were extremely friendly, even Philly and Oakland, where people told me not to go.
Things learned about American football, football culture, etc.
I learned that for many it is about the tailgating as much as it is about the sport. People can sit with an opposing fan, which you can not do in soccer at home. There were few fights which is great.
I feel teams should be a little more creative in some of their chants. Sometimes all you get is the name of the opposing team sucks! In terms of going to the games, I feel it is better to actually be higher up and have the cheaper seats, because you can see the plays develop.
Down low has more atmosphere but it is hard to see everything. And in actual fact if you want to study the game and see every play, then watch it on TV. Which is why now I can understand tailgaters who cook out at the lots but watch it on their TVs.
If you want to be part of an awesome atmosphere then going to a game will be for you.
I also noticed people move around a hell of a lot at games, someone is always getting up and down and moving about, apart from Atlanta where the crowd were practically snoring they were so dull.
I did learn that many people go to games to have a good time. I spent many games simply talking to fans and hardly watching the action. In soccer fans do not talk to each other, and hopefully I can bring this social side of the sport to the U.K
Overall highlights, memories
Meeting Da coach Mike Ditka as well as the fun Michael Irvin. Throwing jelly shots to the Bengals crowd whilst standing on a school bus. Being down on the field at both the Vikings and the Raiders. Driving around a London black taxi (one like my Father drives in London) around the Chicago tailgate.
Seeing some great games. I think I clocked 12 what I would call "great"
games out of the 40, so that is pretty good.
But overall it has to be just how welcoming the tailgaters and hardcore fans were. Many of whom have been following their teams for years and still have not made it to every stadium. I like to think because of my trip more people will be willing to check out other teams and stadiums.
I logged 68,000 miles including all my flights back and to London. However I drove 35,000 miles on this trip.
Biggest cluster-f*ck you encountered
I had to Google what that meant! After the London game I came back and things started to break down. I missed my flight to Nashville, I broke my camcorder, my compact camera, then my laptop broke, I had broken my hard drive, but managed to save the files. My site repeatedly went down, and for some unknown reason is still very slow. I broke my glasses and 4 suitcases, though the rental cars held up nicely and getting tickets was never too much of a problem.
If I did this again I know how to cut some corners and make it a little cheaper.