Patriots to play in London (baby) in 2009

Pretty decent news for all Patriots (and Tampa) fans this side of the Atlantic ocean. The NFL has announced that the New England Patriots will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London in October 2009.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the New England Patriots when the National Football League continues its International Series at London’s Wembley Stadium on Sunday, October 25, 2009, the NFL announced today

For anyone who watches the Sky Sports coverage of the NFL, you already had an inkling towards this as the Sky Sports crew pretty much guessed the exact matchup. Perhaps they were working with insider information.

A little bit more information from the Boston Globe here. As always the comments section for same is both entertaining and scary. Some of the comments are inane, some just completely worrying. The comment about the NFL being 'Americas game' and it shouldn't be played abroad as the rest of the World doesn't matter gives just a small reflection as to why a large part of the globe hates the United States. Then again, there are a good few comments from excited European football fans, plus one crazed message from a completely ecstatic Spanish fan who is going to travel from Madrid for the game. Or so he says anyway.

Check out the great pictures DCU Saint receiver Sam Monson took at the most recent Wembley game, the thoroughly entertaining Chargers and Saints clash.

It is odd to browse through the news reports and blogs and to see that there is plenty of minor upset at this announcement. Take for example this blogger, who says;

''But the London game is a permanent part of the NFL schedule, and New England will get its "duty" to be part of it out of the way fairly early.''

Is it that much a problem or a draw-back to have to travel to a country with a beautiful, new stadium and a quite literally rabid fan base to play in a unique game? What difference would it make if you spent the rest of your life doing the exact same thing? I suppose there will always be opposition to 'new' things and 'change' as it were.

Good to see Patriot Logan Mankins is keeping an open mind for the clash;

"I don't really want to go to London, but I guess if we have to, we have to," guard Logan Mankins said Monday.''

The odd part of this is that the Patriots trip to Seattle this coming weekend will be longer than a trip to the UK, where Mankins and his crew would get a chance to see a (sparkling) new venue and play in front of a huge NFL fan base hence broadening his, their horizons a little. Open your minds, closed minded NFL players!! You might end up enjoying yourselves! Good God.

Surely the thinking mans linebacker, Mike Vrabel, would have an interesting view on the 2009 trip? Not so fast!

"I'm worried about Seattle," linebacker Mike Vrabel said. "I don't give a (darn) about London."

Well, spoilt NFL players, there are literally thousands of NFL fans in Ireland, the UK and Europe who are over the moon with this news, so start looking forward to the trip, and you never know, if you open yourselves up to it a little, you might accidentally end up enjoying it!

More links:
The official Patriots site on the game.
Ticket news contained in the Kansas City Star.