Part 2 – My Weekend with The Chargers – Sunday, Gameday – By Lee Wakefield
Welcome back to the second part of my weekend with the Chargers.
At this point it’s Sunday, it’s gameday, it’s a few mere hours until Chargers football. The only issue is that I’m back on the train up to London, for the second time in two days. At this point, as a commuter at the mercy of Themeslink or Southern, another train journey wasn’t exactly my idea of fun at the time.
However, I was buoyed by the previous day and also, of course, the day ahead. It was a sunny but crisp October morning and the Chargers were gathering some momentum – After a 2-2 start, the Bolts had won their last three games – And to top it all off, they were going to be wearing the greatest uniform in sports, the powder blues.
Speaking of uniforms, as a person who holds uniform aesthetics in high regard, it’s probably no surprise that I played everyones’ favorite game when going to a Wembley game – Where you have to spot all 32 team jerseys before the game.
I’m pleased to report that I was successful in doing so and even more pleased to report that I even saw the odd college football jersey.
Anyway, I’m getting slightly off topic… Back to Wembley and by now, I’d arrived (ridiculously early).
What can I say, I was eager to get there, to soak up the atmosphere and take in all that I could in what was my first, live, NFL experience.
First things first, let’s see where I’m going to be watching the game from. I do this all the time, when I’m going to watch live sport – I like to go into the stadium or arena and find my seat before I inevitably head to the bar and get a pre-match pint to settle the nerves.
In terms of seat, I don’t think I could have wished for a better seat.
The Atmosphere was good. I know the Wembley games get a little bit of a bad rap for maybe not having the most partisan crowd but I felt like the crowd was quite pro-Chargers, on the day at least.
[Insert tired joke relating to fans and the Chargers etc].
The game itself was good. Plenty of big plays from the Bolts and the Titans played their part too.
Now I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow replay but I will talk about a couple of moments that will stay with me for a long while.
Firstly, my moment of the game and the moment that literally got me jumping out of my seat; the interception by Denzel Perryman late in the first half. This was a huge moment in the game, it felt like it and it was just such an exciting moment to see live. I distinctly remember shouting, “PIIIIICCCKK!” when the ball was tipped in the air, just before Perryman gobbled it up.
A great moment just before half time that meant that L.A. went into the break with a 10-6 lead.
The other moment I want to relive is actually the final moments of the game.
It was 20-13 and the Titans drove down the field and scored a touchdown with literally seconds remaining. 20-19.
Now, at this point, I’d been dying for a pee for most of the second half…Those pre-match pints (and during match pints) had come back to haunt me.
Anyway, as soon as Tennessee scored I jumped up from my seat; I thought I’d fly to the loo and get sorted before overtime started.
I ran off and was relieving myself and I heard a cheer, “ahh well, that’s the extra point going over”, I (stupidly) though, next thing, I overheard someone talking about Tennessee going to two…
I finished by business and I actually just found the nearest TV on the concourse to finish off watching the game. The cheer I’d actually heard was the crowds’ reaction to the Titans first attempt!
Oh my god, they’ve gone for it!
Well, thank god for Adrian Phillips. Phillips made the play, with 31 seconds remaining in the game to seal the victory for the Chargers and send me home very happy indeed.
What a game, what a day… What a weekend. Buzzing.
Now for the queue for the tube…