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Old 28 Oct 2007, 02:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Slowed to a crawl, Giants and Dolphins pick up new routine in London
By EDDIE PELLS,
AP National Writer
AP - Oct 26, 10:30 am EDT



LONDON (AP) -- Not even someone as impeccably prepared as Giants coach Tom Coughlin had a strategy to help five team buses crawl through London's notoriously difficult gridlock.

He did, however, know that very little about this history making trip overseas was going to be easy.

"I told the players, you just put a smile on your face and realize that some things aren't going to run as smoothly as you're used to," Coughlin said Friday after the Giants arrived for Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins, the NFL's first regular-season contest to be played outside of North America.

The Dolphins also arrived Friday. Players, coaches and wives and families from both teams boarded caravans of buses, then took the tedious drives from the airport to their respective hotels and then to their practice facilities.

NFL owners recently voted 32-0 to expand the league's international footprint and bring regular-season games to London and beyond.

Asked how the NFL coaches might have voted had they been asked -- well, Coughlin just laughed at that one.

"At some point in time, obviously, the people, the higher-ups, the Maras and the Tischs, made the decision that we could play this game," he said of the Giants owners. "So we'll go with that."

Working on little sleep, both teams shook off the cobwebs and went through light practices and meetings with no deep thought involved -- a routine unlike any they've ever held at their own facilities.

"Earlier in the meetings, you could see people were tired," Giants defensive end Michael Strahan said. "They looked beaten up pretty badly. But now, everyone's awake, feeling good. Now the test is to see if they can go back to the hotel and stay awake until it's time to go to bed. That's the key."

After receiving all kinds of conflicting advice on how to handle jet lag and quick turnarounds, both Coughlin and Dolphins coach Cam Cameron made the choice to prepare for four days at home -- including Tuesday, which is normally an off day for players -- then make the trip Thursday night and arrive Friday morning.

"What time is it?" Cameron joked before he started his interview session.

Basically, neither team built any nap time into Friday's schedule. Cameron told his players to get as much sleep as they could on the plane. Some got luckier than others.

"I got a chance to get moved upstairs, so I got like seven hours," said Miami running back Jesse Chatman of his first-class seat. "I wasn't down there with the guards."

Quarterback Cleo Lemon was.

"Me and my wife were surrounded by like 10 300- and 350-pound guys," Lemon said. "We were crammed in together. We heard a lot of jokes, a lot of weird noises."

If only he were cozied up to them like that on the field.

The Dolphins (0-7) are winless and there is a sense that this odyssey might benefit them, if only because it breaks the numbing monotony that losing often promotes.

"When you're losing some games, it's nice to get something to break up the rhythm a bit," Dolphins kicker Jay Feely said. "That could work to our advantage. When you're winning, you don't want anything to change, and coaches in particular are very focused on trying to keep everything the same, whether it's the day you go out, the time you go out, the food you eat on the plane."

Which could be a problem for the Giants (5-2), who have won five in a row and trail Dallas by one game in the tough NFC East heading to the midpoint of the season.

Given their momentum, this seems like no time to take a 3,500-mile trip, no time to sit in traffic, no time to not really know how they'll feel physically when they take the field Sunday.

Not that Coughlin didn't try.

A coach so thorough he once took a handheld video camera to the field so he could study frame-by-frame breakdowns of the center-quarterback snap, Coughlin contacted doctors and fitness experts trying to find the quintessential answer for how to handle jet lag on major trips like this.

He had no real luck.

"Things went from one end of the spectrum to the other," Coughlin said. "It wasn't as conclusive as I'd have liked it to be."

So, he went with what he knew: Stay relaxed. Get some sleep on the flight. Go with the flow. Keep smiling.

Remember, they're on this journey for something bigger than just the Giants this week -- or so they've been told.

"To be honest, those kind of questions are beyond me," Coughlin said. "As I've said, normally, it's total tunnel vision. I've expanded that a little bit in this particular area. But still, we're here for one reason and one reason only, and that's to play a very, very important football game. The players are fully aware of what's at stake. We do enjoy the idea of winning."
So they're playing in Wembley. I wonder what our friends across the pond are going to think of the game? I don't think that after the results of last year's game this was the best matchup to market to international fans...next week's Colts v. Cheats would've clearly been a better choice.

Which probably explains why the game hasn't been hyped to the degree that something like this probably should be.

Miami could be up for this game and make something happen despite their cornucopia injuries. This Giants team isn't too different from the one that ended last season in total dissaray, so while Blue looks to roll in this one, I wouldn't count out the Fins just yet.

NFL Network is reporting that they're expecting a full house. That place is a fucking barn. If there's no androgenous metrosexuals playing kickball in there, I don't really see how they can do it, but okay.

Your thoughts??

Late.
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Old 28 Oct 2007, 03:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think its cool...and apparently the reason the NFL went with the Dolphins and the Giants is because their team sites are hit by a lot of UK IP's. Dallas actually gets hit with the most but Jerry Jones refused to do it.

I am conflicted...I always want the Dolphins to win...but another loss would pretty much guarantee Beck will be the starter against Buffalo in 2 weeks...and seeing what he has is all I really have left to look foward to this season.
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Old 28 Oct 2007, 07:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't like the idea of teams having to travel that far for a game. You barely have enough time to prepare for a game already, and having to fly to London would make it so much harder.
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Old 28 Oct 2007, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the game was very sloppy....the crowd was actually a bit into it tho....I think mabey 1 or 2 games a year should be international...but no more than that
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Old 28 Oct 2007, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't blame Jerry Jones for refusing. I wouldn't want to take my team across the ocean to Europe for a regular season game, and that potentially could be a factor in costing us playoff seeding or changing our season.
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Old 28 Oct 2007, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The League approached Randy Lerner about playing abroad and he basically told them to suck his dick.

Late.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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They'll end up sending the chargers to mexico some day. That game was pretty sloppy. Looked like the crowd was spent after the first half.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 01:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That because the crowd doesn't fucking now when to cheer and when not to cheer...
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo
They'll end up sending the chargers to mexico some day. That game was pretty sloppy. Looked like the crowd was spent after the first half.
I'm hoping thats where they'll send the Cowboys if there going to force every team to play somewhere's else.

I didn't watch the game, but my buddy was telling me that too. He said the crowd was so dead.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 08:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Of course the crowd was dead...they're used to sitting around watching soccer, which is typically 3 hours or so of...well...nothing really.

This is football. They were probably dumbfounded with the awesomeness of it all.

It's just a shame that we couldn't have sent a better game...I mean, it's okay in that the British crowd is used to watching soccer...so the game they got was probably 10 times more exciting than anything they'd seen in that stadium since Skid Row performed Get The Fuck Out there back in 1992...but still...if they could've gotten a good game, they might not have needed to "know when to cheer," as it'd have been readily apparent.

Late.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 08:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 73h 61u3
Of course the crowd was dead...they're used to sitting around watching soccer, which is typically 3 hours or so of...well...nothing really.

This is football. They were probably dumbfounded with the awesomeness of it all.

It's just a shame that we couldn't have sent a better game...I mean, it's okay in that the British crowd is used to watching soccer...so the game they got was probably 10 times more exciting than anything they'd seen in that stadium since Skid Row performed Get The Fuck Out there back in 1992...but still...if they could've gotten a good game, they might not have needed to "know when to cheer," as it'd have been readily apparent.

Late.
3 hours? 3 hours?!

90 minutes, 90 minutes, 9 and 0, not even two hours. Of pure entertainment and drama if i do say so. Not a bunch of built men strapped up in gear like they ready for war, running up and down a field with the same team dominating each week. I don't watch often but i when i do i see the same team cleaning house, that must be a drag to watch, very exciting.

As for the game between the Miami Dolphins and The New York Giants. I never caught the game, though i did see a lot of people wearing Miami Dolphins Jersey when i went out that day, it seemed that a lot of people like this team, yet i believe they on a major losing streak. Saw a few wearing Giant's jerseys as well, never even knew we had American football jerseys over here.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 08:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sorry Sly......I forgot the clock doesn't stop in soccer because noone scores.

But I did see a lot of Jersey wearers in the stands...which was weird because in America Jerseys are typically between $80 and $120 and they can go much higher, depending on the type of jersey.

I found it odd that so many Brits would make that much of an investment in a game (that most likely most of) they were seeing live for the first time.

It's possible that the NFL sold them very cheap or even gave them out, writing it off to a marketing expense, but I saw a lot of Jerseys on the telecast, too.

Late.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 08:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73h 61u3
Sorry Sly......I forgot the clock doesn't stop in soccer because noone scores.

But I did see a lot of Jersey wearers in the stands...which was weird because in America Jerseys are typically between $80 and $120 and they can go much higher, depending on the type of jersey.

I found it odd that so many Brits would make that much of an investment in a game (that most likely most of) they were seeing live for the first time.

It's possible that the NFL sold them very cheap or even gave them out, writing it off to a marketing expense, but I saw a lot of Jerseys on the telecast, too.

Late.
You must have watched the American Major League Soccer.

$80 is about £50 to £60, i think people probably went out and bought the jersey for that price. American Football gets a lot of air time over here, funny enough i'm watching a game now, i believe its Denver and the Green Bay Packers. Not sure if its live, maybe its a repeat, but its getting air time regardless. So they is most likley a lot of American Football fans over here. Only the hardcore fans went to that game, tickets were sold out in a heart beat, so those jersey were most likely not handed out, though if it was, meh, i'm sure NFL could spare the cash.
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Old 29 Oct 2007, 09:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I agree with Glue, next weeks Pats vs Colts game would of been a bigger stage for an international US based NFL game rather just seeing the Giants beat up on a pathetic Dolphins team.

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Old 29 Oct 2007, 09:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sly as hell
You must have watched the American Major League Soccer.

$80 is about 50 to 60, i think people probably went out and bought the jersey for that price. American Football gets a lot of air time over here, funny enough i'm watching a game now, i believe its Denver and the Green Bay Packers. Not sure if its live, maybe its a repeat, but its getting air time regardless. So they is most likley a lot of American Football fans over here. Only the hardcore fans went to that game, tickets were sold out in a heart beat, so those jersey were most likely not handed out, though if it was, meh, i'm sure NFL could spare the cash.
Denver and Greenbay is live bro...and 80 dollars is a lot of money for a jersey...even though I'm a big fan of sport...I don't think I can spend that much on a jersey...
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