Pats land in London Town
While most New England Patriots fans were nestled in their red and blue pajamas early Friday morning, the players they love were getting off a double-decker plane across the pond as the team landed in London, where it will play the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
“It’s London,” said Pats coach Bill Belichick when asked how this year compares to when the team was in England in 2009. “A little overcast, some traffic — it’s like everybody is up and at it this morning.”
According to Belichick, while playing in London does involve a solid amount of travel time, he does not anticipate it disrupting the team. Belichick, as well as quarterback Tom Brady, brought up the team’s trip to Seattle earlier this season as an example of how the team handles traveling far distances.
“That was basically the same distance, just opposite direction,” Brady said. “We played decent football for most of that game and then the lead kind of [slipped] away there at the end.”
When asked if the team would do anything other than play football while in England, Belichick said the team would see how things went over the next few days.
“Yeah, as long as I get to take a guided tour bus or something that will be enough for me,” said punter Zoltan Mesko.
While some of the players look forward to some tourist time, others expressed views that the time in England is about business.
“It’s a business trip, absolutely,” said defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. “We’re coming over here to win, but at the same time we’re in a different country. This place has a lot of history. So, the little time you do have, if you can get out, you just do a little touring. You just can’t lock yourself up.
“I’m not like that. Get your fresh legs, walk around, see the city a little bit… and still be ready to go on Sunday.”
For some of the players, the excitement rests in playing in front of, what they consider, a great football fanbase.
“It’s always great to come over here and play,” said linebacker Jerod Mayo. “I feel like this is a home game for us. This is old England that’s cheering for New England. It’s a good time.”