While part of the SBNation family as a writer for Bucs Nation, I also co-run a British NFL blog called The Pulling Linemen. TPL will be at all media events this week for the Jaguars-49ers International Series game, and are delighted to work together with Big Cat Country and NinersNation to bring you reports from the teams' media events, practices and press conferences all week long. All photos courtesy of SBMedia.
Tuesday represented the first real opportunity for the Jacksonville Jaguars to embrace the city that they'll be calling home for at least one week of the next four NFL seasons - a chance to establish the tone of the relationship the team wants to have with the London community for the coming years.
Perhaps it's unfair to expect more - the team had just arrived at Gatwick airport a few hours earlier; the event was attended by the children of just one school, where other recent Play60 events was attended by the children of multiple schools; and for the first few years of the International Series, the accompanying Play60 events were typically attended by only a small contingent of team players. Yet, when compared to the 49ers' event the day before - one we praised for being the largest yet, representing an increased effort by the NFL to involve their star players in the London community and following a trend established by the Rams - the 'home' team's effort couldn't help but be disappointing.
There were, in the team's defense, different circumstances at play: unlike the Rams, Vikings or 49ers events, the team bus did not go straight from the airport to the event, but rather to the team hotel first - and the more cynical among us might wonder if any of those events would have had anywhere near the same level of team involvement if the players had not been ferried directly from the airport to the events; unlike Monday's event by San Francisco, yesterday's event took place during the players' day off - when the 49ers held a similar event in 2010 during the players' day off, they had a similarly small attendance; the event was held at a physically smaller venue as well.
the Maidstone Pumas, that has since expanded to include their local 'rival' teams, the Kent Exiles and the
|DJ Williams poses with Ian Miles, SEYAFF co-ordinator|