Regular readers of my missives may remember that last year myself and compadre – Darren Hall – both rocked up to Wembley for the Broncos vs 49ers International Series game. Darren wrote last years’ blog, so it’s my turn this year.
The wedding was great; family and old and new friends truly making it a day to remember, but – with honourable mentions to Becki, Deano (star of last weeks’ blog!), Mikey, and Josh – Darren and I got no sleep between Saturday morning and late Sunday night.
By the time we hit the train in Portsmouth at 9.15, we already had booze out; cider for Daz, double vodkas for Jode. Proper pikey action on a South West Train first thing on a Sunday morning.
Darren hadn’t drunk for seven weeks, so by the time we arrived in Waterloo the lad was halfway steaming. I knew of a bar in the station where we grabbed another couple of drinks. It’s the same bar DJ C-Kay and drank in before going to the SW4 Festival a couple of months back, and I’ve drank in here so many times I really should know the name of the place by now…
Time to hit the tube, and it doesn’t take us long before we arrive at Trafalgar Square to attend the Tail Gate Party – the warm-up before the game involving thousands of fans, lots of drink, and scantily-clad cheerleaders shaking their pom-poms.
Unfortunately, we arrived a DAY late.
The Bear was the aptly-named pub that we hit next, and the place was awash with Bears jerseys… and Darren’s Green Bay Packers top stuck out like a sore thumb. He was also so lubricated that he decided to start taking the piss out of the biggest, gingerest guy in there – complete in 1985 vintage vinyl Bear bomber jacket.
I staved off Darren’s execution for as long as I could, but Big Red and his quiet friend (who had the air of a killer about him) had taken pity of my pissed-up, pathetic pal, and took us under their wings as we watched Man City DESTROY Man Utd.
Next, we got our stomp on, heading off for Wembley as Darren did his best to insult every Bear we passed, and high-fived every GBP fan we saw.
So, that was roughly 80 insults and two high fives.
He even shouted at a couple of Bears fans over from Italy, who didn’t seem to take it too funny. Cue Negotiator Jode to explain how his slightly backward friend was on day release and please could they not get the Capo Regime to pop a Capo in his ass.
Wembley looms ahead, and I bump into Elliot Day – a fellow islander NFL fan – but we don’t get to chat much as Big Red has got his stomp on and Darren is still firing incendiary remarks to anyone in dark blue.
We reach a section where the security are mob-handed and aren’t letting anyone through at all, so we turn back and head up Wembley Walk again… until I realise I’ve lost Fuck Nut aka Darren.
“Guys, I better go find him,” I say to my two new friends as we shake hands and go our seperate ways.
But I can’t find the pissed-up idiot, not until I become exasperated and look over the wall of the walkway and down into the private section that security wouldn’t let us into.
There was Darren – pissed up, bewildered, and looking very smugly up at me.
“How the hell did you get in there?” I asked.
“I told them I needed a wee.” came his reply.
Security obviously on top of their game, then.
They wouldn’t let me in, however. Luckily, a drunk Darren becomes a brainier Darren.
“Hey, Mr Security Man, sir,” I squeak.
“No chance, mate.” comes the gruff reply.
“But but but my little backwards brother is in there crying!” I state, pointing at a GBP jersey wearer slumped against the wall, crying into his sleeve. “Look,” I add, waving Darren’s driving license in Mr Security’s face. “I’ve even got proof that he’s my brother!”
Guess what? It worked.
I get to Darren and he’s so convincing I tell him to really dry his eyes. Either that or all that cider has caught up with him and he now has the Alcohol Blues.
Our entry into VIP land is short lived and boring. There’s fuck all to do, except get security checked again for the VIP section, and neither of us look like we should be there at all. With shifty looks all around, we scarper up some steps and decide to make our way into the stadium itself.
Our seats are good, as are most of the seats in Wembley, and we’re soon cheering (or in
Daz’s case, spiting abuse) as Jay Cutler and a few more Bears warm up in front of us. The Tampa cheer leaders are hot, but not quite the Gold Rush standards of last year.
The game gets underway, and soon Matt Forte has rushed a 32 yard touchdown into the end zone before us… and suddenly I realise another ambition of mine – to watch the Bears play before my very own eyes.
14-5 at halftime (thanks to a Roy Williams touchdown) and all my dreams are coming true. Add to that a black guy called Trey sat behind us who is quite possibly the funniest commentator I have ever heard and my whole weekend has become one of legend.
Until I realise Darren has fallen aseleep next to me. he had the proper ‘nodding dog’ thing going on, head lolling all over the place like a hippy chick on too much acid.
I consider letting him sleep… until I doze off myself and awake with a start.
Now it’s time to go home.
Three days on the piss, and two days without any sleep take it’s toll on me, and the previously tea-totaller Darren is clearly way too far gone to be of any use to anyone.
So, it’s off home we head, to fall asleep on the train to leave the Bears to score a 21-18 victory.
We’ll be back next year. And we’ll be more prepared.
Probably with some extra sleep!