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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Live from Wembley Stadium

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

LONDON, England -- Just arrived in Wembley Stadium and it's absolutely fantastic.

Kind of felt like walking into Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, the (old) Boston Garden and Lambeau Field all at the same time. Pretty cool stadium and the crowd's already starting to arrive.

It was kind of interesting to walk from the train station to the stadium entrance and watch the fans. Lots of them wearing lots of different jerseys and it goes way beyond the Chargers and Saints. Walter Payton, Brian Urlacher and the New York Giants seem to be very popular over here.

Also saw a very big guy, wearing a Denver Broncos hat, jacket and a plaid skirt that truly didn't seem to go with the rest of the outfit.

Anyway, back to some football stuff. As I write this, the crews are taking the tarps off the field. Not sure if that's a great idea because there's a steady rain coming down and it still is several hours before game time. It's pretty obvious that, for the second straight year, the NFL is going to rip up some sacred ground.

Very interesting setup for the media. Our seats are outside and I haven't done a game from an outdoor press box since the old RFK Stadium in Washington shut down. But that should add to the atmosphere -- just hope I can keep my computer dry.

The stadium gates haven't been opened to fans yet, but they're living it up outside. There's a New Orleans-themed festival going on that seems to have a good crowd. One other interesting thing here is the televisions in the press room (just behind our seats) are all tuned to the Chelsea/Liverpool soccer game, which is a big change from the usual setup in the United States, where just about every pregame NFL show available is aired.

All right, they tell us we've got field access, so I'm going to head down to the "pitch" and check it out.