Personal memories - Steve Ford
The alarm clock does its thing and as I submit it into silence with what I used to dream of being a famed left hook. I feel just a little excited though, for this is not any given Saturday, this is the Saturday I get to play American Football for the very first time and better yet, itís with a bunch of like minded Bucs fans and its against the prawn sandwich scoffing Patriots fans.
The weather is damp and dreary but that does not stop dozens of other UK based Buccaneer fans from turning up to play. I stand watching some keen fans throwing ball in the car park waiting for some kind of instruction when there is a change in the air as a car pulls up and we are drawn to it like flies to a blue light.
People are muttering the words Alstott and Selmon but I think itís going to be lookalikes or some kind of prank and then the Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon steps out and shakes Paul Stewart's hand and walks towards us. I am like the proverbial rabbit in the head lights at this moment and do not know what to do as Paul introduces the man himself.
Before you know it I am having my picture taken with Lee Roy Selmon, Mike Alstott, Shelton Quarles and some dodgy looking cheerleaders that quite frankly, were uglier than Alstott but hey, I was in the zone. NFL films and the Buccaneer network were both filming it all which made it feel extra special.
We went on to prove our superior knowledge of the game over the band wagon Pats fans by shutting them out 14 zip and even played a down or two with Alstott and Quarles. On the sidelines I met some great Bucs UK members including the affable Denis Crawford that I was mildly embarrassed not to recognise at first.
After piling into the Pats mascot the only thing Lee Bromfield said to me was that being from Manchester he went for the mascot's wallet. I didnít have the guts to tell him I went for the b***ocks as he may never want to visit Swindon without a cork depository.
The highlight of the day was clearly meeting the trio of great ex Bucs but I will always remember Mr Alstott playing catch with and scruffing the hair of a couple of young kids in the damp conditions long after the cameras had stopped rolling, Real class.
As for Sunday, it is a sad state of affairs when the highlight of the day was the NFL film crew telling Paul Stewart they were going to make him look good for the cameras. COMIC GENIUS!