LONDON—You know what's nice? A long evening stroll along the Thames… Even if said walk was unplanned.
Yes, like a London rookie (which in fact I am), I got on the wrong train, leading to a decision of A. get on yet another train—and risk being wrong again—or enjoy a mile-and-a-half walk along the Thames. I chose the latter, and it was rather lovely. And in my defense, there are two different Northern lines on the tube that pick up at the same station, which seems like a bad idea. On the plus side, I'm sure my high school English teachers would be happy to know I saw Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Anyway, before heading into London Friday evening, it was a normal—or as normal as things can be when this far away—Friday practice for the Seahawks.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said his team seems to be handling the time change well enough, noting, "It seems like we're doing all right. The way everybody's operating, we're doing fine. I think a lot of guys woke up in the middle of the night but it seemed like they managed it okay."
Part of the adjustment period for players was a team event on Thursday evening at a nearby Topgolf location. On Friday, players did have the option of heading into London for a bit, either by bus, or if feeling more adventurous, on the train with players from the Saracens Academy rugby team serving as guides.
"It's obviously a business trip," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "We did have some fun last night, we got to go and play Topgolf so we could see who could hit it and who couldn't. That was fun doing that and being on teams. It's just great team bonding stuff. It's been mostly the work and everything else getting ready for the game."
One highlight after practice was hearing Rob Staton from the BBC go over British slang/naughty words with 710 ESPN Seattle's Dave Wyman and Jessamyn McIntyre. For example, saying something is "bollocks" is generally bad, but describing something as "the dog's bollocks" is good. We were all in agreement that the term "dodgy" needs to make its way into American English, and we also covered some other words that won't be repeated here.
The Seahawks welcomed 12s from everywhere to London's Barrowboy & Banker pub for a Blue Friday rally on October 12, 2018 ahead of the team's Sunday matchup against the Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium.
In London, after that long, unintentional walk, I checked in on the Blue Friday rally at the Barrowboy & Banker, and if the huge line to get in didn't give away how big the Seahawks' following in London has become, then the frequent "Sea-Hawks!" chants inside the bar did the trick.
At dinner, I ordered fish and chips (when in Rome, right?) but unlike what we're used to in the states, this wasn't a few small pieces of fish, but rather one huge filet—it might have been a whole fish, minus the head and tail—fried and served with chips. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty, just not what I was expecting.
During a cab ride, Jen Mueller and I learned about "the knowledge," which is the test local cab drivers have to pass to get their license. Our driver explained it's usually a three-year process to get that license, and the test requires them to be able to navigate the city without any maps or GPS devices.
Based off of my first tube experience, it's probably safe to say I'd need more than three years to pass that test.
Team photographer Rod Mar shares exclusive images from the Seahawks' second day in London as the team prepares to take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.