I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It’s been a great one for me, but I’m ready to get back to work. We start training camp later this week and I’m looking forward to it.
I recently got back from my second international trip of the offseason. This one took me over to London. I know a lot of people thought I was over there to check out the Olympics, but unfortunately, I missed them by a few weeks. Actually, the original reason for my trip was to promote the game we’ll be playing over there against the New England Patriots on October 28th.
This will be the sixth straight year that the NFL is playing a game in London, but the first time for the Rams. The NFL sent me over to represent the Rams and do some media for the game before I had to get into the season, and couldn’t make the trip.
Initially, the sole purpose of my trip was to promote the game, but I actually turned it into a family trip and brought along my two sisters, my mom and my dad to allow them to have a family vacation before the season starts, and give them a chance to experience the sights and sounds with me. Obviously, in October when I go back, I won’t be able to do that because I’ll be focused on football.
We always took family vacations when I was younger, but we had never been on an international family trip, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to do so. It worked out perfectly. We had such a great time that we want to try and make this a tradition now, to do an international trip as a family once a year.
We actually started in Rome for a few days prior to London. I enjoyed Rome so much when I went there that I wanted to go back and experience it with my family. I’m a huge fan of Rome. I fell in love with that city.
Leaving Rome, we got into London on Monday night a little later than expected. Our plane was a little late and we had some baggage trouble so we only had a few hours left in the day when we arrived, but the one thing I knew I had to do was see the Tower of London.
We had to kind of rush through it and only spent about 90 minutes there, but I was thoroughly impressed at how well preserved the castle is despite how old it is. It’s still considered one of the royal family’s estates so they still have guards on site. The lawn was fully manicured and there’s a lush garden. Outside you can see the different layers from the dungeon all the way up to where the King stayed almost a thousand years ago. It was cool to see how they took care of their history and preserved it.
MEDIA DAYS AND NIGHTS
I had two days of media requirement on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the days were fully slated.
Each day started at eight in the morning, and I didn’t finish until the evening around 7 or 8 p.m. While I was doing that, my family went out sightseeing and that was cool. It got them out of the hotel, out in the city so when we go back in October they already know what they want to do and what they don’t want to do. I missed out on two days of that, but the major sights and sounds they waited to share with me. We made the best of it.
The first media day in London started at the London Eye, which is a landmark in the city where there is a giant Ferris wheel. It is one of the most recognizable spots in London and from it you can look across the River Thames to see Big Ben and the House of Parliament.
Based on the designs of these buildings and the motifs, I can only imagine how long it took for them to build things like Big Ben. It’s all so meticulously done. The artists and designers must have poured everything they had into getting it done and getting it done right. But how ever long it took, it was time well spent because it’s still standing and as impressive architecturally as anything I’ve seen in person.
I was there for about an hour talking to Sky Sports. They shot some film there of us seeing some of the sights, and getting our reactions of the city view. After we were finished there, we headed back to the hotel where I did a sit-down with Sky Sports and an interview with one of London’s biggest newspapers, The Guardian.
It impressed me how knowledgeable all of the media people were about the game of football, not only about the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams, but all the current events going on in the sport. I don’t think I was giving them enough credit because they really surprised me with how much they knew about the game of football, and how they approached the interviews.
After lunch we headed to a radio studio where I did several interviews with various BBC and Sky Sports stations in the UK From there we went back to the hotel and got a little down time before heading to BBC London for a live interview to complete the first day.
The second day started in another studio where I was on the TalkSport Radio Breakfast Show. Then it was back to the hotel again for print interviews with outlets like the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, Zoo Magazine and the UK versions of ESPN and Yahoo! After lunch we headed to the Sky Sports studio for a live interview on Sky Sports News.
Everyone I talked to was very knowledgeable about the fact that I’ve been in the NFL for quite a long time and successful in my career, the things that I’ve accomplished and the milestones I have coming up. They wanted to know what my thoughts were on the future as far as my legacy and things like that. It wasn’t a question I really expected international reporters would ask.
But their reporters are very straightforward. A lot of times the media here in the U.S. will ask a question one way, and if they don’t get the response they’re looking for, they’ll try to ask the same question in a different way to see if they can get a different answer. The reporters in the UK get straight to the point. When they want facts, they’re gonna ask. It didn’t catch me of guard, but I did notice it as a huge difference between media there and media here, so it was a pretty unique experience for me.
Read part two of Steven’s London Log here.