For the first time ever, the U.S. National Football League will stage a regular season game in Europe. The venue for the Sunday clash will be London's new Wembley stadium. Tom Rivers has detail from London.
Here in Britain, football is king. International-style football that is, or what Americans call soccer. But now, anticipation is growing for the arrival Sunday of a special game that most Britons have only seen on television, professional American-style football in a regular season contest that counts.
The contest pits the New York Giants against the Miami Dolphins. After doing most of their game preparation in the United States during the week, the two teams arrived in London early Friday morning.
For many of the players, the immediate concern was jet lag, but not for New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
"Mine is already gone," he said. "I grew up in Germany so I slept on the plane. I am up. I did not take a nap. I am not going to take a nap. I do not plan on going to bed early."
This is the first trip to England for some players. However, Miami Dolphins kicker Jay Feely was over three times before when he played soccer as a teen.
Coming over here was an eye opening experience and hopefully it will be in reverse here as we come over as football players. It will be eye opening for English fans.
Because of their busy schedule, the teams only have a few hours of leisure time in the British capital. Miami quarterback Cleo Lemon says his wife is setting out their tourist itinerary.
"I let my wife do that," he said. "She took care of that for us and she will drag me around and we will have a bit of fun but at the same time, we take care of business at the same time also."
For Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin, whose team has strung together five consecutive wins, a victory on Sunday is the most important part of the trip.
"We are here for one reason, and one reason only and that is to win a football game," he said.
But Coughlin understands the historical significance as well.
"We are very proud to be here," he added. "We are very proud, the New York Giants are very proud to be a part of this first ever regular season game played out of North America. We are proud to be a part of that."
Miami Dolphins Head Coach Cam Cameron says it is a privilege to be part of the historical contest.
"I am excited to be here. Our players are excited to be here. I have tried to let them know the venue that we are playing in - Wembley stadium - they are going to be excited once they walk in the stadium," he said.
Miami has had a tough season so far. They are winless in seven games. Kicker Jay Feely says this change of setting may be just what they need to get out of the rut.
"I think for us in our situation, it is probably a good distraction," he said.
Dolphins' quarterback Lemon could not agree more, but he says it is also about selling the game itself to a brand new audience.
"It is a big deal. We want to come over and get our first victory but at the same tine give the fans something to root for," he added. "Show them some good American football and go out and have some fun."
A capacity crowd of 88,000 is expected. League officials say they could have sold three times that number.
If it all goes according to plan, more regular season contests could be heading here in the coming years and that would suit the fans, who are more accustomed to soccer, just fine.