At A Head For The Game we have been working closely with both the NFL UK and Crystal Palace FC and today, well actually, right now, Palace manager Alan Pardew is at Twickenham Stadium watching the LA Rams take on the New York Giants.
Speaking to host broadcaster BBC during a break in proceedings in the second quarter, the Palace manager was intoxicated by the spectacle on show at the famous old rugby stadium.
“Vince Lombardi is a hero of mine,” said Pardew when asked by BBC touchline reporter Caroline Barker about his interest in gridiron. “I’ve always been a fan of American sport and today is a great experience for me because the NFL is all about the marketing and packaging [of the product] and it is an avenue for the Premier League should look at.
“The NFL do a fantastic job; the families and people here are all having a fabulous time – they do a really, really good job.”
Wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap, to go with his collection of American sport hats, Pardew even admitted getting a bit too involved in the sport today.
“I was close to a snap actually,” he admitted about watching from the sidelines in the first quarter. “I was trying to get close to the action [and see the coaching], I tried to get on the pitch a minute ago but I got thrown off,” he said with a smile.
“It’s so different [coaching in the NFL] because the game is so segmented, it’s difficult to try and get any kind of flow to the game, I was trying to watch from the sidelines there and how you would interact [as a coach]; it’s so different – it’s a foreign sport and just a fantastic experience being here today.”
Pardew was close to the kickers practice net, something that one of the stars of the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr. has had a relationship with in recent weeks and the Palace manager has had his experience of dealing with these special players over his career.
“With maverick players you need to handle them carefully,” he said. “There’s a reason why there are a maverick player; they have those tendencies and you’ve got to be very, very careful and make sure they’re motivated and, more importantly, make sure they’re happy.”