Dispatches from London - While Redskins Insider JP Finlay is in London covering the 'Skins game against the Bengals on Sunday, he will occassionally provide a first-person account of the sights and sounds from the British capital.
LONDON — The trip started in an Uber headed due north, as the Tottenham practice facility made for an hour long trip from central London. With the Redskins still in Ashburn, spending the day working on a TV story with Tottenham was not a bad way to do it.
For those uninformed, Tottenham Hotspur is one of the best soccer clubs in England, and in turn, the world.
After speaking with their press office last week, photographer Mitch Tischler and I headed to Enfield to watch their practice and talk with players.
The newly built facility was incredible; it looked like something out of Star Wars. Gleaming white stone and walls of glass. A sprawling campus with more soccer fields than I could count, the Spurs took the field and warmed up.
Much like watching NFL practice, we didn't get to watch much. Within about 15 minutes the PR staff escorted us off the field. From there, we waited about an hour and then walked to a side field.
Then we got hit with a pretty big surprise. Former NBA point guard and future Hall of Famer Steve Nash was practicing with the Spurs as part of an NBA-UK promotion. After practice, we all hit an auxiliary field and watched as Nash and Spurs players Christian Eriksen and Victor Wanyama tried a wild array of trick shots - with both soccer and basketball skills on display.
Pretty cool day - attended Tottenham Hotspur practice - Steve Nash did tooPosted by JP Finlay on Thursday, October 27, 2016
It was pretty nuts.
From there, we left Enfield to head to White Hart Lane, the club's north London stadium. The scene was a zoo; Tottenham is building a new stadium on the same grounds as the current park.
As cool as practice was - and it was really cool - White Hart Lane was even better. We got to meet with and talk to Ledley King, a former Spurs captain and English National Team player. King was a great interview with a lot of cool international perspective on the globalization of sports.
But more than that, King was a genuine good dude. Super nice and easy to speak with, and funny too. Probably the highlight of hanging with King and Spurs PR staffer Tony Stevens came where we were talking NFL.
King and Stevens were wondering if kickers ever have to make tackles, and how that goes. Mitch and I explained it rarely goes well, and to highlight our point, we showed the clip of Sean Taylor destroying Brian Moorman in the Pro Bowl. In unison, King and Stevens went full "ooooohhhhhhhhh" as we watched the hit a few times.
As ridiculous as this day was, it wasn't over. Clinton Portis arrived and we toured the stadium, going in the locker room and out on the pitch. Yeah, that's right, the pitch.
Tottenham plays a home game on Saturday, and we're hoping to attend.
As far as London goes, the only real drawback is the traffic. I live in and drive around DC all day, I know bad traffic, and London is bad. Also, between practice and the stadium and the traffic, I didn't eat all day, which made me quite hangry. But that's my problem, not London's.