NFL Browns v Vikings 29th October 2017

Well I totally got the bug last time  and decided to go to yet another game of NFL but this time at Twickenham rather than Wembley and there are pros and cons with both but essentially the one thing they have in common is that they are both a brilliant spectacle for the supporters. My wife, cousin and his Viking supporting wife got to go this time

Firstly Twickenham is a little awkward to get to by public transport. It seems to takes a few connection from basically anywhere and the queues from the station to stadium are long and slow BUT there’s plenty of good food along the way if you’re peckish. They even handed out these little american football stress balls and they were fun throwing around, I thought this has got the potential for disaster later and yep sure enough a few got slung at the mascot but all in good spirit and no harm done….. well at least I think so
So inside the stadium the seats were AMAZING and we even had a little ledge to put our many many beers on and the view was brilliant. I would say the view seems better vs Wembley.
I am not yet expert enough to run commentary on the game in much detail but the Browns had a real go in the first half despite pre match talk of a whitewash and were still in the game but you just felt the Vikings had something else left in the tank, and so it proved as they ran out eventual winners 
But during the 2nd half the ground got colder and colder and we were absolutely freezing. I ended up buying a hat ( Redskins as is my team so apologies to Browns/Vikings fans – blame the 1980s and poor decision making )

Final points of interest 
1) No cheerleaders – what was that all about? Is this a Cleveland thing as they were the home team?

2) The mascot – he was hilarious and brilliant entertainment. I couldn’t help but grab a selfie with him #DawgPound 


3 – Congratulations Minnesota Vikings who deserved the victory and I think the expression is #SkolVikings 
Seriously don’t miss out next season and get yourself to one of the games, it’s great fun and my love for the game is well and truly back 
It’s been emotional 

Stylish Smithy 

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24th September 2017 NFL Wembley – Jacksonville Jaguars v Baltimore Ravens 

Another weekend another sporting event and this time it was the NFL at Wembley. Obviously it was slightly overshadowed at the beginning with the Trump vs Players shenanigans at the national anthem but luckily it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm from the 80,000 plus crowd. In fact during the anthem it was quite the spectacle 

As a sport NFL is right up there as one for the fans. When watching it on the TV you can get bored at the breaks with the seemingly endless runs of TV commercials but in the stadium there is always something going on. If it’s not cheerleaders it’s massive beach balls in the crowd or T-shirt cannons firing T-shirts into the arm stretched supporters. It’s amazing how after a few beers how badly you want a T-shirt you’ve never seen before 😂
Also we played American Football bingo, essentially you cross off every team shirt you see in the crowd until every team has been covered. Nobody won so by that rationale I can only assume that the most unpopular side in London are the Buffalo Bills…… not a single shirt did we spot

The game was totally one sided ( despite experts saying the Ravens would win easily ) and the Jaguars or Jagwars in an American accent won 44-7 with the Jaguars Tight End Marcedes Lewis scoring 3 touchdowns.
All in all it’s a great day out and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s so American in every detail. You can buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the ground, you drink Bud outside the ground. The hot dogs were longer than my arms and the nachos had that disgusting tasteless melted cheese that is only popular in the US
I had to get an NFL shirt before I went and as a Redskins fan from 30 years ago I kept my loyalty, frankly the whole crowd wears an American football kit, cap or related apparel and failure to do so makes you look the the bloke who didn’t wear fancy dress to a party when everyone else did.

If you want one you need to shop for an official shirt, there are a lot of cheap alternatives that aren’t worth the risk so only shop here

http://m.europe.nflshop.com

On the way home I met a load of Ravens fans that had actually flown in from Baltimore and I said “you must be gutted?” They replied “noooo we’ve had a great time coming to London for the football” 

It was that moment I realised that the overseas games are a great idea for the sport and allows Americans the chance of a holiday as well as following their heros in sport. What’s not to like?

Hurry as there are still tickets for Twickenham game available, I’d hate you to miss out ( avoid the Nachos )

It’s been emotional 

Stylish Smithy

Foo Fighters – O2 Arena 19th September 2017

For me there are 2 live bands that are quite simply the best on the planet right now and I’ve seen them both in the last 3 months. Radiohead is one of them but for pure entertainment and a sing/scream back catalogue look no further than the Foo Fighters

They just get better with age like a fine wine and last night they were determined to rock the place to its foundations.
Dave Grohl was at his impish best and drops the f bomb in such a way that it’s not in the slightest offensive and creates an involuntary response of “YEAH!!!!” to anything he actually says.

The set list was as follows

I’ll Stick Around

All My Life

Learn to Fly

The Sky Is a Neighborhood

La Dee Da

The Pretender

These Days

Rope (extended outro Fleetwood Mac Black Magic Women)

Tie Your Mother Down(Queen cover) (Band intros during first verse )

Cold Day in the Sun

Congregation

Walk

Dirty Water

Make It Right (live debut)

My Hero

Breakout

Skin and Bones

This Is a Call

Run

White Limo

Arlandria

Times Like These

Sunday Rain

Monkey Wrench

Never Gonna Give You Up (with Rick Astley)

Best of You

Everlong

As you can see it was pretty extensive and rolled back the years as well as adding in some new stuff which actually sounds better live than on the album but a dare say a bit of emotion drove me to that decision given the occasion.

For the record and as an example of the way the Foo Fighters love their audience some random shouted “White Limo” so they abandoned the set list and started playing it, class.

Grohl then whipped the crowd up continuously asking if they could out sing him? He replied “no you can’t and I’ll buy every one of you a f***ing drink if you do!” Which of course creates the response mentioned earlier in my blog “YEAH!!!!” ………..incidentally I’d like to think I had a good go and have no voice this morning so if you are reading this Mr Grohl I’ll have a Large Gin & Tonic mate, thanks.

My Hero is always the point in a Foo Fighters gig when they start to kick in and the crowd gets involved and last night was no exception. It’s such a brilliant tune and the whole crowd were belting it out with the band.

Towards the end there was a very weird twist with a rendition of “Never gonna give you up” with Ricky Astley, yeah that’s right the Stock Aitkin and Waterman 80s crooner Rick Astley!!!!! Grohl again was brilliant in his introduction “I’ve only just met this f***ing guy!” Followed by Rick they screaming an F bomb response to the crowd before flying into the track…… I hate to admit it but it kinda worked and of course I knew the words too ( not my proudest moment )

They then obviously finished with Everlong and we were done, apart from a kebab and chips on the way home

I got a quick Video of the end of “times like these” to share the quality but was too busy enjoying myself to stand holding my mobile all night…… this is the Foo Fighters….

This pic of the “man” is a bit sketchy but it just highlights his stage presence as he flies across the stage like he’s doing his first ever gig and head bangs to guitar riffs like he’s in ecstasy 

If you get the chance to go and see them please do, it’s not cheap but a band like this command the respect and premium cost and they appreciate it and in return give you a memory that lasts for ever!!!!

It’s been emotional 

Stylish Smithy

England v W Indies at Lords – Saturday 9th September 2017

For all sports fans who love nothing more than a full day with good company in a safe and comfortable environment then look no further than a day at the cricket at Lords. My friend and his family are members and always invite us and we were lucky enough to get into the full rebuilt Warner Stand and whilst it’s lost a little bit of its old charm it’s still a great place to watch sport

As you look at the picture above we were in the upper tier and for reference the further right you go as you see it, the more restricted the view is as the adjoining stand juts out just a tad, well worth knowing but anyway, why test cricket I hear you cry…..?
Well for starters everyone is allowed to bring a bottle of wine/champagne or 2 x 500ml cans in with them and as much food as you wish so despite a riches of food choices available in the venue you don’t have to break the bank and instead have a constant picnic with your friends…… what is not to like so far?
So we were a party of 7, should have been 8 but somebody always drops out right??? ( Baby sitter issues in this instance ) so as you can now start to picture in your minds that’s 5 bottles of champagne and 2 bottles of red wine and oversized cool bags crammed full with sandwiches, crisps, pork pies, scotch eggs, sausage rolls, cakes and finally cheese and biscuits 

So about the test match itself, it was slightly in the balance until the 1st over of the day and Jimmy Anderson took on from where he left off the day before and took wickets throughout the morning and eventually returned figures of 7 for 22 runs off 20.1 overs which quite frankly is staggering but with the overcast conditions being perfect for the bowler not totally surprising….. he really is the best bowler in the world with traditional English conditions.
This left England with a very simple chase of 107 to win. Ordinary a simple chase but with the amount of wickets falling over the last few days  we did have a small amount of risk but in the end England were comfortable and finished with 107 for the loss of 1 wicket ( Cook ) and the real positive was Stoneman (40) and Westley (44) both not out when slightly out of nick in the series.

We also said farewell to the legend that is Henry Blofeld from radio commentary as this was his last test and his lap of  was met with cheers and tears for the great man. I can honestly say were it not for my grandad in person and Blowers on the radio my love for cricket would probably not exist. So from a personal note “Thanks Blowers”

As the crowds filtered out we fueled by champagne and wine ( and the odd beer ) made idiots of ourselves around the statues batting and bowling as you do then made our way back to St Johns Wood tube station and home.
Trust me cricket is a great day out either as a group of lads, ladies or friends and partners and Lords is not called the home of cricket for nothing. It is pure class, stewards are friendly and you can’t fail to have a great day. 

Go on – try it

It’s been emotional 

Stylish Smithy

What to wear with a Navy Suit

This is a very shot and sweet blog on Navy suits. I see many people in my office, on the commute, at weddings who just always seem to make a mess of wearing a navy suit. 

The rules are fairly simple and is illustrated perfectly in the image below ( which is not my image but a generic rule of thumb )

The rules are simple 
1) There is no need and I mean NO need for black accessories and that isn’t exclusive to just watches, belts and bags but more importantly shoes.

2) Everything should match, i.e. tan shoes = tan belt

3) pocket square and tie needs to contrast, doesn’t always have to match although I try to get close but it has to work together. That’s a bit vague I know so best bet if your. It sure….. ask someone.  

I told you it would be a short blog and with winter coming up remember a simple trench coat that also follows these rules is keytoo. You don’t have to spend a fortune on it but it looks so much better than a Parker ( you know you’ve done it )

ASOS again is the best place to go and here you can see what’s about 

http://m.asos.com/men/jackets-coats/cat/?cid=3606&refine=attribute_989:4890&currentpricerange=15-600&pgesize=50

I hope this helps 

It’s been emotional 

Stylish Smithy 

Asos Skinny Chinos – the smartest cheat on the market

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE loves a bargain and here is the best cheat I can give you. I selfishly didn’t want to share this one as I don’t want ASOS to ever sell out but I’m feeling in a generous mood.


So where to start? Well firstly ASOS are very good at what they do. It’s not just the speed and efficiency they demonstrate from order to delivery although that is extremely quick but it’s also the customer service they provide. The bag it’s delivered in can be reused with self seal closure and the returns sticker is idiot proof and they should be commended for that but anyway…….. the chinos…..

They are perfect for smart casual at work with an open neck shirt, playing golf ( material has a bit of stretch for picking the ball out of the hole ) but also they look amazing with a shirt, blazer and a smart shoe   Although the pic below are not the ones I have recently purchased they are a sand pair also from ASOS of course
So here are the recently purchased ones..
They really are the most all round accompanyment to any wardrobe and I haven’t even told you the best bit yet, they cost £34 for the pair!!!! That’s right just THIRTY FOUR POUNDS

That’s just £17 each!!!! BARGAIN

Dress them up with a blazer, shirt and brogue or loafer, dress them down with a tee-shirt and pumps or sport them up with a polo shirt and golf shoe, either way they look good
So where can you get them

http://www.asos.com

Or more precisely…….

http://www.asos.com/men/trousers-chinos/cat/?cid=4910&refine=attribute_989:6205|attribute_934:2286|brand:53&currentpricerange=10-140&pgesize=36

Enjoy your purchase and as I said earlier for a great quality, excellently fitted trouser and a ridiculously low price look no further

It’s been emotional

Stylish Smithy

Tan/Brown Formal Work Shoe Review – Kurt Geiger

I must admit I am not a fan of black shoes as they always seem to dial down the sharp look of a suit or nice pair of trousers with their modest styling. So by default I am a massive fan of Tan and Brown and always make sure I have a good pair of both each season.

I used to wear Hudson and occasionally still do but always seem to wear the heel down so this season and last I made the decision to buy some Kurt Geiger shoes and I have not looked back.

I am going to share my review of 2 pairs and firstly the tan shoe. I chose Kurt Geiger “Oliver” shoe.

Firstly look at the sleek style of this, it’s just perfect for the smart-casual look like chinos, shirt and jacket. It’s 5 eye lacing looks great and they are incredibly comfortable to wear.
The detail on the heel is really classy and is just that extra piece of styling that makes these shoes that little bit special. ( sometimes it’s the small things in life that we love )

They retail at £79.00 and are available in black too if that’s your preferred choice but the Tan ones as mentioned are pretty special.

Then there is the smarter shoe in my opinion and my real favourite and that is the Anthony Oxford shoe. It’s a real thing of beauty and with its premium brown leather sets it’s self of nicely with a sharp suit.

The Anthony has a similar 5 eye lacing and I love the detail in this area, makes it come alive from the rest.
The toe is classic and has a stacked heel too and are very comfortable to wear all day such is the comfort of the leather used. Again available in black and retails at £89 but as you know it’s all about the brown shoe for me.
They are available in stores and online http://www.kurtgeiger.com and the Oliver is £79 and the Anthony £89 with a £3.50 UK delivery charge on line

I hope you like them as much as I do and this helps with a search for a great pair of Tan and Brown shoes

Happy hunting and stay smart people

It’s been emotional

Stylish Smithy

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