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NFL Diary London 2013: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Minnesota Vikings
Josh Modaberi, The American's roving sports reporter, meets the teams

The NFL hits London again this week for the annual International Series regular season game. This is the seventh NFL game to be staged in London and it is going to be a first for both teams that grace the Wembley turf on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Minnesota Vikings.

Since the NFL started playing regular season games at Wembley in 2007 the British public have taken to the sport in their thousands. Each game has been a sell out and this game between the Steelers and the Vikings is the first of two NFL regular season games to be staged in London this season.

Here's what the teams have been up to in the lead up to the big game.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Vikings players with schoolkids, London 2013
Vikings players with schoolkids, part of the NFL's Play 60 scheme, London 2013
Day two of the Vikings preparations ahead of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers saw me travel to the luxury Grove Hotel where the team were staying and training.

As well as a host of British and American press in attendance was British Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo watching the first training session as the players did numerous drills ahead of Sundays clash at Wembley. It was a great experience to see athletes at the top of their game performing at such close range and getting t see the players in a relaxed atmosphere.

I managed to grab a word with Anthony to find out what he made of the training session: "It was really interesting to get up close and personal with the Vikings players today. I'm a big fan of all sports and really appreciate what they do and I'm looking forward to the game on Sunday.

"I had a chat with some of the players and they are really nice guys, I was asking them some questions and they were talking to me about boxing. I'm going to be cheering for the Vikings on Sunday and hopefully they win."

Head coach Leslie Frazier said: "We are looking forward to having a good week of practice, the people here have been so friendly and kind to us and we don't feel as removed from home as you would think. This is an opportunity for the whole team to come together and hopefully it will jump start our season."

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

After arriving in the UK at 9.15am there was no rest for the wicked as the Minnesota Vikings players and cheerleaders headed straight to Wembley as they spent lunchtime with some of the local school children as part of the NFL's Play 60 scheme answering the children's questions and going though some drills with the kids.

The Vikings arrive in London having not one a game yet this season with a record of 0-3 but the players seemed to be in a positive mood and see this London game as the kickstart to their season.

Adrian Peterson the Vikings Running Back said: "We have just come off the plane and feeling a bit of the jetlag. For us it's time to get a W on the board and that is our focus, this is not a vacation for us we have come here to do a job."

Tight End Kyle Rudolph added: "It's good to come over here and spread the brand of the NFL, it's definitely a privilege and I'm excited. It's extremely important to teach kids at a young age to be active especially now days when all of the video games and things like that are readily available and you have to compete with their time. Kids twang to do what they want to do and if you can get them having fun being active then hopefully we can get these kids out and doing things."


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