Stafford and Megatron: Living the life in Bagshot

Calvin Johnson (right) goes incognito at the Lions’ practice Thursday. (Matt Dunham/AP photo)

Calvin Johnson (right) goes incognito at the Lions' practice Thursday. (Matt Dunham/AP photo)

Calvin Johnson (right) goes incognito at the Lions’ practice Thursday. (Matt Dunham/AP photo)

London — If anything, the Detroit Lions’ England HQ is even swankier than the Atlanta Falcons’. It’s the Pennyhill Park Hotel outside Bagshot, and if you’re within spitting distance of Bagshot … well, you’re in clover.

Megan, our indispensable guide, noted that Bagshot is something of “a one-horse town,” but apparently the horse is Secretariat. Edward and Sophie — “a couple of the lesser Royals,” Megan said — live at Bagshot Park, and the next town over is Sunningdale, which has both a Rolls-Royce dealership and a quaint little train station, the latter of which was used by me this afternoon on the journey to London’s Waterloo Station and by several Detroit Lions on Tuesday.

Matthew Stafford, once a Georgia Bulldog, was among them. Was he recognized in the city? “I haven’t given anybody any reason to recognize me,” he said, speaking at the Lions’ media availability today. “Nobody recognized me on the train.”

Someone asked if Stafford — which is a rather common British name — had any relatives in the U.K. “Not that I know of,” he said. Then he laughed. “Maybe I’m a Lord.”

Calvin Johnson also did the Sunningdale-to-Waterloo trek, and he said nobody in London recognized him, either. (Which is kind of hard to believe, since the Georgia Tech product is 6-foot-5 and among the NFL’s most famous players.) Told that some Londoners had indeed recognized the Falcons’ Julio Jones, Johnson said, “They’re the home team.”

Johnson also expressed hope that his sore ankle, which kept him from playing the Lions’ past two games, will have healed enough that he’ll be able to play against the Falcons in Wembley. “It might go all the way to Sunday,” Johnson said, meaning a go/no-go decision.

An Atlanta writer (blush) felt the urge to ask Stafford if he was in the #FreeGurley camp. He played it straight down the middle, saying: “I really don’t know much about the case, but the sooner they get him back on the field, the better they’ll be.”

I believe that falls under the heading of “Duh.” But Stafford never was much of a comedian. Pretty good quarterback, though.

From myajc: Matthew Stafford – from wild flinger to game manager?

Reader Comments 0

17 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

Whoa, dude, for a while there I noticed lots of sleep aid ads on the internet. Why would anybody spend $ on a bottle of bills when they could just read one of your posts?


Mark Brat Lee the Ambien of bloggers.


Yawn.

Londonjacket
Londonjacket

Mark - I am the Atlanta native, Georgia Tech grad who has been living here in London for 22 years!  Do you fancy meeting for a beer while you are here?

ALso to all of yo in Atlanta -I have two extra tickets for the game Sunday (I am going) and would happily make these available to any Falcon fans who feel like juping on a Delta flight an heading over.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

WOW 2 GEORGIA PLAYERS MAKING NOISE IN THE NFL, SOMEBODY NEED ASK TD ABOUT GEORIA PLAYERS.


GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



BravesFan79
BravesFan79

You should write more articles on the Lions.  Considering the UGA to GT combo is the most entertaining to watch in all of football.    Cheers to the Lions winning the Super Bowl!    Theve been my 2nd favorite team for years now.  

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

I feel so much more continental after reading your columns this week Mark.  Don't know if that is good or not. 

OH-IO
OH-IO

Living the dream in Detroit

MesaDawg
MesaDawg

@OH-IO They think so much of Stafford in Detroit that GM decided to name a car after him, The "Mattcedes".  

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I keep hearing this thing about the "Falcons have no real Identity" etc. Well, I believe we've solved that problem. The fact that this team always maintains we'll never sign the Richie Incognito types or Dez Bryant types or Michael Sams of the world tells me we DO have a clear identity:

The Atlanta Falcons are the Vanderbilt of the NFL - a team that accepts the fact that they are going to lose a majority of their games but at least will do it in a classy manner! That's why other teams view us as soft and this is our true identity around the NFL.

Go Vanderbilt Go!!

Dawggie
Dawggie

@TreeRollins  "....Michael Sams of the world..."

*******************************************************

Good Lord, so you really want the Falcons to sign a guy who isn't talented enough to make a NFL practice squad?

TreeRollins for GM!

zuzu331
zuzu331

St.Louis and Dallas looked at their rosters,and cut him. So...your point is...?

Ruffski
Ruffski

Hope you got yer track shoes on, Matt... DET will bring some pressure.

gfw
gfw

The Falcons had better recognize Calvin on Sunday.  Tip to coaches: Do NOT put Alford on him.  Glue Truffant to him and cross your fingers.