On the 21 Oct, 2004 the NFL announced it was winding up the operations of the Scottish Claymores.
A sad day for all United Kingdom American football fans, as it marked the end of the professional game in this country.
I wrote the following poem, to record what the game meant to myself, my wife and family (3 boys and a girl).
Thanks to all those in NFL Europe who were involved in setting up and running the Scottish Claymores franchise.
When you've sat there in the stand more than 10 years ago
with your father by your side , even though he's pretty old
and watched some guy with a Polish name shank every field goal
but still returned
You've been through a season where its like you're never going to win
the passes are dismal, but still you go again
and when the season's over your team is 2 and 8
but you're still there
With ardour still undampened you're back next time around
To celebrate some action with a smaller crowd.
Which ends up getting bigger as the 'hounds' are pretty good
and you join in the barks
From 'the doghouse to the penthouse' to quote a Claymores' player
One successful season and one winning World Bowl later
you're running around the backfields at midnight with your son
You're definitely coming back
The venue being changed just means you travel that bit further
The family getting bigger just means you bring along the brother
whilst following the exploits of those who've been abroad
and wishing you could do the same
To bring along some friends you stop in various places
hang the finance, let's generate some happy faces
as we travel on to Hampden in a car that might just make it
a little late for kickoff
With car full and all the family, and occasionally friends, now coming along
we are out to party and are a dozen voices strong
not caring about the faces that stare at you in the stands
of those who've never been before
To try to stem your team's fate you splash out on some 'futures' offers
even though your money's tight, you try to fill their coffers
because you know you want this team to survive
even if it costs you more
But in the end it makes no odds, the decision wasn't yours
NFL team owners are fickle, only destiny endures
While it's a release of financial pressure, and a burden off your back
You would have carried it further
You thought you wouldn't mind too much because you could see it coming
You guiltily think of ways you could have helped to keep it running
Actually you did your best, don't make yourself feel bad
But it STILL hurts
To the Barcelons Dragons and London Monarchs fans - rather than feel sympathy with your plight, we now understand your pain.