After a brief spin around Buckingham Palace and other points of interest in London on Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons departed their buses in Trafalgar Square to be met by thousands of NFL fans at the International Series Fan Rally.
The team walked through the crowd, giving high-fives and greeting locals and those who traveled from all over the world for Sunday's game against the Lions.
On stage, Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank, head coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and several star players spoke to the cheering crowd while the rest of the team looked on, took pictures and videos and mingled with fans.
"We've been talking to people throughout the week and they said everybody over here's excited for NFL football," kicker Matt Bryant said Saturday. "I had an idea that a lot of people were into it so to see this... even though people will tell you a lot of people are into it, to come out here and see it is a whole different thing."
Blank thanked the NFL and the London fans for turning out to such a spirited event and reminded London fans, dressed in jerseys from a wide array of different teams, that the Falcons would be the home team at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Wide receiver Roddy White made sure to tell fans to be real loud when the Lions have the ball and real quiet with the Falcons have it before turning on his British accent to introduce Matt Ryan — something the crowd enjoyed hearing.
"I think (football in London) is going in a great direction," defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said. "I think eventually London will have an NFL team."