Television personality, massive NFL fan and London Warriors safety Vernon Kay has spoken out about his love of playing American football on the eve of BritBowl 2014.
Just days ahead of leading his London Warriors into battle for the fourth year in a row against the London Blitz, Kay described his pride at becoming a key member of Tony Allen’s top-ranked defense.
“This is my fourth year with the Warriors and I love playing football,” Kay admits.
“There is a special bond with the Warriors because we look scruffy on the field and look like a bunch of rag-tag players who are a bit disorganised.
“But as soon as those 11 men step on the field, without a doubt, we’re the best team in Britain.”
Looking to prove Kay wrong on Sunday will be the London Blitz. The Battle of London heads north as the powerhouses from the capital will clash at John Charles Stadium in Leeds with kickoff scheduled for 4.45pm on September 14.
Following the retirement of Fred Boyle and the season-ending injury suffered by Joe Thompson, the Blitz will be led by quarterback by Tim Liechti and former SMU Mustang Ross Hill.
The Blitz won every game during the regular season and playoffs this year, with the exception of a 33-13 defeat at the hands of the Warriors in July. Sunday’s championship game will mark the farewell appearance of playmaking safety and club chairman Ed Morgan.
Starting at safety on the other side of the field will be Kay, who feels he has proven his worth to the Warriors and is not being carried along by his team-mates.
“I’m not wearing a helmet and shoulder pads because I think it’s a nice bit of kit or because I’m going to a fancy dress party,” Kay laughs. “I’m the starting free safety for the London Warriors on the best defense in England. I wouldn’t be there if I was less than capable.”
After back-to-back losses to the Blitz in the BritBowl, the Warriors were crowned national champions in 2013. With the championship monkey off their backs, they have matured as a team and stormed through a perfect regular season before knocking off the Coventry Jets and Tamworth Phoenix in the playoffs.
The Warriors have been dominant from start to finish in 2014. In their eight regular season wins, the Warriors scored 454 points and conceded just 19 in reply. The Blitz were almost as dominant with just one loss to their name and they scored 461 points and conceded just 79.
If he can lift a second successive national championship on Sunday night, Kay will revel in having done so with some very special team-mates at the Warriors.
The Chicago Bears fan and Channel 4 NFL host concludes:
“Joining the Warriors has changed me as a person and made me a better person. Everyone on our roster plays their heart and souls out for the team and that’s addictive.”
Prior to the big Premiership showdown on Sunday, the National Final will take place at 12 noon, pitting the Merseyside Nighthawks against the Edinburgh Wolves.
The Wolves overcame a slow start to the season in order to book a first BritBowl appearance. They suffered early defeats to the West Coast Trojans and Clyde Valley Blackhawks before reeling off nine victories in a row that included two incredible playoff wins on the road, travelling down from Scotland to beat the Watford Cheetahs and Southampton’s Solent Thrashers.
Under the guidance of head coach Don Edmonston, the Wolves scored 424 points at an average of 35.3 points per contest in 2014. They topped the 40-point mark on six occasions and pitched four shut-outs on defense.
The Nighthawks went 8-0-1 in the regular season before dispatching with the Farnham Knights and Shropshire Revolution in the playoffs to reach BritBowl.
Head coach Craig Pennington says:
“Our road to the Bowl started just under 12 months ago after our quarter final defeat at Gateshead. I can’t say enough about the player group this year – they have all listened to their coaches, taken the information on board and have worked really hard to apply it to their game.
“The guys have really bonded well to create a fantastic team atmosphere, always supporting each other and pushing each other to get better.”
Sunday September 14, 2014
John Charles Stadium, Leeds
12 noon – Merseyside Nighthawks vs. Edinburgh Wolves
4.45pm – London Warriors vs. London Blitz
Categories: American Football in the UK