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Bears say they enjoyed British invasion

Chicago Bears v TampBay Buccaneers

Chicago Bears v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Updated: January 23, 2012 3:19AM

Any road trip is good when you win. So, not surprisingly, the London part of the Bears’ overseas trip drew rave reviews from the players.

‘‘It was a very fun experience,’’ punter Adam Podlesh said. ‘‘It was something you don’t get to do every day. And you don’t get to play in a stadium that we might not know too well in the States, but it’s a pretty big deal around here.

‘‘That was a big honor to be able to play at Wembley Stadium and experience a city I had never experienced before and became pretty fond of after being here a few days.’’

Podlesh and teammates took a tour of London’s famous sights, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. But his best memory was ‘‘the people we hung around with. The people around England were very, very friendly,’’ Podlesh said.

‘‘People think that coming from the States and going to different countries, there might be a stigma on Americans. But walking around and talking to the people in the city, they were very, very friendly.’’

Linebacker Brian Urlacher was adamant about the London game being a ‘‘business trip.’’ But even he got more out of it than that.

‘‘The whole thing was cool,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘I was not looking forward to it — traveling and playing so quick. But our schedule was good. Guys weren’t tired. We got enough rest on Friday and Saturday night.

‘‘They gave us some time off [Saturday] to cruise around and see London. It was fun. The stadium was cool. It was loud out there, a lot of fans. So it was a good experience.’’

The game drew 76,981 fans, and they cheered a squirrel when it went into the end zone but also knew enough to cheer when Matt Forte was tackled in the end zone for a safety.

‘‘It was great,’’ wide receiver Roy Williams said. ‘‘We had a squirrel on the field, a streaker on the field. I think the fans enjoyed the wave more than they enjoyed the game. It was a great experience. The people are very nice. The food’s great — fish and chips.’’

Williams said he would love to return to London, but not to play a football game.

‘‘I think other NFL teams need to experience this,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve had our run. Another team should come in and experience it.’’

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