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  1. #1

    the NFL in London



    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-sh...4012--nfl.html

    On this week in which I utter my annual prayer of thanksgiving that the Ravens are not headed to London to play a regular season game, the link provided is to a Shutdown Corner article with an interesting perspective on the NFL in London.

    Basically it asks "where does the NFL think a London franchise would find 53 competitive players?" With apologies to the British posters on here, I would have to agree w/ the premise of the article. I can think of nothing that would alienate the American fan base and player pool more than a full-fledged franchise located overseas. Nightmare logistics for its away games, as well as for the opponents at that franchise's home games. Short of players from the University of Hawaii, transoceanic team flights are not what the average potential NFL draftee is used to.

    So glad that Pitts. drew the short straw (or whatever) this year and makes the trip in the midst of their potentially epic breakdown of a season. See ya, hope we never have to be ya.

    Your thoughts on the NFL in London, either permanently or in its current annual one-off format?





  2. #2

    Re: the NFL in London

    I'm guessing I'm one of the few fans that would love to see the Ravens play at Wembley. I think it'd be a great excuse for a vacation. Of course, I'm not a season ticket holder either, so I'm not losing out on a game that I paid for if we were picked to be the "home" team. I do think having a single regular season game in the UK is kind of a cool gimmick/draw and I don't mind them continuing it. Expanding it to multiple games is a little much though.

    I do think having an actual team in London is nuts though. I'm sure they could get the players - they'd all be Americans though stocked from an expansion draft and the extra picks from the regular draft. As mentioned though, the big issue would be that it's a logistical and competitive nightmare with the time difference, especially if the London team were playing any of the west coast teams. Then you have to worry about whether the UK would even embrace an NFL franchise - the game is much longer and more stop-start than soccer, and there's no history or deep connection to the city like Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Fulham have. Then on top of that you'd likely have NO English players for the franchise.

    Goodell needs to drop his pipe dream of a London team. Not going to work. Having one game there is fine though.




  3. #3
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    Re: the NFL in London

    I like the idea of playing one or two regular season games a year overseas to promote the NFL world-wide. I would like to see the Ravens play over there as well. Granted, it would suck if it was at the cost of one of our home games, and it certainly should not be a division opponent.

    With that said, there's no way the NFL places a team overseas. You're right that the logistics are to much to overcome. The timezone would not work for national TV. But a few games there a year I think is fine.




  4. #4
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    Re: the NFL in London

    As a Brit, no offence taken. There are very few Brits that think a London franchise would be a good idea (it's been discussed many of times over the years on the NFLUK forum and it's roughly 95% against it each time.).

    I won't go into the logistical nightmares that have been brought up ad nauseum, and no doubt will be by others in this thread, but Brits aren't as dumb as we're made out to be and the majority already have emotional ties with teams and won't stop following the teams they already follow. It's very much in the British psyche that your team is for life, regardless of the sport.

    Of course it's essentially a pointless discussion as it's just Goodell drumming up interest, it'll never actually be a serious proposal.

    When it comes to the Ravens, it would actually be a big advantage to play a road game in London, as it's one less road game (although the home team does get a lot more support than you would think as most neutrals root for them unless they have a vested interest, ie a fan of the road team or divisional rivalries). Bisciotti is said to be interested in taking the Ravens over as the road team, and it would significantly increase the team's following in Europe. Whilst Ravens support is increasing over here, we're still nowhere near the numbers of the successful teams from the 80's like the Niners and Bears, or the Pats and Steelers and their more recent successes.

    I'll be going on Sunday in my Webb jersey in full voice to support the Vikes for the day against the Steelers!
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  5. #5
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    Re: the NFL in London

    Quote Originally Posted by ERey View Post
    I like the idea of playing one or two regular season games a year overseas to promote the NFL world-wide. I would like to see the Ravens play over there as well. Granted, it would suck if it was at the cost of one of our home games, and it certainly should not be a division opponent.

    With that said, there's no way the NFL places a team overseas. You're right that the logistics are to much to overcome. The timezone would not work for national TV. But a few games there a year I think is fine.
    Agreed.

    I'd love to have a chance to see the Ravens in London, as long as it's not a home game.

    And has Goodell actually said he wants a franchise there? Or is he really testing the market? I don't think a team in London is desirable. And I think he knows that. But rekindle NFL Europe and make it a true developmental league? I can see that.
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  6. #6

    Re: the NFL in London

    Is Pittsburgh the "Home" team this year?

    Does anybody know how that works for PSL owners? If (God forbid) the Ravens got picked and designated the "home" team, if I flew to London could I get in Wembley with my regular $70 ticket or would I have to pay more?
    If you break the rules you can't make the rules.
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  7. #7
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    Re: the NFL in London

    Quote Originally Posted by Real Fan Dan View Post
    Is Pittsburgh the "Home" team this year?

    Does anybody know how that works for PSL owners? If (God forbid) the Ravens got picked and designated the "home" team, if I flew to London could I get in Wembley with my regular $70 ticket or would I have to pay more?
    No, the Vikings are.
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  8. #8

    Re: the NFL in London

    In my mind the logistics issues are being overplayed. It's 3K+ miles for East Coast teams to go to the West Coast. It's about 3K+ miles from London to the East Coast. London to the West Coast would be a haul.

    If a team were to be placed in London, it should most likely be paired with another Western European city. That was things 'could' be scheduled for the teams to make two week swings on either side of the Pond and minimize the excess travel. When you start to throw in Thursday and Monday games the scheduling gets a little sticker, as the European teams would not time slot to have home Thursday & Monday night games for the US night time time slot. A late afternoon European game would fall into the East Coast night time time slot.




  9. #9
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    Re: the NFL in London

    Quote Originally Posted by mmi16 View Post
    In my mind the logistics issues are being overplayed. It's 3K+ miles for East Coast teams to go to the West Coast. It's about 3K+ miles from London to the East Coast. London to the West Coast would be a haul.
    Let me guess that you've never flown across the Pond. I did BWI-LHR back in August, and that's an 8-hour stretch; direct to LA or SF from here is 5. More significantly, "jet lag" only seems to have a major impact when crossing more than 3 time zones. I've never had much problem going to the Left Coast (3 zones) but have never been any damn good for about 36 hours after deplaning in Yerp (5-6 zones).

    The biggest problem with expanding the NFL outside of North America is creating a fan base. The NFL would be competing with sports that everyone plays as a kid that require no complex equipment & have no complex rules (soccer, basketball, tennis, golf, motor racing, ice hockey in the colder climes) as well as more complex ones that are played by kids because they are deeply rooted in the particular culture (cricket in the Commonwealth, rugby for them plus the Celts, hurling in Ireland, etc.). US-based complex sports like baseball have really only been successfully spread via expats, commerce & occupation (Latin America, Japan, Korea); football only put down roots in Canada, but even there the rules were significantly altered.

    Which is a long-winded way of saying that the NFL is only going to succeed in Europe when & if there are fathers who played (something like) the sport as kids teaching their kids to play & watching the games with them. That's at least a generation away.

    IMO, if the NFL wants to expand its demographic reach, it should concentrate on Hispanics first in the US and then Mexico & Central America. If it can't sell the game to them, it's got no chance across the Pond.




  10. #10

    Re: the NFL in London

    Meh ... if the Ravens were to play in London, I'd probably use that as an excuse to hop over the Pond for a week's vacation -- two weeks if followed by the bye. While greedy me would prefer that it were a road game to get 9 games in a season, I wouldn't miss anything because I'd still be attending 8 games in a season - not counting any domestic road trips. If the Ravens were to not play there, its no BFD - I can travel to the UK anytime I wanted, although there are still many places in Europe I haven't yet seen which would take precedence.

    I think that the concern about logistics is baloney and fears of players not wanting to play there are just bullshit. Similar concerns when the NFL added SF and LA, which wound up being non-issues despite the media and fans' hysteria.

    Instead of a London franchise, I'd rather see the 17 game season implemented with one rotating neutral turf game - London could receive a handful few of the neutral site games. But if a London franchise were awarded, the NFL may be better off because of the wealth of adding British large audiences to TV viewershp. Sky TV or whatever y'all Limeys use to watch NFL today would be dwarfed by a home-team supported by millions of Brits. And, we Americans who think that Brits would not support American "gridiron" football because soccer is so popular there underestimate British sports enthusiasm.

    The following quote from up above hits the nail on the head:

    Quote Originally Posted by mmi16 View Post
    In my mind the logistics issues are being overplayed. It's 3K+ miles for East Coast teams to go to the West Coast. It's about 3K+ miles from London to the East Coast. London to the West Coast would be a haul.

    If a team were to be placed in London, it should most likely be paired with another Western European city. That was things 'could' be scheduled for the teams to make two week swings on either side of the Pond and minimize the excess travel.
    In a 2003 BBC poll that asked Brits to name the "Greatest American Ever", Mr. T came in fourth, behind ML King (3rd), Abe Lincoln (2nd) and Homer Simpson (1st).




  11. #11

    Re: the NFL in London

    Is Pittsburgh the "Home" team this year?
    Quote Originally Posted by wickedsolo View Post
    No, the Vikings are.
    Is that because the Vikings overan England in the 10th century or because the NFL knows the Yinzers can't speak English?
    If you break the rules you can't make the rules.
    - Remove Coach Tomlin from the NFL Competition committee.




  12. #12
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    Re: the NFL in London

    I hate the London games and wish they would go away.




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