If you’re like me, you’re probably thanking the NFL for putting on such an outstanding show in London on Sunday, when the New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins 27-14. I’m not one that wants to see an NFL franchise or the Super Bowl in London. I have nothing against London. In fact, I hope to go there for a visit someday. But, games played so far in London have seemed disjointed, and having a franchise over there would seemingly be worse. Especially, for a road team. But, yesterday’s game might make the NFL product a bit tougher to sell to the British.
The game was played between two of the worst teams in the NFL over the last several years, and they didn’t disappoint. The game had 23 penalties and took three and a half hours to play. Penalties have become a big problem across the NFL, and those penalties in addition to the mediocre play on the field made for a real snoozefest of a game. Of course, soccer (football) is the sport of choice in Britain. In case you haven’t seen a game of soccer, the clock doesn’t stop. Even when there are penalties in soccer (yellow or red card), the clock doesn’t stop. There is a period of ‘run-off time’, after 90 minutes of soccer are complete to make up for stoppages of play. But, the clock still never stops. It’s hard to imagine a game that takes almost double the time of a soccer match and has 23 stoppages of play, besides all the timeouts for TV and timeouts for each team, would be very appealing to casual fans. Londoners, are already having a problem with all the huddles after each play. The fans in London have started to call them ‘gatherings’. Maybe, the NFL should send a couple of no huddle teams…..oh I’m sorry. No ‘gathering’ teams as they would call it, over to play in the games next season. The next two games this season (Bills vs Jaguars and Lions vs Chiefs) won’t have that element. All the stoppages in play and the long games are things that aren’t well liked here in the U.S. But, the NFL continues to promote their product in London. We’ll see how it works.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s great for the sport to have interest from all around the globe like the NFL has. But, having a team or two in London just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Let’s not even get started on seeing a Super Bowl played there. Having a Super Bowl played in London would be like having the Barclay’s Premier League Final played in New York. Sure, there would be plenty of interest in the U.S., just as there would be great interest in London for a Super Bowl, and I’m sure London would do a fantastic job hosting it. But, what about the fans of the respective teams that actually play in the final. How many Chelsea fans would have the cash to take a trip to New York to follow their team and watch them play Manchester United in the Barclay’s Final at Met Life Stadium? The same holds true for fans wanting to see their team play a Super Bowl in London’s Wembley Stadium? Can you imagine the year the Cleveland Browns or the Detroit Lions finally break through and make it to the Super Bowl, that the game is played in London?
Something like that would only happen to the Browns or Lions. Most of the fans that suffered for so long following their favorite team would have little shot to actually see their team play in the game they’ve waited all their lives to see them play in. That’s why I think it’s best to keep it right here at home. So, NFL keep sending teams like the Jets and Dolphins over there and Londoners may just say, No thanks. You keep your football. We’ll keep ours.
Thanks for reading!