Monday, 29 October 2012

London calling?


The NFL arrived in London again at the weekend with the annual International Series game that’s been played at Wembley since 2007. I went to and the 2008 and 2009 games with a mate who lives in North West London and has been a fan of American football since the 1980’s and enjoyed them both.

The St Louis Rams-New England Patriots match-up was expected to be a one-sided contest and that’s how it turned out with the Massachusetts outfit running out 45-7 winners. But that doesn’t seem to have affected the NFL’s enthusiasm for expanding American football in the UK with the league announcing a second game will be played here from 2013. The owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft also said that the he sees a second game as a step towards having a NFL team based in London. I think that might have been a bit of hype to sell the game.

I know that from two games to the eight home games a London team would play isn’t a huge leap but there are other questions too.  Would the other teams be happy about crossing the Atlantic every season? Would the London team be a relocated existing team or part of an expansion of the league? It would be a bit odd to have a London team but not one in Los Angeles although a team that could match the 80,000 attendances of the International Series would be one of the best supported in the NFL.

If the NFL does go ahead with a London team, perhaps they could train in Iceland to cut down on travelling time.

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