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Author Topic: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?  (Read 1213 times)

OCGuy81

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Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« on: August 09, 2022, 03:22:01 PM »

The London games are back again this NFL season, and I really wish they'd abandon the crazy idea of a team there.

I realize these are mostly just a cash grab, but logistically, a team there wouldn't make much sense.  The time differential for both the London team having to travel to, say the west coast, would put them at a huge disadvantage.  Likewise, a team traveling there would suffer the same.

If they wanted to expand the league internationally, I'd say Mexico and maybe Canada (if the CFL would be on board....probably not) would make way more sense.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2022, 03:30:25 PM »

I would think a potential London team would play their home and away games in several chunks, and would have a US base to operate from during their chunks of road games.

Something like - Weeks 1-4 home, weeks 5-8 away, week 9 bye, weeks 10-14 home, weeks 15-18 away
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2022, 03:37:26 PM »

I realize these are mostly just a cash grab, but logistically, a team there wouldn't make much sense.  The time differential for both the London team having to travel to, say the west coast, would put them at a huge disadvantage.  Likewise, a team traveling there would suffer the same.

It's likely that the cash that the team would bring in mitigates all these potential effects quite readily at least for the people making the decisions. The thornier issues are things like labor laws and taxes and things like that.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2022, 04:02:53 PM »

I think they should give up on it. That said...

The time differential for both the London team having to travel to, say the west coast, would put them at a huge disadvantage.  Likewise, a team traveling there would suffer the same.

...the Big 10 will soon have student athletes making multiple 4-5 hour flights per year, for no pay, while they're supposed to be students. That's plenty more ridiculous than having professional athletes making multiple 5-10 hour flights per year, for millions of dollars, when that is their job.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2022, 04:09:04 PM »

If in fact supersonic passenger flights return around 2029, as United Airlines currently hopes to do, then it arguably becomes far more practical to have a London team if they can charter a supersonic aircraft for the transatlantic flights. Assuming the aircraft becomes reality, the idea of a charter arrangement of that sort might not be as far-fetched as it may sound due to the advertising and publicity it would give the aircraft's operator. At this point, though, who knows whether the aircraft will come to pass, United's order notwithstanding.

I have also heard the suggestion that a European team would have a second base somewhere in the USA to aid in turning around multiple-game road trips (much as the Haas F1 team have a secondary base in England to allow for quicker turnaround between European races).
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2022, 04:56:32 PM »

^^ Or, as I would like to see, and would actually be more practical for the logistics, a "Europe Division" within one of the conferences.  It would be 4 major cities in Europe so that the London team, and the remaining 3 teams in the division would have 8 (9) homes games and 3 other games in division all played in the same time zone or time zone near it.  Yes, expanding the league by 4 in one swoop is a lot, but MLB did it in 1969. 
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2022, 05:00:58 PM »

^^ Or, as I would like to see, and would actually be more practical for the logistics, a "Europe Division" within one of the conferences.  It would be 4 major cities in Europe so that the London team, and the remaining 3 teams in the division would have 8 (9) homes games and 3 other games in division all played in the same time zone or time zone near it.  Yes, expanding the league by 4 in one swoop is a lot, but MLB did it in 1969. 

Please no expansion. There's already too much of a talent gap between the best and 32nd best quarterback. Now imagine having to find four more starting quarterbacks.
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ethanhopkin14

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2022, 05:09:24 PM »

^^ Or, as I would like to see, and would actually be more practical for the logistics, a "Europe Division" within one of the conferences.  It would be 4 major cities in Europe so that the London team, and the remaining 3 teams in the division would have 8 (9) homes games and 3 other games in division all played in the same time zone or time zone near it.  Yes, expanding the league by 4 in one swoop is a lot, but MLB did it in 1969. 

Please no expansion. There's already too much of a talent gap between the best and 32nd best quarterback. Now imagine having to find four more starting quarterbacks.

To that I say what difference does it make?  The NFL is overall very watered down.  People say they didn't watch the AAF or the XFL because the football was bad, yet they would watch the NFL be a shell of what it once was.  I see wide open receivers drop passes constantly and Daniel Jones tackle himself.  So on one hand I agree with you, but on the other, I say it's already too diluted, so let the good times roll!
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2022, 05:12:28 PM »

I forgot to address the OP's reference to Canada. It's not just the CFL that might object to an NFL team in Canada—Parliament might get involved as well. Back in the 1970s, the World Football League planned to place a team in Toronto, but when Parliament started considering a bill that would have effectively killed the team had it passed, the franchise shifted to Memphis instead. The bill ultimately never passed. While the World League of American Football later had a team in Montreal (the Montreal Machine) for two years, the situation was different for two reasons—(1) Montreal didn't have a CFL team at the time and (2) the WLAF played in the spring and its season didn't overlap the CFL's.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2022, 05:35:21 PM »

^^ Or, as I would like to see, and would actually be more practical for the logistics, a "Europe Division" within one of the conferences.  It would be 4 major cities in Europe so that the London team, and the remaining 3 teams in the division would have 8 (9) homes games and 3 other games in division all played in the same time zone or time zone near it.  Yes, expanding the league by 4 in one swoop is a lot, but MLB did it in 1969. 

Please no expansion. There's already too much of a talent gap between the best and 32nd best quarterback. Now imagine having to find four more starting quarterbacks.

I don't know about that. There's at least one more viable starter (Jimmy G) than teams that need one. There's obviously a huge talent disparity from the top of the league to bottom, but the issue is more the dropoff after the top 10-15 range, and the fact that contending teams often sign really good backups that are better than other teams' starters. But if you ignored starter/backup designations, you'd find there's very little difference between the 32nd and 36th best QB's.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2022, 06:03:04 PM »

Yes. It would undermine the competitive balance and it doesn't make any logistic sense.
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skluth

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2022, 06:26:14 PM »

^^ Or, as I would like to see, and would actually be more practical for the logistics, a "Europe Division" within one of the conferences.  It would be 4 major cities in Europe so that the London team, and the remaining 3 teams in the division would have 8 (9) homes games and 3 other games in division all played in the same time zone or time zone near it.  Yes, expanding the league by 4 in one swoop is a lot, but MLB did it in 1969. 

Please no expansion. There's already too much of a talent gap between the best and 32nd best quarterback. Now imagine having to find four more starting quarterbacks.

I don't know about that. There's at least one more viable starter (Jimmy G) than teams that need one. There's obviously a huge talent disparity from the top of the league to bottom, but the issue is more the dropoff after the top 10-15 range, and the fact that contending teams often sign really good backups that are better than other teams' starters. But if you ignored starter/backup designations, you'd find there's very little difference between the 32nd and 36th best QB's.

The only reason Jimmy Garoppolo is available is because teams are playing Daniel Jones, Drew Lock, and Marcus Mariota as their starting QBs. That's not as bad as Carolina thinking a combo of Sam Darnold and rookie Matt Corral resembles competence, but at least they got Baker Mayfield now. Garoppolo is also better than Davis Mills or Jared Goff or whoever ends up the starter in Pittsburgh (though Pickett is just a rookie and may end up being good). The availability of a starting-level QB is not the same as all teams having competent quarterbacking. 
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2022, 12:56:38 PM »

I liken this NFL London team thing to a similar mentality surrounding MLB expansion 30 years ago, before the strike.  It seeped into the writing for Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  Captain Sisko has a fondness for a hall of fame player from the "London Kings" who dominated in the early 21st Century.  Really sounds silly today; an MLB team in London, but it wasn't completely unreasonable if one extrapolated from the ongoing expansion trend at the time.  MLB added four teams during the run of DS9, so maybe it would keep going.

Therefore, I'm inclined to think these European NFL aspirations will be viewed similarly in a couple decades.  "Heh, can you believe they actually thought the NFL would work in London?  That's so silly!"

At least it seems less stupid now that the NFL is back in Los Angeles.  That's what was really dumb about these London games.  Trying to gin up interest in American football in a place where the vast majority of people could care less about it.  Meanwhile, the second largest market in the United States sat empty.

I think the London games are futile.  There will never be a team over there.  Playing in London only annoys the NFL's core audience and bemuses the locals.

History shows that the most effective way for a culture to embrace a new sport is for them to be conquered by someone who really loves it.  That's how Japan and Cuba got into baseball.  And Cuba exported baseball to the relevant parts of the rest of Latin America with all their meddling communist insurgencies half a century ago.  The world loves soccer because the British spread it around the planet at the tail end of their empire.  Same for the love of cricket in Pakistan and India.  Can't forget about Rugby; it's another British export and today the only places that care about it are former British colonies from that era like Australia and South Africa.

So look for Roger Goddell to be lobbying for the United States to invade Britain so then finally there will be acceptance of American football over there. :P
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2022, 01:04:32 PM »

I liken this NFL London team thing to a similar mentality surrounding MLB expansion 30 years ago, before the strike.  It seeped into the writing for Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  Captain Sisko has a fondness for a hall of fame player from the "London Kings" who dominated in the early 21st Century.  Really sounds silly today; an MLB team in London, but it wasn't completely unreasonable if one extrapolated from the ongoing expansion trend at the time.  MLB added four teams during the run of DS9, so maybe it would keep going.

Therefore, I'm inclined to think these European NFL aspirations will be viewed similarly in a couple decades.  "Heh, can you believe they actually thought the NFL would work in London?  That's so silly!"

At least it seems less stupid now that the NFL is back in Los Angeles.  That's what was really dumb about these London games.  Trying to gin up interest in American football in a place where the vast majority of people could care less about it.  Meanwhile, the second largest market in the United States sat empty.

I think the London games are futile.  There will never be a team over there.  Playing in London only annoys the NFL's core audience and bemuses the locals.

History shows that the most effective way for a culture to embrace a new sport is for them to be conquered by someone who really loves it.  That's how Japan and Cuba got into baseball.  And Cuba exported baseball to the relevant parts of the rest of Latin America with all their meddling communist insurgencies half a century ago.  The world loves soccer because the British spread it around the planet at the tail end of their empire.  Same for the love of cricket in Pakistan and India.  Can't forget about Rugby; it's another British export and today the only places that care about it are former British colonies from that era like Australia and South Africa.

So look for Roger Goddell to be lobbying for the United States to invade Britain so then finally there will be acceptance of American football over there. :P

People who are stuck in the past are not the NFL's core audience. The majority like having four TV windows in which to watch games instead of three.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2022, 01:11:07 PM »

I forgot to address the OP's reference to Canada. It's not just the CFL that might object to an NFL team in Canada—Parliament might get involved as well. Back in the 1970s, the World Football League planned to place a team in Toronto, but when Parliament started considering a bill that would have effectively killed the team had it passed, the franchise shifted to Memphis instead. The bill ultimately never passed. While the World League of American Football later had a team in Montreal (the Montreal Machine) for two years, the situation was different for two reasons—(1) Montreal didn't have a CFL team at the time and (2) the WLAF played in the spring and its season didn't overlap the CFL's.
I've always believed that if the NFL were ever to expand into Canada, Toronto would make the most sense, with Vancouver and Montreal as the wild cards. But that will never happen, since the league is not as well-known worldwide as the other three (NHL, NBA and MLB, all of which have Canadian teams) are. Plus, they'd probably root for the team closest to them, like the Seahawks for Vancouver, the Bills for Toronto, and maybe the New York teams/Patriots for Montreal.

As for London (or anywhere else in Europe, for that matter), that's not going to happen either. The only football they care about over there is the same one we Americans call soccer.
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skluth

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2022, 01:14:49 PM »


I think the London games are futile.  There will never be a team over there.  Playing in London only annoys the NFL's core audience and bemuses the locals.

The audience is large enough that the London games consistently sell out fairly quickly. People come from all over Europe with many fans either military or ex-pats. The majority of the UK may not care but the available fan base is large enough, strong, and active. I have a friend in Wales and he usually goes to at least one game each year; he's the son of an American serviceman (and an UK mother) so he grew up watching the NFL on bases. Even if only 5% of the UK cares, that's still 3,300,000 potential UK fans not to mention those in NW Europe.

Even with all that, I also doubt the NFL will ever successfully have teams in Europe full-time. But I doubt the London games will go away any time soon.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2022, 03:20:00 PM by skluth »
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2022, 01:18:29 PM »

I forgot to address the OP's reference to Canada. It's not just the CFL that might object to an NFL team in Canada—Parliament might get involved as well. Back in the 1970s, the World Football League planned to place a team in Toronto, but when Parliament started considering a bill that would have effectively killed the team had it passed, the franchise shifted to Memphis instead. The bill ultimately never passed. While the World League of American Football later had a team in Montreal (the Montreal Machine) for two years, the situation was different for two reasons—(1) Montreal didn't have a CFL team at the time and (2) the WLAF played in the spring and its season didn't overlap the CFL's.
I've always believed that if the NFL were ever to expand into Canada, Toronto would make the most sense, with Vancouver and Montreal as the wild cards. But that will never happen, since the league is not as well-known worldwide as the other three (NHL, NBA and MLB, all of which have Canadian teams) are. Plus, they'd probably root for the team closest to them, like the Seahawks for Vancouver, the Bills for Toronto, and maybe the New York teams/Patriots for Montreal.

As for London (or anywhere else in Europe, for that matter), that's not going to happen either. The only football they care about over there is the same one we Americans call soccer.

The UK is never going to care about American football as much as association football (soccer), but they very much do care. Sunday Premier League games are over by the time the early NFL games are around the end of the first quarter, so they can watch a lot of NFL at times there's no soccer on, plus the night owls can see Monday and Thursday games as well. Sky also carries non-game NFL programming which they wouldn't be doing is people over there didn't care.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2022, 07:56:44 PM »

To me the bigger question might be is if there are 3 other viable stadiums in Europe.

I also question as to whether the NFL could have its European teams play each other on Saturdays normally blocked by the NFL's antitrust exemption.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2022, 08:31:08 PM »

It's not the playing on Saturday that is blocked, but rather the broadcasting/televising of those games. So if they really needed to play on Saturday they probably could and just not have those games live on American TV.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2022, 09:27:20 AM »

Expansion - no thanks.  The NFL is just fine as it is. 

London - no thanks.  The logistics of a team would be awful.  Plus you would be asking 60 young men, most all who have never been outside the bubble that colleges put up for their athletes, to live in a foreign country.  And then there are the tax issues. 

Canada - no thanks.  The government protects the CFL, and probably this is the right thing to do.  Buffalo gets plenty of Toronto area customers, and the Lions get plenty of Windsor area customers (last time I was in the Detroit stadium, they took C$ ). 

What is wrong with just dominating the USA?  Every sport has this burning desire to go here and go there.  They are moving a Cubs-Cardinals series, which would sell out as a regular deal, to London next year.  Different people like different things.  That is fine. 
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2022, 11:17:22 AM »

The main problem with Canada isn't the CFL, population, or logistics. The NFL is widely popular north of the border - there is plenty of Seahawks gear in Vancouver, and Bills gear in Toronto.

The issue is that Canadians tend to have less discretionary income than Americans do, as salaries are lower for equivalent positions (along with taxes being higher). The NHL is already a fairly expensive league to buy season tickets for, so that tends to consume most people's live sports dollar.
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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2022, 11:21:43 AM »

The issue is that Canadians tend to have less discretionary income than Americans do, as salaries are lower for equivalent positions (along with taxes being higher).

Cite?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2022, 12:21:55 PM by JayhawkCO »
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abefroman329

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2022, 11:34:01 AM »

If in fact supersonic passenger flights return around 2029, as United Airlines currently hopes to do, then it arguably becomes far more practical to have a London team if they can charter a supersonic aircraft for the transatlantic flights. Assuming the aircraft becomes reality, the idea of a charter arrangement of that sort might not be as far-fetched as it may sound due to the advertising and publicity it would give the aircraft's operator. At this point, though, who knows whether the aircraft will come to pass, United's order notwithstanding.

I have also heard the suggestion that a European team would have a second base somewhere in the USA to aid in turning around multiple-game road trips (much as the Haas F1 team have a secondary base in England to allow for quicker turnaround between European races).
The issue isn't so much the length of the flights (it would take the Pats about the same amount of time to get to London as it does to get to Los Angeles or Las Vegas) as the time zones.  Frequently crossing time zones has a detrimental effect on physical health, even if you're not exerting yourself physically.  The London Hypotheticals wouldn't be able to play a home game on Sunday and an away game four days later, or vice versa.  It would be a logistical nightmare, and I've heard the European games are a pain for the teams now, when there are only four games a season and they rotate which teams play there each season.
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abefroman329

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2022, 11:36:34 AM »

It seeped into the writing for Star Trek Deep Space Nine.  Captain Sisko has a fondness for a hall of fame player from the "London Kings" who dominated in the early 21st Century.
Even before that, Captain Picard was a fan as written in a ST:TNG novel.  I thought they were the London Monarchs, but that was the old (real-world) WLAF team.  Maybe the London Knights?
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abefroman329

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Re: Should the NFL abandon the hope of a London team?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2022, 11:42:13 AM »

Plus you would be asking 60 young men, most all who have never been outside the bubble that colleges put up for their athletes, to live in a foreign country.

Why would that be a problem?  Young Americans travel overseas to play pro soccer, hockey, and basketball all the time.  And then there are the tax issues. 

Every sport has this burning desire to go here and go there.  They are moving a Cubs-Cardinals series, which would sell out as a regular deal, to London next year.

(a) It was postponed from the original date of summer 2020
(b) It's the second time they've done this - the first was a Yankees-Red Sox series
(c) In this particular case, it's probably the novelty of it more than anything else.  They're playing in the venue that was built for Olympic baseball/softball, and the sightlines are terrible.  At least the current Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has two playing surfaces, one for soccer and one for American football (and if you haven't seen the episode of Richard Hammond's Big where they visit it, I highly recommend it.  Fascinating).
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