Are there any NFL football fans out there who actually enjoy watching the London, England games on TV? Are there? I haven’t met or spoke to one yet who thinks these games are fantastic ideas. That’s because it’s not good for American football fans and their home base. We spoke about this subject on this week’s podcast episode after the NFL announced it had added a third London game during the 2014 regular season.
The Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars will now play one home game in London next year (and of course three other NFL teams will need to travel across the Atlantic to play as well). These three teams, their home schedules and their fan bases are getting hosed. Home games are critically important during the course of a season. We all know that. It can be the difference of winning and losing a close game. We see on a consistent basis how important home games are in Seattle. That brings me to my next point. It’s funny how teams like Seattle or Green Bay aren’t the ones traveling to London. It is a coincidence that these three franchises have some kind of dissatisfaction with their current stadium?
The NFL is looking to expand their market, obviously, with the end result to make more and more money. $10 billion a year just isn’t enough. So why not look to play these games here in the U.S.? Why not look to filter the action of football into another market or region here in America? NFL football is the most popular sport in the nation and there are markets where surely they could make some big bucks and have a ton of interest.
I like the idea of promoting American ideals and culture to other parts of the world, but this isn’t a political discussion. And frankly, the London games are more about the NFL making money with undertones of moving or creating a new NFL team(s) in Europe. I like progress on many levels, but this direction just stinks. Mr. Goodell, let’s concentrate on keeping this great American sport here in the U.S. The second largest city in the U.S. Los Angeles, has no NFL team. Look how popular football has become in Oregon as that region has embraced college football in the past decade. There are other markets to gauge.
In the end, Mr. Goodell, you’re essentially hurting three NFL teams and ultimately their fan bases. Instead of 8 home games next year, these teams only get 7. It’s a rip off. Home field advantage is too important in the world of sports.