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Pro football is heading to China

ron-jaworski Getty Images

As the NFL expands to east to London, another brand of football is going west.  To the Far East.

According to ChinaDaily.com (via SportsBusiness Daily), ESPN’s Ron Jaworski is helping the Arena Football League establish a presence in China.

“We’re coming to a country that doesn’t know much about what American football is, but it’s a country that loves sports,” Jaworski said.  “They will pick up on football very quickly.  I watched the Olympics, and watched those weightlifters and I think, I’d like to have some of those guys on my offensive line.”

It won’t be an expansion of the Arena League.  It’ll be a six-team, 10-game arrangement launching in October 2014.  AFL coaches and trainers will travel to China to help teach the sport to squads that will contain a mixture of Chinese and American players at first.  The goal will be to eventually have an all-Chinese league.

The NFL has toyed in the past with the possibility of playing preseason games in China.  A contest featuring the Patriots was planned, but eventually scrapped.

Jaworski isn’t concerned that fans in China aren’t up to speed on the nuances of the game.  “There are plenty of Americans who don’t understand football, but they still go to the games,” Jaworski said, not mentioning whether he was referring to any of his Bristol colleagues.

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15 Responses to “Pro football is heading to China”
  1. mjbulls45 says: Aug 28, 2012 1:21 PM

    the product is NOT perfect in the USA

    no need to expand globally until all the kinks are worked out over here…

    the past few off-seasons should tell you all you need to know

  2. ironhawk says: Aug 28, 2012 1:23 PM

    What did those poor Chinese do to deserve this?

  3. hartleechung says: Aug 28, 2012 1:28 PM

    Great. Then they can reverse engineer it and sell it back to us with their players for 1/10 of the cost of the NFL.

  4. edgarprado says: Aug 28, 2012 1:28 PM

    Is Arena Football barely surviving over here?

  5. ambitoos says: Aug 28, 2012 1:32 PM

    Great idea. I’m looking forward to the day when there is Olympic football just like Basketball.

  6. sj39 says: Aug 28, 2012 1:36 PM

    Any chanch Jaworski will go over there and stay?

  7. nunpuncher says: Aug 28, 2012 1:51 PM

    I think any live sport that has the police walking around with AK-47’s make it waaaay more exciting.

  8. moose2k says: Aug 28, 2012 1:52 PM

    I feel sorry for the poor translator that has to work with Jaws.

  9. redfield11 says: Aug 28, 2012 1:55 PM

    going to china to talk about dez bryants rules probably

  10. shackdelrio says: Aug 28, 2012 1:56 PM

    I give Florio and company credit for always putting up the worst possible picture of people.

  11. ningenito78 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:03 PM

    “There are plenty of Americans who don’t understand football, but they still go to the games,”

    Yeah for tailgating. The problem in China is the rice will keep falling through the grill.

  12. benacci says: Aug 28, 2012 2:14 PM

    I have been a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Storm for awhile. AFL is not perfect, but if you have no Football March-July it sure fills the void somewhat. Derrick Brooks is the President for the Storm and gives credit to the game.

    The games are fast and the players play hard, and most of them are guys that have jobs within the community and are very fan friendly.

  13. arzcardinals says: Aug 28, 2012 2:19 PM

    Don’t care so long as they aren’t taking my home games away from us season ticket holders.

    I for one am not a fan of the London game.

  14. jsho55 says: Aug 28, 2012 2:22 PM

    I think TO just found his new home.

  15. Mr. Wright 212 says: Aug 28, 2012 4:04 PM

    I love that jab at ESPN at the end.

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