Kraft wants a team in England

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft may have no interest in owning an English soccer club, but he definitely wants to see someone own an English NFL franchise.

According to Neil Reynolds of Sky Sports, Kraft has said during a speaking engagement in England he believes the NFL should have a team in London.

“I personally think we should have a franchise in London and that is something I am going to push for,” Kraft said.  “I think I said that the last time we were over here in 2009 and before this next decade is out, I hope we have a team here.  I think that would be right for the NFL and this fan base has proven they deserve it.”

And by rewarding the fan base in England, the NFL will be rewarding itself.

“I think we’re starting to tap out in the United States,” Kraft said.  “If you look at the last Super Bowl we were in this past season, we had over 180 million people watching — that’s almost two thirds of America.  So for us to grow the game, we have to expand globally.  Having seen the kind of support we have received here in London, it is the intention of the NFL owners to get two games here, starting next year.”

Of course, when it comes to moving an existing team, Kraft isn’t willing to put his money machine where his mouth is.

“The only bad part of putting a franchise in London is that I can assure you it won’t be the Patriots who are moving here,” Kraft said.

So who will it be?  At a time when many believe the Rams are destined to finagle their way out of a lease in St. Louis, it’s presumed they’ll return to Los Angeles.  But with the Rams throwing their hands in the air with Horshackian zeal to play three homes games in London over the next three years, they’re at the top of the short list of potential candidates to make the move.

The possibility of sending the Rams or any other team to London comes with plenty of question marks.  But there’s an exclamation point to be realized if/when more of the people who don’t live in the United States develop a true passion for the NFL.  What is a billion-dollar business could become, sooner rather than later, a trillion-dollar endeavor.

No successful enterprise is content to tread water.  For the NFL, the possibility exists for exponential growth, once the sport officially begins crossing the various bodies of water that surround our borders via the permanent placement of teams on the other side.

136 responses to “Kraft wants a team in England

  1. Toronto has made a much larger financial commitment to the NFL than England, so why exactly should they be skipped over ??

  2. What about Mexico and Canada? Are those markets less attractive than getting a team in London?

    Just curious, as it would appear to be easier to work on our own continent than expand across the ocean. Pretty sure the 49ers are going to hate road games that include 15 hours in a plane (on a direct flight no less)…

  3. Robert Kraft is an excellent owner, and has made tremendous contributions to the game over the last two decades.

    However, I do not want a team in London any time soon, and I’ll probably never want one. How bout you try Canada first? Maybe.

  4. I don’t want to see a team in Europe or any other continent. I have nothing against the people of Europe but right now the NFL has 32 teams. That is a perfect number for even divisions, the playoff system, and talent distribution. I don’t think players would like traveling overseas for games and I don’t think players would want to relocate to Europe to live, which would rule out me being in favor of moving a team to England.

    I know it is wishful thinking for me to hope the NFL stays the same as it has for a near decade but I think the current formula works very efficiently. I live by the motto “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” But businessmen don’t.

  5. Wouldn’t Mexico City make more sense as a first step.. At least it shares a timezone with the US. The London timezone messes the players internal clocks and TV programming up royally.

  6. My top candidates are – Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cleveland and San Francisco in that order brother.

  7. From New England to Old England…

    Sounds like a bad idea. Just think of the 8 hour flight from NY alone! What if teams like Seattle and San Francisco and Oakland and San Diego have to face them!?! Ugh. They will be extra-tired which will increase chances of getting injured.

  8. these owners love a business challenge. so when they ruin the league by going overseas they can have a big old time trying to put it back together.

  9. I voted no way, but if the NFL truly wants a team in London-it better be an expansion team. Taking a team from a US city who has probably made a serious financial and emotional civic investment could very well be the straw that breaks the camels back. My prediction is the NFL ultimately adds two expansion teams in LA and London in the next 5 years.

  10. It’s a ridiculous idea. No team can live in England and travel to the US for games. They would be so worn out, the games would be blowouts.

    Besides, who says the NFL must grow? The owners need to realize that they bought an NFL team to compete on the field, not as an investment.

  11. I don’t understand why the NFL is so gung-ho to put a team in England. If they want to make an international move, it would make more sense to put a team or two in Canada first. It’s a lot closer for traveling teams, and there’s a proven fanbase here. Honestly, I can’t see the fanbase in England being larger than Canada.

  12. I now believe more than ever that the NFL will end up losing the goose that laid the golden egg. Greedy owners that cannot be satisfied with a great thing are going to keep modifying the game until fans become disenchanted with it.

    Putting a franchise in London is a huge mistake for travel logistic reasons alone. Having teams travel abroad especially from the west coast will do nothing but wear down teams and decrease the quality of play.

    Make no mistake, Kraft has Goodell in his coat pocket. Belicheck not being suspended for spygate pretty much proves that. Kraft leading the charge for a London team makes sense, he the Rooneys, and the Mara family control this league make no bones about that.

    Pray for our game it is in trouble.

  13. Bad idea. Kraft is starting to sound like Goodell. The Europeans have their sport of football… we call it soccer. I can’t begin to think about the logistical problems of having a team in London.

  14. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I think the NFL is smart to do so.

    All of the other major sports have a global reach, with many countries having their own Basketball, Baseball and Hockey leagues, and in the case of the KHL which directly competes with the NHL.

    Besides the pacific, football doesn’t have a global reach that the other sports enjoy. In 1992, the Dream Team showcased the best of the basketball world to the newly liberated countries in Eastern Europe and the world.

    It will take a team outside of the US and a superstar to showcase this sport to the world.

  15. They have to stop with putting a team in England Garbage.

    The logistics alone make it impossible to work.

    How is a West Coast Team going to have a fair shot at coming to England and winning a game?

    How is the English team going to go to the West Coast and have a shot?

    Will the players be payed in Dollars or Pounds? Why will Free Agents want to play in England when their taxes will be much, much higher?

    The NFL is great where it is.

  16. Good for you Robert, see you later. Pretty simple too. The New England Patriots become the England Expatriates.

  17. If games have to be played in England, have teams on a two year rotation for playing there. And consider it a road game for each team, so they still get 8 home games.

    There you go, Problem Solved – Yay me!

  18. This just seems so wrong to me on so many levels.

    If he wants to advocate for a London team, he should say he wants it to be an expansion team.

    The idea of an owner openly advocating for a fan base other than his own to lose their team is unseemly and kind of offensive.

    And by pointing out that it won’t be his team and not mentioning expansion as the proper method of getting a team there, that is exactly what he’s doing: adding to the misery of great NFL fans who already have enough people telling them they are going to lose their teams without the most influential owner in the league piling on.

  19. No. Just no. They’re going to be 5 hours ahead of the EST teams, and NINE hours ahead of the PST teams.

    Jet lag all by itself is going to be hell. And the Customs headache is going to be much worse than merely crossing into Canada. I know the NHL, MLB and NBA cross the border all the time, but this is … across the Atlantic.

    Who in their right mind would want to sign up for a mimimum 8 hour flight to play Away games? “Probable – Jet Lag” is going to be a new ‘injury.’

  20. I fail to understand why fans of the NFL would not want a team in the UK (so long as it is a new franchise and not moving a team). I am an international fan but not from the UK, so perhaps I am missing something – will someone please enlighten me?

  21. A London based team would certainly exaggerate the home advantage (time zone change for the visiting team) and away team advantage (see above). However, I don’t see anything wrong with an expansion team in London in the future. It would just mean that the team visiting them would have to leave earlier in the week to get used to the time zone difference and vice versa.

  22. I love the idea of football becoming bigger in europe and that would only be good for the NFL. However teams already struggle with the travel from coast to coast. What happens when Seattle or one of the Cali teams has to go to England for a game or vice versa.

  23. Ok, then make sure the team in London is in the Patriots division so they have to travel there at least once a year. Seriously, I don’t understand how that would work for the team based there. They would have to make that trip at a minimal 10 times a year. Playing teams on the east coast wouldn’t be too bad but to have to travel to the west coast or even Dallas or Denver would be brutal.

  24. The NFL may want to reconsider associating football with the US military if it wants international expansion to succeed.

  25. Oh no not this again !

    I live in England and have been following the NFL since the mid 80’s. I’ve been a Raiders fan for over 25 years, we’re now spoilt in the UK, get a lot of live games on TV but also ‘Gamepass’ where you can watch your team live home/away.

    So i’m not going to give up watching the Raiders live late on a sunday night to travel 250 miles to see the ‘London Jaguars’ (example!) play against say the Browns, a game i have no interest in.

    The problem is MANY NFL fans have been following their team for a long time in England and i cant believe they would switch. Plus fans are fickle, the second a London team is 2-8 then no one will bother going to the rest of the games.

    Hope theres never a team in England, 20 years ago it might have been a good idea but now we all have our own teams.

  26. Unless the NFL can find a way to defy time itself putting a team in London permanently will be almost impossible. As it stands right now EVERY team that’s come and played in London has had their bye week DIRECTLY after playing there. You couldn’t work jet lag reducing measures like that into a full season, and it becomes WORSE if they ever have to host a west coast team during the playoffs!

    The NFL HAD the right idea with a minor league in Europe, but balked at the cost. They seem to like the idea of a single team elsewhere as a current or new owner will foot ALL the costs, but fail to realise that putting a team in another continent stands to cause far worse problems for the NFL than it’s owners being out of pocket (or rather having thier profits being eaten into) by about half a mil eash (which is roughly the cost of ONE third string player!). It could mean the introduction of extra bye weeks, or potentially one of it’s teams (the london one) NEVER being able to host a playoff game as it would cause to much disruption to the current NFL teams! And who would want to own a team that wasn’t allowed to play home playoff games?

    It’s far to soon, and far to impractical to put an NFL franchise in the UK full time… and that’s coming from a BRIT!

  27. It doesn’t make sense logistically. I understand the want for expansion, but maybe they should retry the Euro-league before sinking a team into a market that has already largely rejected the sport.

    The only thing I’ve heard from the British (most Europeans actually) is that the NFL is boring and slow.

  28. This Globalization fantasy the Nfl has will be the death of the sport. Time, distance, and diminishing talent base problems make the idea arrogant and outlandish.

  29. let it be his team. if he wants a team he can move his patriots or sell them and start anew in england.
    imo having a team in england is a very poor idea

  30. A team or two in Canada, possibly one in Mexico City… that’s as international as the NFL should EVER get.

  31. why doesn’t he move the Patriots over there? Ohhh, as long as it is not his team he wants it. I see.

  32. Lets ask the Raiders or the Seahawks if they feel traveling over 8 time zones to play 1 week; only having to possibly fly back over 8 time zones to play a home game the following week. The only benifit would be to the City hosting it and its revenues with tourism…. not the NFL teams or players.

  33. I think it’s possible, but you’d have to completely realign the league to be East vs. West like it is in basketball. Otherwise you’d have the west coast to London trip possibility for playoffs which would be terrible for the players. I don’t think it’s possible to do this without inconveniencing the entire league to work around a schedule of a team that is 6 hours away at minimum. Not worth it. They should just focus on building up football (american football) in Europe instead so they can eventually have their own league (that’s good, not NFL Europe) to compete with the NFL champion. That’d be awesome to have a champion’s league type deal similar to soccer.

  34. NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!


  35. Great then move your team there! A tean there will cause scheduling conficts, its just too far. Canada and Mexico are a better choice. But feel free to take your team to London Kraft.

  36. I’m from London and I’ve attended every game the NFL has played here over the last few years, and that’s enough for me.

    I love that we get to see a live game every year, and I hope that one game a year continues, but we don’t need a franchise here. I already have a team.

  37. I wonder if they will outsource those highly paid US player jobs to countries where players will play for much less money?
    What arrogance of NFL owners. With half the nation watching NFL football, he considers the US market played.
    Methinks there will never be an amount of money that is enough for people like Kraft. He’s typical of the greedy men who run corporate America and caused the economic catastrophy in which we live.

  38. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be a MLB baseball player drafted by the Blue Jays. If you’re a die hard American like most of us, you probably never thought you might have to spend half your year in another country. London is a nice place, but imagine some of these guys coming out of college and having to go to England, half a world away from everything they know. I wonder if that team might struggle to get free agents to move there? On the other hand there might be some athletes in Europe that wouldn’t be bad football (american football) players.

    It will take someone far smarter than me to pull it off, but if you give them 8 home games in a row and the teams that travel there a bye for the following week, it could be done logistically.

    Now when it comes to Playoffs and there isn’t time for a bye week there would be a mess. And of course this is all leading towards a Super Bowl in England where no real NFL fan will be able to afford to see it.

    If the NFL determines there is enough money to be made, it WILL happen. I just think the fairness of the schedule will be called into question with one team having to travel so far.

  39. Lets have this conversation next year when Wembley fails to sell out Rams v Titans shall we Mr Kraft?

    Your Patriots have been bought back over here because the NFL freaked out that last year’s game was not a sell out.

  40. Maybe that young babe whispered in his ear that she would like to see some games in London. That would seem to be the only logical reason.

    The hell with what the players and the fans think.

    I wonder what the Patriot’s make on just beer and parking EACH game. When is enough, enough.

    Lastly, how many of the yes votes on the survey are transplanted Europeans.

  41. Other than the obvious problems with this it would be a scheduling nightmare and bad for the game. Now if the NFL wants to start an NFL Europe and keep it there and have a playoff between the NFL USA and NFL Europe, why not?

  42. Every good business looks for expansion opportunities. England is such an opportunity for the NFL, but it is not without serious problems.

    The travel burden is the most serious obstacle. It is already difficult for US teams to travel coast to coast and still play up to their capabilities. Trips to and from England would be that much more taxing.

    If a workable solution to the travel problems could be found by clever scheduling, I would definitely support expansion to England. If not, maybe this is an idea whose time isn’t coming.

  43. I like Mr. Kraft and respect what he has done since acquiring the Patriots. However he’s exhibited a tendency lately to be overexposed in the media which, in turn, provides him too many opportunities to say some kind of dumb things. Mr. Kraft should should think about which ownership style works better Dan Rooney or Jerry Jones.

  44. I say no. Unless you want to move the Cleveland Browns over there. No one would miss them and their owner would at least pay them some mind then.

  45. This is funny – I rembere when the Sullivans and then Kiam owned this franchise… and we were hoping to have a team in New England…

  46. there are plenty of cities that could handle an nfl team right here in the U.S……i think the national in nfl was referring to the u.s. nation, euro soccer leagues dont have U.S. teams playing there…we have our own league here. If kraft wants “american”football in london perhaps he should start the ELAF european league of american football. It sounds like kraft needs to think before he speaks.

  47. It’s easy to talk about “amazing support” in London/England when ONE GAME is played over there a year.

    This idea is so stupid, and Kraft just made himself sound as dumb as Goodell, which is tough to do.

  48. I’m sure the rise of football in London, would be like the rise of soccer in the USA. They would like the sentiment for a season, or maybe even 2. then realize that it’s not their sport, and go back to soccer. Because NFL Europe was a smash, like MLS has been? Soccer is huge worldwide, but why does the USA suck so bad at it? Because we don’t care, and never will.. That is what the Europeans will think of football in a year! Mr. Kraft, please dont get your goodell puppet going with this one. My owner may be a tweeting idiot, but plse, no,move,team,to,London, unles, the, beetles, sing, whatsong, 4 100, and luck hat

  49. Then Mr. Kraft should petition the other NFL owners to move his team there. While it would be a short trip for East coast teams it would be a very long road trip for teams in the western part of the country.

  50. There are cities and towns all across the US where the NFL is huge, but they don’t have a team. That shows that there is no necessity of putting a team on the ground in a location for the NFL to be a big money maker. So why not just put all the games on TV in the UK? Make money the old fashioned way: advertising.

  51. I’m not even sure Kraft believes this.

    The comments were made while on a trip to London to promote this year’s game and were reported on by a UK based news site.

    If a guy is in London trying to drum up excitement for a game to be played there, what else is he going to say?

    Just a theory, but I simply can’t believe a businessman like Kraft thinks that putting a team that far away, especially with the state of European economies being even worse than ours, is a good idea.

  52. No! the travel logistics especially for west coast teams places an even more unfair disadvantage on them than what’s been demonstrated in 1PM east coast away games. And it would be totally unfair for a team in England who’d have to always travel not to mention the steep British taxes suffocating them merely because they were traded for or drafted.

    Either keep the status quo or expand within this continent, like to Toronto or Vancouver.

  53. Can someone strip this nutjob of his “person of the year” award? The more he talks about growing the game, I can’t help but see skeletor himself Jerry Jones getting all aroused talking about making money.

  54. Such narrow mindedness and ignorance in many of these posts.

    The travel logistics are solved easily by giving any team traveling to the UK the bye week after that game.

    I have had many long overseas flights and it is not the big deal most people here make it out to be. Especially since these guys aren’t going to be traveling on economy tickets. They’ll be in first class / on private flights and get special treatment at the airports so it will not be the grind that some people seem to think it will be. They’ll be served good, quality food and not the spew most airlines serve these days. No waiting in lines for an hour to get through immigration etc.

    The league would have to figure a way to alter the schedule rotation so that the London team traveling here would play mostly east coast teams.

    Wake up America. Whether you like it or not globalization is here and for real, and its not going to change. Its 2012 not 1952. The travel problems can be dealt with easily in most cases and it won’t be a big deal.

  55. I voted NO, but ultimately I’m indifferent to the cause.

    I know the Giants aren’t going anywhere so my interest drops significantly (no offense to other teams).

    But when it comes to the overall quality of the NFL, in adding a English team, I think it could be done effectively, but not in the the leagues current scheduling matrix.

    The first half of the season you would have to have England coming to the states and playing 8 away games right off the bat. Then on their bye week travel back to England, resting up, then have 8 separate teams going to England in a 8 week span so England can play their home games.

    This way you are minimizing traveling, jet lag, and overall poor performance that comes when not being allowed proper pregame preparation.

    Maybe the teams on the west coast can play their games in England coming off their bye week.

    The logistics of the whole operation in England is not worth the trouble, IMO. But if they were to do it I believe it would have follow the above model in some shape or form.

  56. Ok.. so I have a question. Didn’t we already try this with NFL Europe? And didn’t it fail miserably which is why it doesn’t exist anymore? I personally have flown to Scotland 3 times and couldn’t imagine playing a game after being jetlagged for at least 3 days.

    I’m a Dolphins fan, and can’t stand the Pats but Kraft is a great owner which is why they are successful.. but this is ridiculous. How about a brilliant Idea??? NFL Europe?? Oh.. wait… that didn’t work. Forgot I already covered that.

    Also, I do know that American Football is becoming popular there and there are many leagues up and coming over there where people “across the pond”are playing football. However.. it is not at the same level in the least.. and if they want to expand.. let them watch our games and after the scrub leagues over there develop over time.. then start bringing players from Europe over here if the talent level is good enough??

    But sorry Robbie.. This is a bad idea.. and owner of the year or not.. sell the pats and go buy the Dolphins off of Steven Ross. Maybe he should buy an expansion team if he wants to be the center of attention in an organization.. and you can make the Dolphins great again. 🙂

    Go Fins!

  57. This problem is solved by adding one more game and making every team play a neutral site game. You could play a game every week in London and a whole bunch of non-NFL cities at home and abroad. It would grow the game without stealing a franchise from some sad city. Of course, they should probably add another bye week to do it.

  58. NFL Europe anybody?

    Europeans don’t really have a strong interest in American Football. As a novelty once in a while, sure, but would they really support a franchise 8 times a year? Probably not. It’s the same reason why pro soccer hasn’t been a big hit here. We just aren’t interested in the game.

  59. This is not about the great fan support, it is about making additional money. I would worry about fan support in the US before I would attempt to move to London. The fans are going to be staying at home and watching more and more games which does not cost what it cost to attend games and just like college basketball reported this week that more and more fans are staying at home with all the new and improved media and coverage. The NFL is going to run into half filled parks soon.

  60. I’m not a lawyer but surely a London team would have to work under uk and european law. Drafts, franchise tags and maximum salaries are all illegal here and there is no anti-trust exemption. There is a huge amount of case law for other sports. People also have to realise that most of us here are NFL fans, we don’t care about team is the pats and I live in Belfast, London is no more my local team than new England. Also London would have some of the same problems as LA, it is huge and the NFL is not a player in the uk media market. Most British people have seen NFL games and don’t really like it as it takes too long. Those of us who love it are a real minority.

  61. There’s a reason why it’s called the N-F-L: The NATIONAL Football League.

    Now, you’re actively moving American jobs to England; not to mention adding a considerable amount of cost to that said franchise to fly that team OVERSEAS and back 8 times a year and creating a larger built-in jet lag advantage.

    The only reason why Kraft wants a team in England is because their British Pound is much stronger against the American Dollar ($1.55 = £1.00). They can care less about the sanctity of the game and traditions. It’s now all about an escalating money grab.

  62. First off, It wouldn’t be fair to Canada if we went over seas first. So why not try up north first? Or down south, Mexico? Second, If we did have a team in England, the flights would be horrible for the players on the traveling team, they’d all be jet lagged, which would have an effect on their performance. The only way I can see the NFL putting a team overseas is if someone invents a time travel machine, and we know thats not happening any time soon, at least not in our lifetime.

  63. I live in the UK and do NOT want a team based over here. 1 game a season makes some sense but there is no guarantee that 8 home games a season will sell out or generate enough revenue to make it financially, let alone logistically, viable

    I prefer travelling stateside to watch games and have no interest in watching a game at Wembley. Please, let’s knock this ridiculous idea on the head!!

  64. I would love it if a team came to Vancouver. I hate having people think I root for the wretched Seahawks. But England? How would that even work? Every road game for the England team requires them to travel across the ocean? I think most players would rather get signed by the Dolphins.

  65. Ignore the logistical issues, the biggest issue is there is not a big enough fan base to host a team over here.

    The first game at Wembley, I couldn’t even get a ticket. People were travelling from all over the UK and even Europe to see a game. It didn’t even matter who the teams were. People thought it was a one off and wanted to be here.

    When the NFL committed to more games, people realised they could pick and choose which games they wanted to see. The last game didn’t even sell all 90,000 tickets even with fans coming from across the UK and Europe.

    Also as ‘psj3809’ said, people have already adopted their teams and many will not suddenly switch allegiance. The best a franchise could hope for is hosting one game a season here. Like the Rams have committed to for the next 3 years.

  66. THIS is what is WRONG with America. Instead of putting a new franchise in a US City that could use one, and help their city grow, our Billionaires would rather put a team in a city that not only doesn’t want/need one, a city that doesn’t really care for the NFL, but a city that is across the Atlantic Ocean, in a different country.

    Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, all have teams in different different countries. Keep the NFL American, its our baby, keep it here.

  67. Kraft is best owner in NFL…maybe all of pro sports.

    But no way we need a team in England…it wouldn’t last.

  68. Tommyribs hit it on the head – what’ll the NFLPA have to say about UK taxes, which are substantially higher than they are in the US?

  69. Let’s just add 8 more teams, put a four team division in Europe, a four team division in canada and relocate Jacksonville to LA. Only a team in London works is if you have some other teams in Europe. North American teams would travel and play back to back weeks in Europe. European division would keep travel more reasonable. While we’re at, lets add a Canadian division of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Alberta and put a nail in the coffin of the CFL.

  70. It’s short sighted to think the NFL won’t expand globally. Every sport is trying to do this: NBA, NFL and Soccer coming the other direction. Yes, logistics are hard. But if you can make it work for a 3 hour time difference from east to west coast, then you can figure out a solution for a 6 hour time difference the other direction.

    And the talent pool should grow, not shrink. It’s arrogant to think Europe can add NFL caliber players to our existing pool. We’ve already see some players come from Europe without the exposure of having a local team. How many athletes chose football after we have local teams in Europe.

    And I don’t add one team, I add two in England. I don’t take one from the US, I create two more. I think you need two teams to create the rivalry that makes sports worth watching. Man U. isn’t Man U. without Man City right next door.

    And as a capitalist, I like money. The more NFL teams the more money that flows to the U.S..

  71. I think most of you people on here have just posted some very good reasons why this is a crazy idea. If Kraft is so smart, why his he not getting this?
    Oh well sending American jobs overseas is the new American way now.

  72. Us Brits (& Europeans) are happy supporting the NFL teams we want to support.

    It ain’t broken. Don’t fix it.

  73. I’m that rare combination of an English Bengal fan, and have been since the season Pete Johnson tried it 4-times from the one yard line in Pontiac.

    I’m a Bengal fan, many other English NFL fans are Dolphin, Redskin, Giant or Patriot fans or wherever the hell it was where they first paid a visit to the states. My first US visit happened to be to Cincinnati.

    Thats why an English based NFL franchise will not work IMO. I go to Wembley occasionally to watch the NFL as a treat, a novelty, not as a week in week out staple.

    I don’t see why a Patriot fan would go watch the Rams v Cardinals or the like, and definately not eight or more times a year.

    I’d much prefer a 17th or 18th game added to the schedule, to allow each franchise to play more games a neutral sites, not just in London, but also in other deserving cities like Berlin, Beijing San Antonio and Orlando. Its a long list.

    I agree with Kraft that the NFL needs to make itself more ‘international’, but a London franchise IMO will not work

  74. Oh the irony of sending a team named after colonists who fought against jolly old England to London.

  75. these owners and the commish are clueless… they keep saying that fans want 2 more regular season games (which nobody said), and that the British want an NFL team (which they don’t). Does Goodell ever listen?????

    Fans don’t want to PAY for Exhibition games (or pay full price at least). How does that translate into fans want 2 more regular season games? Fans in Europe enjoy football… but they don’t need a team in their backyard. I’m sure there are plenty of football fans all over the USA that don’t have a team within 3 hrs of where they live. Utterly clueless.

  76. “Kraft is best owner in NFL…maybe all of pro sports??

    Not even close homer. Look for the HEAT ownership for that. After all, they’ve won Championships recently.

  77. A colossally bad idea with no upside for the league except for possible extra profit for a sport that already is highly profitable. Havoc on the schedule for the home team. Havoc on the schedule for visiting teams. Havoc for scheduling tv times. The wear of travel. Jet lag. Increased likelihood of injuries. Limited appeal for free agents. Questionable appeal for the foreign fan base. Tax complications. Explain, Mr. Kraft, how is this a good idea?

  78. The London thing is nuts…nuts I tell ya…

    Shouldn’t they be looking at why the second largest TV market in the country doesn’t have a franchise? (Los Angeles)

  79. I think this a very bad idea. The NFL needs to
    stay in the States where it belongs. But if it has to
    happen, let the Brits have the Patriots, I hate the

  80. Put your money where your mouth is, Kraft. Move the Patriots over there. It would take on a certain ironic humor.

    And I love how these arrogant clowns equate growing their bank accounts with “growing the game”. Football was around and thriving long before the NFL came around, and it’ll still be around at the scholastic level long after the NFL has been knocked down a few pegs (or gone altogether).

  81. Please don’t, NFL. First of all any time you add an expansion team, it dilutes the overall talent level of the league because you now have 52 players in the league who weren’t good enough to be in it last year.

    Yes the NBA and NHL have more of an international reach, but it’s not because they have any teams there. It’s because they scout and recruit international players to COME HERE AND PLAY, thereby attracting fans from their home countries to be fans of the NBA/NHL. Why doesn’t the NFL consider that approach? I think it might be interesting to see some European rugby player test their metal as an NFL linebacker. But have an actual team over there? Knock it off, seriously.

  82. there are several Canadian cities that are better fits than anywhere in Europe or Mexico City. Bypassing them is short sighted.

  83. i have flown from LAX to london a few times and everytime, im out of it for 3 days..i guess jet lag is not an issue for Mr. Kraft flying in his comfy little personal jet with a nice king size bed in it.

  84. The NFL’s last European effort failed. Europe doesn’t have the NCAA farm system to staff those franchises, and our NCAA can’t produce enough top-quality franchise QBs to cover its current 32 teams. Monday- and Thursday-night games would air in the wee hours on work nights in Europe; how would fans of those franchises keep up?

    Logistically, it can’t work and it won’t work. But by all means, Bob … press on.

  85. Robert is the owner of my team, but this is the first time I have totally disagreed with him. Look what the global economy is doing to our own economy. I would hate to see the NFL go global and screw it up. Nothing to be gained here. Sorry Bob.

  86. Good luck filling that stadium 8 times a year if it isn’t a winning team.. probably won’t be even with the greatest home advantage most likely.

    Are there exemptions for say, even Canada, who routinely turns down entry into their country for people with DUIs?

    Oh, and NFL, you can’t even figure out your OWN labor issues and laws, and you want to dip into international labor law?

    Laughable at the very least. NFL not INFL.

  87. I don’t understand why Mexico and Canada don’t seem to get much discussion (other than the Bills from time to time). Teams like San Francisco, Arizona, Oakland, and San Diego are all popular in Mexico. And Canada has a football league! I would love a team in Toronto, Vancouver, and Mexico City.

    My only problem with London is if the team could realistically compete with the intense travel strain.

  88. I cannot believe how closed minded, uncreative, unimaginative, ethnocentric and just plain stupid NFL fans are. This is about growing the fan base and the next stop is global expansion. The same people that don’t understand why am. football isn’t in the olympics are the same ones complaining about an english team. Just because your tiny brain can’t figure out how it’s possible doesn’t mean more successful people can’t.

    Look at it this way. It’ll be another team for you to hate when ‘your’ team plays them.

  89. Has anyone considered the jet lag that will take place around these games?? There’s an 8 hour time difference between London and America’s west coast. Anyone that’s done international travel knows that that’s not something conducive to good football. You need a week to adjust, but then at the end of that week the team has to take the same trip in the opposite direction. A team based in London would never be able to handle the travel. And can you imagine flying seven hours to Denver only to lose 7 hours in jet lag and pick up a mile in altitude? The whole team would spend a week throwing up.

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