London experiment is part of a 100-year global plan

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It’s easy to scoff at the NFL’s apparent desire to challenge soccer as the dominant international sport.  While pro football steadily has become a bigger and bigger part of the American sports landscape, there’s no way that American football ever will take a dent out of the other kind of fútbol, right?

Americans would have said the same thing about pro football and baseball in the 1930s and previously.

So it’s a very long-term plan.  It began with preseason games in other countries, continued with the minor league that had more names than teams, and now has progressed to one regular-season game per year — soon to be the same home team for at least four straight years and likely two regular-season games per year.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said that time has come for a team to move there.  Once that happens, the next step would be to play a Super Bowl in London.

And it would go from there.  Slowly, steadily, but surely.  As more human beings realize the excitement and drama and pageantry of the game, they will realize it’s as exciting as soccer.

In time, they could even decide — like we have with baseball — that it’s even more exciting.

For more, you know the drill.

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62 responses to “London experiment is part of a 100-year global plan

  1. Why is it necessary for the NFL to become popular overseas? And to take the biggest and most loved game (superbowl) in this country to another country would be rediculous!!!

    If Craft is in such support of this he should volunteer his Pats as the team…

  2. Ehh, I’m not so sure. I think that football is a great sport but the violent nature of the game is a turn off for many people in other parts of the world. Converting futbol fans into football fans is a tall task, similar to converting people from one religion to another.

  3. Well… the NFL is great on TV, and soccer is great live. The NFL needs to address the commercial break boredom if they want to attract a soccer audience to live games.

  4. The book “soccernomics” paints a good picture of why soccer has more global success than American football. When the English set up colonies, they spread their customs and games, setting up British style boarding schools all over the world. America on the other hand, never really set up colonies, thus creating little spread of American culture, sports, etc.

  5. not gonna happen. for one the economics make it nearly impossible for some countries if not continents to have a wide spread change. futbol requires a ball. lots of young kids grow up kicking a ball of shirt or rags. football cannot say the same thing.
    this is not a 100 plan its a 100 year pipe dream

  6. ” As more human beings realize the excitement and drama and pageantry of the game, they will forget soccer ever existed.”

    Fixed it for ya.

    Nice poke using “soccer”, too.

  7. Unless the NFL gets so rich it hires hitmen to eliminate all the world’s soccer balls over the next century, there is no chance at all of football passing soccer on a global scale….ever.

    Conservative estimates put the worldwide viewing figures for the 2010 world cup final at around 300 million (Which does not include large public viewings).

    Compare this with the 2010 Superbowl which estimates come in at around 120 million worldwide.

  8. That would be really fair for an American city to lose their team to England. It would also be pretty dumb for Goodell to introduce more bad and mediocre NFL players to the roster pool. If he’s all about safety then he isn’t going to make clubs trot out the guys who are currently waiting to get cut or placed on practice squads and let them get beaten down by guys physically superior than them.

  9. I loved watching nfl when I was working in Europe. It was awesome staying up until 3 am to sit through game two on Sunday. Oh, if my team was playing on Sunday night, I would just get up at 4 am and watch it before work. I bet teams like san francisco and Seattle are really excited to travel to London too.

    Sorry folks, if the nfl you know and love moves to Europe, that nfl is gonna have to change A LOT. Say goodbye to the NFL you know and love.

  10. If London wants a team, let them form their own league to replace NFL Europe. I don’t understand why The Commish h such a chubby for this horrible idea. Kurt Warner, Mike Ditka, Ron Jaworski and others have invested in an international league that is wrapping up their inaugural championship week right now. Is it perfect? Heck no. But it’s theirs and there is no team that would need to move across 7 or 8 time zones to play a regular season game. And it will only get better.

  11. Football is much too complex for the rest of the world to figure out, and its too expensive to. Soccer is easy, put this ball in that huge net. It’s cheap, boring and perfect for the rest of the world. Leave American Football to America, the last thing I want to see is the Berlin Third Reich and their star QB Adolf Himmler taking on the Paris Pansies with their All Euro defensive lineman Emmanuelle “White Flag” Claude.

  12. jlb10 | Aug 22, 2012, 9:04 PM EDT
    not gonna happen. for one the economics make it nearly impossible for some countries if not continents to have a wide spread change. futbol requires a ball. lots of young kids grow up kicking a ball of shirt or rags. football cannot say the same thing.
    this is not a 100 plan its a 100 year pipe dream

    That’s the American Spirit… We can’t it’s too hard it too expensive whaa whaa whaa!

  13. No one has to lose a team to England or anywhere else, they field their own two division teams, we play the superbowl here they play theirs there then they meet at a place in between and play the world bowl.

  14. The NFL assumes it will survive the head trauma/concussion issue. I personally don’t see a way to mitigate the risk.

    Eventually, parents will say: “My child. No way.”

  15. Keep it in house. Not everything has to marketed as a global product. I, for one, prefer to keep our game in the US. What happens when players are beheaded in other countries for poor performances?

  16. I remember when the American version of football was a sport. At that time I would have been against international expansion diluting the “product”. Now that being a football fan is becoming akin to being a trucking industry fan or an electronics industry fan, I just have to accept the inevitability of the situation.

    It’s all driven by the bottom line. Money is good, but it’s not everything and like everything else, it has it’s negatives. The cultivation of greed at the expense of quality is one of them.

    I must admit that I won’t be disappointed if Nepal or Zaire

  17. Oops,wrong button. To finish my comment, I won’t be heart broken if , for instance, Nepal or Mozambique fails to land an NFL franchise

  18. If it’s truly part of a “hundred year plan”, then we’ll just have see how it goes after a hundred years…

  19. Canada ? fine. Mexico ? okay. Puerto Rico ? that could work.

    England ? France ? Germany ? Japan ? China ?

    No thanks.

    This is America’s Game, The American past-time used to be baseball, now that’s gone and the league does nothing but draft latino players.

    Unless a team playing in England produces a player like Nigel Gruff from the Replacements, I’m not interested and won’t watch.

    Goodell, don’t screw with a good thing !

  20. Teams hate going coast to coast. What kind of jet lag is a west coast team gonna have flyin to London? We ought to UNITE as fans and boycott the NFL until GOodell steps down

  21. I say let the rest of the world watch that insufferable sport they call futbol.

    Fast kickin? Low scorin? And ties? YOU BET!!

    No wonder Europeans are so lazy: they think soccer is exciting. And killing people after games is as much a part of the sport as over advertised jerseys.

  22. the soccer stadiums are only 40,000 seat buildings and aren’t regularly filled. don’t believe me? check it out.

    so how you gonna fill an 80k seat stadium?

  23. I’m sure the London locals will come out in droves to watch a Super Bowl that kicks off at midnight local time to keep the game in primetime for its fans and advertisers that will actually be watching in America. Although I suppose they could always just tape delay it. NBC has an app for that.

  24. “London will be 40 feet under water in 100 years, just ask Al Gore”
    You really gotta love a genius that can take an article about the NFL possibly playing games in London and somehow bring politics into it. why don’t you go post on fox news, slappy?

  25. Soccer is boring and I don’t care if I am unpopular for saying the blatantly obvious. Fun to play, excrutiating to watch. Whens the last time you saw soccer drafts on espn in primetime? Oh thats right. Espn wants people to watch their broadcasts. And the european fans kill people after games often. Those are not isolated incidents. Sometimes they kill players. The hooligans are the soccer fans in Europe.

    And Europeans are lazy. How do you think their debt crisis started? Working hard? nope. Entitlements! I don’t want to work, and I demand a raise! And I want 3 months vacation or I will start rioting in the streets of london. All of this happened recently. Read a newspaper.

    I will say the US is headed in that direction too, so you have a point there.

  26. Brilliant move by the NFL. First you move a team to London, then you incorporate all NFL teams out of London.

    Next you submit all your health claims to the British national healthcare system.

    Only downside is that with socialized medicine, a knee injury means you are on the DL for 2 years waiting for surgery.

  27. Each of the pro leagues are trying to expand to other countries: NFL-Europe; NBA-China; MLB-Japan; NHL-America. What’s that? The NHL already has teams in the USA. I guess it’s not going too well.

  28. The NFL will not make it in Canada. The CFL is loved there and most Canadian fans see the NFL as boring. I enjoy both leagues, but many people around the globe see the NFL as s bit of a joke with all the player arrests, bounty scandals, and seeing billionaires argue with millionaires over $.
    Go Cowboys!

  29. I don’t understand this need for global conquest by the NFL. All the London games I’ve seen so far haven’t been that entertaining. When you’re traveling so many time zones, it takes your body awhile to get to catch up to that change. This is stupid. Plus like someone said earlier, I think this is a dying sport. Eventually parents just won’t allow their children to play football with all the evidence that will come out about connecting head trauma to football.

  30. thegonz13 says:Aug 22, 2012 10:16 PM

    American cities like Birmingham, Vegas, San Antonio and Cleveland deserve NFL teams first!


    I literally spit my beer out from laughing at this comment. Well done sir, well done.

  31. I know I’m in the minority but I just gotta say that I’m all for this.

    It’s just one more medium for America to prove their superiority over the rest of the world. They olympics only happen ever 4 years, I would personally like to see us prove annually to the world that this nation of supposed fat and lazy people are in fact the best athletes in the world.

    Nothing would please me more than to see the Ray Lewis’ and the Marshawn Lynch’s of this great nation bull dozing some euro trash on the football field.

  32. As much as I love American football there is no way EVER that it will be as popular world wide as fútbol. I’m fortunate enough to been born in America with Colombian parents and have passion in my blood for both sports.

    Godell just wants to get £ and exchange it to $ since its worth more. Its all about $. The patriots being ironically the “New England” patriots will sell jerseys etc.. and cash in.

  33. @taintedsaints2009… Bro youre embarrassing us….
    Wasn’t there someone shot at an Oakland pre-season game just last week? Lazy? Futbol is played 45 min str8 per half. No timeouts, only 3 subs/game, no commercial break, The players play both offense and defense.

  34. Sure I like football a lot more than futbol but I do like that one aspect of specific aspect of the latter, and that is the lack of commercials. Sure they have adverts all over their jerseys, but I would take that in a second for football if it means the only commercial breaks were during halftime. Anyway that may be a big hurdle for sports fans to overcome overseas.

  35. asw1028 says: Aug 22, 2012 8:56 PM

    Ehh, I’m not so sure. I think that football is a great sport but the violent nature of the game is a turn off for many people in other parts of the world. Converting futbol fans into football fans is a tall task, similar to converting people from one religion to another.


    Actually the violent nature of football is nothing compared to the violence in the stand and around the stadiums over there!

  36. alonestartexan says: Aug 22, 2012 11:06 PM

    “btw, it’s ironic for Americans to call anyone lazy. Just saying.”

    From one of many reports…

    ” Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world.

    More than the English, more than the French, way more than the Germans or Norwegians. Even, recently, more than the Japanese.

    And Americans take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later, too. ”

    Education is a wonderful thing, you should try it!
    Just sayin…

  37. Just as the mirage of a return of the NFL to LA is there only to help struggling franchises negotiate a better deal with their local stadium authorities and legislatures, the London game is there to provide some leverage back in the US: an invention of lawyers like Two Face Goodell. Europeans and the world (except Japan) likes continuous flow sports, which Merkin Football will never be.

  38. here’s the issue with the theory of comparing it to baseball, outside the us, baseball is big in central america and the pacific rim. Its not in the other half of the world, the us is the only place where soccer isn’t HUGE.

  39. Football as we know it on this side of the pond will never really make it in Europe.

    Everything is different there, the people, the culture, you name it.

  40. It’s all simply about Goodell as representative of the owners, trying to increase the owners wealth. Figuring to expand the game to attract more dollars.

    I.e., when owning several or more billion dollars personally isn’t enough.

  41. “London experiment is part of a 1000-year global plan”

    Here, fixed it for ya!

    Roger “LeGod” imperialistic mentality is absurd. Go ahead and “conquer”, lol, London and for sure you’ll conquer the world. Heck, you can then move on to convince the martians afterwards. ROTFLOL….

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