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International Series.... what are your views?

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by Dobbo, Oct 24, 2011.

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  1. Dobbo

    Dobbo On the Roster

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    Dear All,

    As a British fan of American Football (and the Pats of course) I think that the IS, and Goodell's apparant desire to expand the NFL's footprint into the UK is a great thing.

    Quite a big deal is made about it over here, and it is apparant that the game is becoming more popular as more people begin to understand the rules, tactics etc. and get the opportunity to see a game live. It is well set in the UK sporting calender, and in those regards i think the IS has been a sucess.

    For obvious reasons Goodell thinks it has been a sucess, and the US media that we get over here are non-commital (aside from saying how much they like London, the people blah blah blah). It is therefore difficult to get an idea of how the IS, and the expansion policy, is generally viewed back in the US.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this, in particular if any of you came across in 2009, and where you see this heading in the future.
     
  2. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I think because of the time difference that logistically it doesn't make much sense. Right now every team that plays in London gets a bye the following week; that would not be possible with a permanent team there.

    There has been much discussion here about the hardship on teams traveling from the west coast to east coast and visa versa; that's a difference of three time zones. If that is difficult on teams what would it be like traveling to and from the UK on a weekly basis?

    Another consideration: free agents. How many players are realistically going to want to uproot and move overseas?


    My question to you is this: do you honestly believe there is enough interest to support a team there? First of all I get the impression that most fans there already have a favorite NFL team; are they going to drop that allegiance for an expansion or relocated team? Second of all, it is one thing to spend money on one game per year; how many are realistically going to do the same for eight regular season games plus two preseason games?


    Bottom line is that I definitely see the international series continuing, but I cannot envision a full-time NFL team in the UK.
     
  3. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with all of your points. I think the game does have growth potential here in the UK, but I can't see a team selling out 8 games for the reasons you mentioned. I haven't bothered with the last two games and Football is (by a distance) my favourite game. I also live in London, so travel isn't a major turn-off. However, I have been put off by the soul-less stadium that is Wembley, the poor quality of teams on offer and the ticket prices, which are unreal.

    For a franchise to have a chance, it needs to be 20 years or so into the future, with MUCH faster flying times between the States and the UK.

    There also needs to be a sustained effort by the NFL to make the grassroots game grow, something which they have completely ignored so far. Coupled with more exposure on mainstream TV, this could produce results.

    We have some very talented kids in this country, and some good coaches, but we could really do with the NFL and College guys to get involved properly- that's for another time though.
     
  4. Dobbo

    Dobbo On the Roster

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    Thanks for the replies - I will try and pull out and reply both of your points in a single response if I may..

    I think the point has to be made that, thus far the IS appears to have been a success. Over the past 5 years the popularity of the game here has grown and, more importantly, people are beginning to understand the game as never before.

    I feel a franchise over here is realistic in future, but for the reasons you both make I do not see it being possible for another 10-20 years.

    I am interested to see if there is an appetite in the US for the game to be grown in the UK. Goodell certainly seems to be keen on the idea, but if the next commish is not keen then it could come to a grinding halt...

    Logistics
    I agree there are some problems to overcome, not least with NFL scheduling - i would love the Englang soccer team to be booted out to play a game at another stadium BTW! Quite what would happen for teams on the east coast who do not have a bye, or it London hosted MNF, I do not know. I do not think it is insurmountable, but it does make life hard. Taking the most recent game as an example, I bet it is not much further from Chicago to London than Chicago to Tampa. As you point out, the time zones change but the game can still happen at the usual (early) time.

    I don't think flying times need to change although it would help.

    Free Agents/Waivers/Draft Picks
    I agree that this is a major problem. Players are used to upping sticks and moving to a new team at the drop of a hat, but a new country would make it difficult. I think the same applies to front office/training etc. A UK franchise would need to have a base of operations in both the UK and in the US - which would not come cheap. If the team were playing a 3/4 week road game stretch, they would certainly stay in the US and not fly "home" every week. I think this leads on to the next point...

    British/European NFL Players
    There are one or two "British" players, but the link is a bit tenuous. (e.g. Osi Umenoiya and Lawrence Tynes) and we know about Vollmer. A couple of guys have made it onto practice squads, but what is needed is for a player, from Britain to make it big - ideally in a skill position. Someone who will star in College, be a first round pick and light up the NFL would do wonders for the game over here. Ultimately, it would help if there were a pool of near NFL standard players in Europe to help the new franchise, but that would require a significant subsidy on the part of the owners...

    Interest to Support a Team/Problems with fans already having a team
    I think that these two problems are what are going to be evaluated over the next phase of the IS. They are doing it by holding more games over here (baby steps - it will go from 1 to 2 to 3 etc.) to see if the popularity remains. They are also going to bring the same team (or teams) over quite regularly to see if that will lead to an increase in support for the team (probably the Bucs due to the Glazers) but that would take at least 5 years for the results to be known.

    I think that is the difficulty, on Sunday the split in support was roughly 50:50 - and although most neutrals would end up supporting the Bucs - all fans want to see the star men doing what they do best (e.g. when the whole stadium booed the opening kick off that was kicked out of bounds and not at Devin Hester). So it can be an odd atmosphere.

    I think the crowd got behind the Bucs in the 4th quarter when the team rallied, but I would hope that in future there will be a decent quality home team that plays well (and wins!!) (FYI - the pats cannot come over again for another 3 years unless they have changed the rules or we give up a home game - how likely is that unless it is pre season!).



    I agree that the game will/should continue, but i think there needs to be a genuine will on both sides of the pond for it to work, and a recognition that it will be a long term process to implement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  5. UK_Pat37

    UK_Pat37 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    #12 Jersey

    Worth noting that an announcement is due tomorrow regarding the international series.

    Names swimming around right now include the Patriots.
     
  6. Dobbo

    Dobbo On the Roster

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    Worth revisiting....

    London 2012 to get a visit from the DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!!!!!:rocker:
     
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