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NFL moves kickoff time for a 2014 London game up a few hours, gives fans more football to watch

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

I don't get the London NFL regular-season games, and I don't like them either. They throw off the competitive balance of the season making teams give up home games, and no American fan gets any benefit out of it.

The NFL believes it will make more money by expanding abroad, but there's no reason for me to care about the league adding a couple million to the billions it already makes.

One of the reasons the London games are useless is they are like any other game. They come on at the same time as the 1 p.m. Eastern time games. The London game looks a little darker. There's nothing else special about them.

But one minor switch to the London schedule all of a sudden gives us a benefit here in the United States: A few more hours of football on a NFL Sunday.

The Oct. 26 game next year between Atlanta and Detroit will start at 1:30 p.m. in England, or 9:30 a.m. Eastern time in America. So that London game will be wrapping up about the same time as the usual early set of games is kicking off? OK, NFL, you have my attention.

The other two London games (Dolphins-Raiders on Sept. 28 and Cowboys-Jaguars on Nov. 9) are the typical 1 p.m. ET start, so those games are boring and useless like the rest of the London games. But maybe this early start can catch on. It gives NFL fans some reason to watch the London game and get excited about them. The unplanned late start of Chargers at Raiders game earlier this season was a popular treat for hardcore NFL fans that enjoyed getting more than the 10 or so hours of football they already get on a normal Sunday (who here would be against that late, late start becoming a regular feature?).

With this early start, the NFL has finally given its normal fans a reason to support a game in London. Smart move.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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