Shutdown Corner - NFL

The British would like their own NFL teamThe Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will tee it up in London on Sunday, marking the fifth straight year the NFL has staged a game at Wembley Stadium.

I don't know how popular the NFL is in England or anywhere else in the United Kingdom. I know how popular the NFL says it is -- roughly as popular as The Beatles, tea and ignoring modern dentistry combined -- but the image pushed by the NFL PR machine may differ slightly from reality. This year's game at Wembley is not sold out.

There are some who are convinced of the popularity, though, or at least, convinced enough that they believe there's money to be made. Richard Fuller, member of Parliament, said that they'd one day like to be home to an NFL team.

"We will be working closely with BAFA (British American Football Association), the NFL and other organisations to promote and increase official recognition of American football within the UK sporting landscape. We hope to be able to develop participation in the sport at grassroots level, create opportunities for British players to reach their full potential in the sport and support the pathway to having eventually a UK-based NFL team."

I guess it's only fair, since Americans now own three of the biggest English soccer clubs (oh, and sorry we're trying to ruin it -- we're not all like that). I don't see why we can't just give them the Jacksonville Jaguars right now and call it even.

Obviously, an NFL team overseas is a long, long way from becoming reality. If I had to wager, though, on whether or not there'd be an NFL team in England in the next 15 years, my money would say yes. It seems pretty clear that that's the long-term goal. If they're committed enough to it, it will happen.

Gracias, PFT.

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