For at least the next three years, St. Louis Rams fans will be sharing their home team with the people of London, England. The Rams have agreed to "host" a "home" game in London next season against the Patriots, and they'll play London home games in 2013 and 2014, too.
The Rams. Congratulations, England. Imagine what team we'd send to a country we don't like.
Via the Rams' official website, here's a statement from team owner Stan Kroenke, who also happens to own English football club Arsenal, another London football club that strangely opts to play the game only with their feet.
"This is a tremendous honor for our franchise, the city of St. Louis and our fans throughout the world. We are excited about the opportunity to reach new audiences globally. This is a great platform to showcase the city of St. Louis to London and the UK.
"We've seen first-hand the increased popularity of the NFL not only in London but throughout Europe. To play a role in that growth over the next three years will be incredible and is a testament to the many good things happening not only in the NFL but also in the St. Louis Rams organization."
Roger Goodell is on record as saying that he'd like to put a team in London permanently. The Rams are often mentioned as a candidate for relocation. Should you read anything into this?
No, probably not. If London's ever going to get a full-time franchise ‒ and that's still a really big "if" ‒ we're years and years away from it happening. About a million other logistical hurdles would have to be cleared first, so just take this for what it is. It's the Rams giving up one home game a year in exchange for selling more Rams foam fingers in England.
In the long run, who knows how it will work out. Maybe it'll be great for the Rams and the organization will see an influx of new money and new excitement. At the moment, though, what strikes me is that I can't see an organization like the Packers or the Patriots volunteering to give up home-field advantage once a year. And maybe that's a little glimpse into why the Packers and Patriots are who they are and the Rams are who they are.