Football in the UK? (And I Don’t Mean Soccer)

Oakland played Miami this week, in London. At a stadium a called Wembley. Wembley! It would only sound more British if it were called Wimbly-Womblyton.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m a total Anglophile. My vacation to England a few years ago was the best of my life. I actually cried when we got on the train to go to Paris, I was so sad to leave. Soak that in for a sec. I cried because Johnny was making me go to Paris.

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But I think American Football in England is stupid.

It’s all about the money (of course)
If England was clamoring for the sport, I’d concede. But it’s not. This is (another) clear attempt by the NFL to sell tickets, jerseys, television packages, and commercial time. But with the money-maker that is the English Premier League, I think the NFL is jumping into a saturated market.

Boring the masses
To prep the Brits, the NFL has set up these regular-season games abroad as part of a 7-year roll out plan. 84,000 people showed up to the Miami-Oakland game, which included a free street carnival beforehand and a Def Leopard concert.

The problem was the game.

It was a blow-out, as you might expect, with Miami beating Oakland 38-14. By halftime, half of the crowd had left. And the crowd continued their exodus throughout the remainder of the game. They’re not loyal to the teams – they were bored.

Train up a child
One of the main arguments I’ve heard from my guy friends about why women aren’t as apt to be as knowledgable about football as men is the existence of Little League.
Learning the basics as a kid gives adult fans a head start.

While a few clubs are popping up around the UK, the Little League-to-Friday Night Lights-to-College-to-Pros system just isn’t there.

The system is there, however, for soccer. Can two such systems be sustained?

So, lack of demand, boring the potential fans, and no systems to sustain the culture … Sorry, NFL, I don’t think Wimbly-Womblyton is the right move.

Cheers.

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