Rams To Open Season In London

20Jan12

RAMS TO OPEN SEASON IN LONDON!  I just had the say that out loud again.  When I first heard it this morning, I was sure that I’d heard it wrong.  Oh, I know the NFL is trying everything to get the rest of the world to join in on our fun…to teach them why we have such a passion for such a brutal sport. 

That doesn’t mean we have to agree with it.  I mean, football is truly an American sport, regardless of where its roots may have come from.  With modern technology placing anything with a camera in the living room of every home in the world, the need to bring the game live and in person to other countries just seems a bit much to me.  Whether it’s football in Mexico or football in Europe, it just seems to cheapen the game.

I mean, is there a sports industry that is bigger in the United States than football?  Okay, so baseball is considered America’s favorite past time, but that doesn’t mean it’s the big money maker that the NFL has become.  Basketball has a huge following, but there seems to be too many players that are perceived to be punks lately, which is preventing the game to be as popular as football.  Hockey is an exciting sport to watch, but it is very market oriented, which prevents it from being a nationwide fan favorite.

Football, on the other hand, is a favorite sport in every part of this great country.  Whether your climate is warm, chilly or frozen, whether it is full of sunshine, wet with rain or blanketed with six feet of snow, football is still a favorite among true American sports fans.

It is making as much money as any other sport, and there are no signs of it doing anything but getting better in the near future.  It even survived a lockout this past spring and summer with barely a hiccup.  Lots of people engage in the fantasy sports leagues.  Some play fantasy baseball, others play fantasy basketball, but they all play fantasy football.  Most will tell you that they played fantasy football for years before they even heard of the other sports fantasy leagues.

So why the need to bring the actual games to other countries?  The fan base can grow by televising the games to other countries.  But bringing the games to other countries, while sounding like a sexy idea at first, is nothing short of selling out the game and sacrificing the players and teams for money.

The fact that the Rams just inked a deal to open each of their next three seasons in London is the biggest sellout of all.  I understand that the owner has ties to sports teams all over the world, including the UK, but moving the entire team overseas for a week just to play in front of a British crowd is too much.  I wonder if the St. Louis season ticket holders are getting tickets, air fair, hotels and per diem for these games.  After all, they’re sacrificing one home game each year in order to participate in this exercise.

Let’s take a look at the organization for a minute.  A couple of years ago, they used their top draft pick on a star quarterback to lead their team out of the cellar of the NFC West, a spot that they’d had a firm hold on for several years.  That didn’t work, so they fired their head coach and brought in one of the most popular coaches of the past two decades to kick start them into being a team to be taken seriously.  So why this charade?  Does the league actually believe that it will eventually expand into Europe, forcing teams to fly across the pond on a weekly basis?  I doubt it. 

But hey, what do I know.  Perhaps in years to come, it will become the AFC and EFC, with the European Football Conference replacing the National Football Conference.  And they can play the Pro Bowl in a neutral site, like Jamaica. 

Or, they can leave the game with the greatest fan base in the world alone!

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2 Responses to “Rams To Open Season In London”

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  2. That’s okay Earle. Like I said in my “Welcome” statement, you may not always agree with what I say. But that’s okay, I’m just telling it from my perspective. Thanks for hanging in there and continuing to visit the site!


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