On October 26th, 2008, the San Diego Chargers will combat the New Orleans Saints… in London. It’s considered an away game for the Bolts so the ticket holding faithful don’t have to worry.
While I can dig on the NFL wanting to expand outside America, I don’t want to see the NFL become too gimmicky in its marketing of our brand of football across the pond. The billion dollar behemoth no doubt wants to tap back into the market after NFL Europe folded quietly into the night. This match up will be the second ever regular season game held outside the states, and probably not the last. Word has it the Bills will travel to Canada to give the CFL fans a treat.
I suppose it’s advantageous that both teams will have a bye week afterward, but between the jetlag and neutral ground it could still take a few days to get back in the groove. I don’t forsee any ill-effects from a player standpoint due to the game, but the ratings/revenue stunt doesn’t seem fair from a fan standpoint. Saints fans lose a home game. In a world where there are only eight, very precious games to watch in your city, having one transplanted to those who play football exclusively with their feet could be a tad annoying.
If the NFL was in dire straits financially I would applaud the effort, but aside from a plan of world domination, I don’t see how playing games on different continents will help the NFL. What’s next? A franchise in London? New division, the NFC/AFC Waaaaaaaay East? We know a NFL farm league is a bust over there. Is this to boost satellite TV revenue so Great Britain will get glued to the game, watch it over Manchester United? Not bloody likely.