The NFL is Going to China

Written by :
Published on : July 19, 2016

 

 

The NFL is expanding its international reach. London will no longer be the only non-American location to host a game. That’s right, the National Football League is planning a regular season contest in China. The match is slated for 2018, with the Los Angeles Rams facing the San Francisco 49ers. What does this mean for the future? Should we be excited or skeptical? Here is everything you need to know about the big move to the big east.

 

The league has been trying to pull this off for a while now. Back in 2007, they had plans for game in Beijing that never materialized. This second attempt seems like it will happen. Owners hope this will unlock a whole new demographic of fans and create new revenue streams for the franchises. There is a clear push by the NFL to broaden into the world market. There will be another three games played in London this year plus one in Mexico. Interest is growing globally. Reports are that Germany would love to host an NFL game so who knows, maybe we can add Berlin to the list in a year or two.

 

 

Not everyone is thrilled about the developments. Many players and coaches have spoken up about their displeasure. The main complaint being that the increased travel is really taxing. And squads who aren’t made to leave the states may have an advantage in the long run. Teams always get their bye week after playing in London but what about the fact that one side is losing a home game? From the management side, I could see how the showcase is worth the opportunity but from a local fan perspective, I totally understand the frustration. What if you have season tickets? You just lost one of eight home games. That’s not nothing. Plus, the foreign kickoffs are always 6am or something even less convenient. Expand the league but not at the direct cost of the diehards.

 

Like all things, this boils down to dollars. Players want bigger contracts and the league wants more money. Adding new countries of viewers will pay for all that. The travel may be rough but for the amount of cash these guys are making, it shouldn’t be an issue. So whether or not you like the idea, it is here to stay. The NFL will have more and more events overseas. Maybe all as lead up to London or Beijing getting a permanent team.

 

Beijing National Stadium AKA the Bird’s Nest

 

Look at hollywood. Blockbusters are making huge box office waves in Asia. In some cases, the movies make more money in China than they do here. And the industry is adjusting because of it. The NFL is following this model. They see the capital and the potential that the Chinese market has to offer and they are pouncing on it. We need to start learning to play nice and share the game. It’s going global with or without you so just get onboard now.

 

The world of old school pig skin is not dying but changing. It’s getting bigger, and faster. More mechanized, more advertised and more publicized. New rules that favor higher scoring make a better product to sell. Roger Goodell will do anything he can to increase the popularity of the sport. To any new Chinese football fans, I say welcome and are you ready for some football?

 

Fortunes.

 

 


The London Lions

Written by :
Published on : November 5, 2015

 

 

It was 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday and my alarm went off.

MY ALARM WENT OFF AT 8:30AM ON A SUNDAY.

 

I made the decision to wake up and watch a football game. But not just any football game. It was the Detroit Lions playing the Kansas City Chiefs in London. Really, the only thing making this game unique was that it was my favorite team — for better or worse (usually worse) — The Lions, playing in London. It was a painful game to watch. I’m not here to recap the woeful performance of the offensive line or the countless missed tackles on Kansas City runners. I’m here to make a proposal (or plea). Move The Lions to London.

 

I think it’s best for the fans and the team. As fans — we just need some time — for us. We need to figure some things out. Things like, should we be Vikings or Steelers fans now? Both have a bruising history which is something Detroiters respect. The Vikings are, geographically, the closest NFC North team not located in Chicago or Green Bay (gross). Pittsburgh is a tough and gritty blue collar town; also something that Detroiters can really identify with.

 

Get used to having a defense that doesn’t know which way to go.

 

Shhh… just go. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be; because, it DOES need to “be”. Fans in London, as the FOX commentators repeatedly reminded us, seem to really love American Football. Like, genuinely. But, like any “newbie,” they need to experience pain before they can experience triumph. Don’t reward them with the possibility of immediate success.

 

“But, how can you have immediate success with an expansion team, Alex? Wouldn’t moving The Lions give them a better chance at winning right away?” Good question, guys.

 

The Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars are both expansion teams that have come into existence in my lifetime, and both have had MORE success than The Lions in my lifetime. So, I again say, “send The Lions to London.” London deserves an NFL team. But not without feeling the pain of a tattoo on the underside of their arms before that puncturing needle turns into soothing angel tickles of victory. Detroit is still waiting for it’s angel tickles.

 

This could be you, London.

 

Give them about 50 years of that pain, then once Londoners souls are broken like the Detroit football fans’, move the London Lions to Los Angeles. I’m sure they still won’t have a team in 2065. Let them rebuild from scratch and taste the sweet flavor of victory after so much bitter defeat.

 

Go now! The ceremonial burning down of Ford Field to cast away the football demons that have plagued our city is going to happen soon. You still being here will make this weird for us. Haven’t you done enough? Just let us have this one victory before we cast you away deep into our memories where the Freudian sex thoughts about our family members live!

 

Detroit deserves a successful football franchise. Detroit deserves a successful football franchise. DETROIT DESERVES A SUCCESSFUL FOOTBALL FRANCHISE.

 

Damn. It worked in Beetlejuice.

 

 


SBS NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 7

Written by :
Published on : October 21, 2015

 

This things has gone totally off the rails. My NFL Picks Against the Spread got absolutely destroyed last week and I put up an embarrassing record of 4-9-1. There’s not a whole lot I have to say for myself and I’m going to need a stellar week if I’m to have any hope of getting even here. I’ve been just better than a coin flip up until now, but there’s not really any excuse for what happened. I had a bad week. Simple as that. But like any degenerate gambler, I know I can get it together this week! I can’t lose, so let’s take the plunge!

 

Winning picks in italics

 

Seahawks (-6) at 49ers: 49ers

Seahawks haven’t looked good enough to convince me that they win by more than a field goal. 49ers have looked pretty decent at home though so that’s my pick.

 

Bills (-5.5) at Jaguars (in London): Bills

This isn’t truly a road game for the Bills since it is being played in London and I don’t think the Jaguars are very good right now. I want to believe they can start to put it together but I think the Bills will just be too much to handle.

 

Browns at Rams (-5.5): Browns

I think the Rams will probably eek this out at home but the Browns have been pretty competitive of late. Look for this one to go the Rams’ way late but probably by a field goal or less.

 

Chiefs at Steelers (-2): Steelers

The Chiefs just haven’t been any good this season and their offense is in serious trouble without Jamaal Charles on the field. The Steelers beat a quality opponent last week in the Cardinals, despite having to roll with Landry Jones at QB after Mike Vick (who hasn’t exactly been stellar) got hurt. Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers receivers will be covering the spread, no matter who is at QB.

 

Texans at Dolphins (-4.5): Texans

Arian Foster looks to be getting back into game shape, and that makes all the difference for this Texans team. Between him and DeAndre Hopkins, who is tearing it up right now, this team could actually make a run to win the very bad AFC South. On the backs of those two, the Texans will beat the Dolphins.

 

Jets at Patriots (-9): Patriots

Last week my rule of taking the Patriots and Packers, no matter what the spread is, backfired on me. This one could be just as dangerous because the Jets have looked pretty strong, but isn’t this the perfect time for the Jets to trip over themselves? I see them going into Foxborough and getting a thorough beating at the hand of (arguably) the best team in the league.

 

Vikings (-2.5) at Lions: Lions

This one is also dangerous but as a rule, I don’t really like to pick the road team in a division game. The Lions are still pretty bad when you consider that it took overtime for them to beat the piss-poor Bears. I’m thinking they get Ngata back this week and take a little revenge for their mistake filled loss to the Vikings in week 2.

 

Falcons (-4) at Titans: Falcons

The Falcons lost their bid for an undefeated season last week in New Orleans but they are going to get back on track this week in Tennessee. Devonta Freeman is going to run all over the Titans and you can bet that Julio Jones will get in on the action too.

 

Buccaneers at Redskins (-3.5): Redskins

The Buccaneers running game might give them a chance in this one but I just don’t see Jameis Winston being successful in this road matchup. He has played mistake-prone football all year and I think the pressure of heading up north to play the ‘Skins will be too much. A few too many interceptions means that Washington covers the spread.

 

Saints at Colts (-5): Colts

Andrew Luck looked better this past week but he was still uncharacteristically inaccurate at times. One has to wonder if that injury is still bothering him but another week might help with that. If the Colts don’t get it together real soon, and cut out the bullshit trick plays, then they will be looking for a new head coach very soon. Pagano should just go out and coach his team to a win against a lesser opponent.

 

Raiders at Chargers (-4): Chargers

I’m almost tempted to pick the Raiders in this situation, but I’m not going to…. Remember that whole thing about division games on the road? Yeah, that applies here too. Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen will win this one if they can avoid the ageless wonder, Charles Woodson.

 

Cowboys at Giants (-3.5): Giants

The Cowboys are playing a division game on the road. And they’re starting Matt Cassel at quarterback! They might as well just fast forward to next week. I don’t care that the Giants just got blown out by the Eagles, they will cover here.

 

Eagles at Panthers (-2.5): Panthers

The Panthers, and especially Cam Newton, are looking very good right about now. They will get the Eagles at home and are bound to capitalize on some Sam Bradford mistakes and keep the unbeaten streak going for one more week.

 

Ravens at Cardinals (-7.5): Cardinals

The Ravens are really bad and I’m regretting not including them in the NFL Graveyard article that I released last week. The Cardinals slipped up recently but will get back on track at home. Look for them to put up a ton of points and cover the spread.

 

 

Bears, Bengals, Broncos and Packers: Bye week.

 


 

 

Last week’s record: 4-9-1

 

Season record: 42-46-3

 


What London can expect if they get the Jacksonville Jaguars

Written by :
Published on : September 4, 2015

 

 

There is buzz that many NFL teams could be on move. Rumors are about St Louis, Oakland and Jacksonville. Well, I do believe some franchises could relocate but it might not be what people think. The NFL has added more and more games played in London. You only need eight for a full home schedule and Commissioner Roger Goodell already has three games at Wembley stadium this year. That’s almost halfway there. So our friends in England may get a squad soon and they are going to need some help getting used to the way us Yanks do things.  Here are a few things our British friends need to know about their soon-to-be team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

The quarterback, Blake Bortles. The UK should love him. I mean just on name alone. Doesn’t it feel like some awful Bond character? Say it with a British accent, “Blake Bortles.” Damn that sounds good. I can see how this thing is going to work. And to be fair, Bortles has looked pretty good considering he runs a bottom-of-the-barrel franchise.

 

Blake Bortles

 

Be prepared for a little heartache. This is an expansion team whose best days were under the control of QB Mark Burnell decades ago. A move is not going to fix things. So fans should be patient. I mean six wins in 2015 will be considered a success.

 

The wide receivers are going to get arrested. It’s just going to happen. I know there are less strip clubs in London than in Jacksonville but that doesn’t matter. A ‘Justin Blackmon’ type will get in trouble no matter where he lives. And that’s where this team is at.

 

Justin Blackmon, back when he was still in the league

 

The team mascot. It is literally built for our neighbors across the pond. We all say Jag-war. Two syllables. While our fancier friends say Jag-u-war. Three syllables. Wow. So much classier. They totally deserve the team, at least more than Florida, who can’t even spell syllable.

 

The customs. The fans in Jacksonville wear crocs, drink beer and rock tank tops. London, you can change all that. Make the playoffs and we could see wingtips, tea and blazers take over.  I think the NFL could use some lessons in manners. I mean, I could switch to tea. If it’s not super hot you can still chug it.

 

Some people will be mad that an American team left to play abroad, but the NFL is changing into a global phenomena and Florida already has teams in Miami and Tampa Bay. Do they really need a third? I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to redistrict and add Europe into the mix. American Football as tons of special rules and regulations, it’s perfect for Brits too stimulated by the constant pace of soccer.

 

Cheers!

 

 


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