I sincerely hope Jed York‘s motivation for his latest comments was an attempt at boosting interest for this year’s NFL London game. His San Francisco 49ers will take on the Denver Broncos on Halloween in what has become a yearly event for the NFL. However, York not only expects the game to become more than an annual occurrence, he believes a Super Bowl will be held in England in the future.
What a disaster that would be. What’s next? Resurrect the NFL Germany game plan? If they want to try starting a team, I’m all for it. The NFL has been talking about it for a while now and I suppose it’s one of those situations where you won’t know until you give it a shot. I’d feel bad for the players who were drafted to London, but it would be an interesting experiment. As for the biggest American game of the year being held overseas — I’m not sure I like the sound of that. Here’s what York had to say during his recent trip to London, courtesy of ProFootballTalk:
There is easily enough of a fan base over here to stage two games a season. I think eventually there will be a Super Bowl outside the U.S. I couldn’t tell you when that would be. I can see it both ways. I’m not sure what will be first, a Super Bowl over here or an NFL team, but they both seem likely to happen.”
Sure, the NFL games at Wembley Stadium have drawn significant interest from British fans, but PFT’s Gregg Rosenthal said it best when he pointed out that football fans over there are “like a U.S. soccer crowd: no one knows when to cheer.” I suppose having a team based in London would give fans a better grasp of the actual game, but football could never gain the type of popularity it enjoys in the U.S. The same has been, and probably always will be, true of soccer in America.
Bottom line: this is probably a publicity stunt from York to make the Niners-Broncos game appear more significant than it actually is. If something like this were to happen, rabid fans who are committed enough to spend the money and follow their team to the Super Bowl would go insane. The cost is steep enough as it is, let alone having to account for a flight and hotel in England. Not going to happen.
Jed York: London Super Bowl and NFL team both “likely to happen” [ProFootballTalk]