Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stop with the London Super Bowl crap

I mean no disrespect whatsoever to our British/European friends who enjoy the National Football League; in fact, I think it's great that some have taken a liking to our sport. Now that I've got this out of the way -- and I realize I'm a little late to the party -- I am absolutely, fundamentally, and unequivocally opposed to the Super Bowl being played outside the United States. It had been reported several months ago that London had been discussed as a potential future site. Now, a few days ago, it was reported that the city of London had launched a bid to draw the Super Bowl there by 2017. Though we should be flattered, maybe, there's no way Roger Goodell or any in the NFL involved with this should allow it, and if they do, they're dumber than a barrel of mayonnaise.

This is the championship game for the most popular team sport in our nation. There are fans and season ticket holders that wait years for the opportunity to see their team play in the big game and possibly attend, and yet there are those who wish to poach the event from its home country and play it abroad. Don't believe me? Read this article. It may or may not be true, as I can't vouch for the accuracy of this particular British newspaper, but the fact that we're still discussing this story is troublesome to say the least. Out of zeal for new markets and potentially more money down the line (which, let's be honest, is the motivation), there would be no faster way to alienate large sections of the American fanbase (you know, the main one) than to play the Super Bowl somewhere else. It's like taking your long-time girlfriend to a bar and hitting on someone else, hoping that both will go home with you at the end of the night.

Imagine if the British Football/Soccer final was to be played in, let's say, the Meadowlands (and no, I don't want it to happen). You think there would be a few unhappy people across the pond? Exhibitions and regular season games I can live with. Home fans will be able to adapt to losing one game of 8. Taking a playoff game (more like THE playoff game) out of the country, despite already being a neutral-site contest, invites a lot of trouble. American fans who intended on going will now have to have their passports ready to go, as well as the extra money for an international flight and lodging, not to mention the fact that the game will have to start at some ridiculous hour for it to even be close to prime time in the US. I'm sure the people in California would love for the Super Bowl to start at noon. Finally, the Super Bowl, an American institution, will not take place in America because the NFL wants exposure and potential dollars. That's all this is; they can't disguise it.

Besides, we can't have a Super Bowl in New York, our biggest city, media market, and cultural center, because it's too cold, but we can play one in Europe because it's "growing the game"? This is the kind of idiocy we're at odds with here.

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