New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft is one of the shining examples of a profitable, professional, and impressive ownership. Not only does his team win big, but his players, coaches, and every member down to the janitor are nothing but loyal. When Kraft has an idea for business, the NFL takes heed. Robert Kraft seems to believe that moving a franchise to London will soon make this team the most fiscally successful entity the NFL has to offer.
Pardon me for speaking out of turn, but playing in Wembley Stadium may not be the home run the NFL’s executives envision.
Robert Kraft may have cornered the market in the business perspective, but he does not understand the issues coupling a franchise move to London. Firstly, the question is a foreign game sharing Wembley Stadium. I find it hard to believe that the soccer (or football) sides that call Wembley home will favor a horde of gargantuan monstrosities tearing their paddock apart. Timing will be an issue as soccer is played more often than football, and the grounds crew will be worked to the bone. In order for London’s premier stadium to be shared, an exorbitant rental fee will be demanded from the local authorities.
The NFL could always try Twickenham, an equally picturesque Rugby Football stadium nearby. However, the British have zero respect for the game on the gridiron. After playing both sports, it is easy to see why. Fans make jokes about everything from their tight pants, to their house of pads, to their helmets, to the lack of game time. Fans argue that the reason why soccer and rugby have little root in America is the lack of time to advertise.
Rugby fans have a hatred for the American twist on their original masterpiece. Twickenham will not be an option. Then there is the time difference. Great Britian time is about five hours ahead of the Eastern Seaboard. The Prime Meridian runs right through Greenwich, leaving an arduous traveling schedule and the question of how the western teams are going to make it all the way out there without being run ragged. On one hand, it is unfair for the west teams to fly out there, but on the other, Londoners will not be able to fly out with their franchise to the states. Every player will have to have a working visa, customs set up, and god knows what else to check them into the country. The hour differential, the lack of sleep, the customs enforcement, and the lack of times available for Londoners and Americans to mutually view the games at a reasonable hour make everything about this a non-working relationship.
So there are little fans who understand the game, and even fewer players who will take the flight. The massive traveling budgets and rental costs at Wembley will be a tough pill to swallow. The only fun part of this whole hullabaloo is deciding a name for this team.
With names as stupid as the Houston Texans, there is no end to what the NFL could conjure. Maybe the London Scones? The Queens? The Crumpets? The Sillynannies? There has to be something identifiable with London that is not laughable. Maybe rain, lot’s and lot’s of rain. The London Rain – a great concept, a fun idea, a terrible waste of energy.
Filed under: NFL