NFL Sending Three Enticing Matchups To U.K in '18; Survey Shows Brits Dislike Football
The NFL is sending three "enticing matchups" to London next year, including Seahawks-Raiders at EPL club Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium and Eagles-Jaguars and Titans-Chargers at Wembley Stadium, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. Those matchups include "three playoff teams, a perennial contender, and two potential risers next season" (NFL.com, 1/11). In Nashville, Jason Wolf notes the Titans will be the "road team" against the Chargers on Oct. 21 or 28. Seahawks-Raiders will be played on Oct. 14 and Eagles-Jaguars will meet on either Oct. 21 or 28. The Titans were were one of six NFL franchises -- including the Texans, Packers, Eagles, Seahawks and Panthers -- that had "not played in London in the 11 years the league has been hosting games" there (TENNESSEAN.com, 1/11). In Seattle, Bob Condotta notes Seahawks-Raiders will be the "first NFL game" at Tottenham's new North London stadium. It will be a road game for the Seahawks, as the Raiders must host a London game as a team playing in a "temporary home stadium" in the U.S. (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/11).
WELCOME BACK: The Raiders' appearance in London means new coach Jon Gruden will be making the trip overseas, and ESPN's Adam Schefter said, "I'm sure he's going to be thrilled about going to London from the West Coast with that start time. I'm sure that's one of the things that he's going to be really excited about. Welcome back to coaching, Jon" ("SportsCenter," ESPN2, 1/11). Meanwhile, NBC's Mike Florio asked, “If you’re a Raiders fan and you’ve got limited years, maybe two at the most -- you want to give up a home game? Especially that one? A reunion of the old AFC West rivalry?" ("PFT," NBCSN, 1/11).
TWITTER NOTES & REAX: Radio producer Andrew Perloff tweeted, "If you're an NFL team, would you rather be on Hard Knocks or have to play a London game? " SB Nation's Matthew Cannata: "Good news for the Miami Dolphins as they will not be playing in London this coming season. The NFL owes them big time for their crazy schedule this past season." Seattle-based KCPQ-Fox' Aaron Levine: "While probable that #Seahawks would have a Bye immediately after London, the #NFL this season and last season did schedule games the week after teams playing in the London game. Something to keep an eye on."
LOOKING AHEAD: In DC, Cindy Boren writes "don’t be surprised" if the Texans, Panthers and Packers head to London in '19. The Texans and Panthers are slated to play one another in Houston that season, which would "seem like an ideal game for England because it takes care of two teams with one contest." As for the Packers, they "won’t give up a home game in the league’s smallest city and host teams don’t like to give up the sellout" when they come to town. But the Packers play the Chargers at StubHub Center in '19, making London a "likely landing spot for that game" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/11). ESPN UK's Tom Kingham: "NFL VP of international Mark Waller says that the Falcons and Bucs, who both have Super Bowl games being played at their stadiums in the future, will have London games in the future - as part of the Super Bowl contracts" (TWITTER.com, 1/11).
JUST RUBBISH: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Adam Blenford noted a YouGov survey of 1,616 British adults ranked American football as the U.K.’s "second-dullest sport to watch," with 59% of respondents rating it "very or quite boring," while just 18% think it is exciting. Only golf "fared worse." The findings "represent yet another setback to the NFL" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 1/10).