Buc's Home Game in London

Peter King has reported on HBO's Inside the NFL that the NFL would like the Bucs to play in London next season.

The Bucs would have to give up a home game to play in London and would most likely play another East Coast team, i.e. Philly or Baltimore. The NFL would work out the schedule so that the Bucs would have a bye the following weekend.

The Bucs have been picked because Malcolm Glazer is trying to gain favor in the United Kingdom, what with his controversial takeover of the soccer club Manchester United. If the Bucs were to play in the UK next year, it would mark the the twenty year anniversary of the first NFL game played abroad, which was also in London, the American Bowl, which pitted the Bears against the Cowboys in a preseason game. The NFL has not played a game in London since 1993.

Moving a Bucs game to London is a horrible idea, even though it appears the Glazers are ready to do just that. The ultimate goal here is to expand the sport to Europe, which will never work. American football is the most expensive niche sport you could possibly find, both to play and to watch. Unlike soccer or, even hockey or basketball, it is fairly difficult to understand the rules if you are new to the sport. Additionally, NFL Europe has been around for a decade and has not seen any real surges in popularity.

The NBA's attempt to spread the sport internationally was incredibly successful because basketball is an easy sport to learn and play. The Original Dream Team with Jordan, Bird, Magic and Barkley, among others, was able to successfully export the sport around the world, as evidenced by players such as Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobili, Yao Ming and others.

But the NBA was successful because basketball is such an easy sport to pickup. All you have to do is put up a hoop at the end of a driveway, and give the kids a basketball. But with football you need pads, cleats, jerseys, knee and leg padding, etc. Football is just a more expensive sport to play, and unless the NFL goes town to town in Europe to supply all this equipment the sport will never catch on.

Hopefully somebody in the Bucs organization or in the NFL realizes this before the end of the season, because I would hate to see the Bucs lose a home game in what will ultimately be a losing cause.

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