Where Should the NFL Expand?
The NFL is still discussing expansion, and the main two cities that are still being talked about are London and Los Angeles.
LA makes total sense. They've had teams before, and they are the second largest city in the country just behind New York City in population. It's strange that the NFL has teams in Jacksonville and Green Bay, two of the smallest markets, but not LA.
But for now, let's just pretend that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a fairy godmother who's in a good mood.
Rumor has it that if the Jaguars were to move -- and they say they aren't -- LA would be on top of their wish list. LA fans may not be as passionate about the NFL as, say, fans in New Orleans or Chicago. Still, that's probably because they can't seem to keep a team there, and the longer the NFL waits to expand, the more unlikely it will be that Los Angeles. will support a team.
The Commish seems to be more in love with the idea of putting a team in London, which of course mentions the Jags again. However, most people think this is insane. First of all, the travel would be a nightmare, especially for West Coast teams. Secondly, it is insane. How many times has the NFL tried to get a foothold over there? How many times has it worked?
'Zero' would indeed be the correct response.
Having a team in London is like having a USA-based team in the English Premier League. Makes no sense of at all, especially in a city not known for its love of the NFL. (In fact, odds are an EPL team in, say, New York City would be much more successful than an NFL team in the UK.)
If the league wants to expand into a foreign country, than why not venture into Canada? Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver could be ideal for the NFL to expand, since they have Canadian Football already. It shares basically the same rules as the NFL, but with the wider field, three downs to go ten yards, multiple players in motion at the snap, end zones 25 yards deep, and that wonderful rouge giving a single point for not returning a punt or kick out of the end zone, and argument could be made that the Great White North prefers its brand of football, not to mention the Grey Cup itself.
But why do we have to carry an American sport out of the country at all? There are plenty of cities where the NFL is popular even without a team.
Cities like Birmingham, Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Las Vegas, are huge markets for football. Some of these cities have even had professional football teams in the past -- ironically, CFL teams -- that have done well.
Maybe the rest of the world thinks it's a funny old game, but hey, it's our sport and Roger Goodell needs to remember that the next time he considers expansion! There actually are cities here that won't laugh him out of town if he mentions their names.
After all, he actually doesn't have a fairy godmother.