Scott Van Pelt touched on the topic of the NFL making preparations to permanently move a team to Europe. He shared a few insights about how it wasn’t a good idea and wasn’t the most popular move from those in the league.
Scott Van Pelt is absolutely right.
There is no reason to move any NFL team to another country. Point blank, period. Let alone Europe. There are far too many factors that aren’t being taken into account. Let me count the ways.
How do you handle the schedule in regards to the travel to and from London? Seattle to Big Ben’s home (not the QB) comes in at 4,781 miles, a 10 hour flight. Sure, you may want to give each team a ‘bye’ after playing across the pond, but the bye weeks don’t carry throughout the season.
How do you craft a schedule that works for the team sentenced to London? (No disrespect to the city at all) If each team gets eight games on the road and eight on home turf, minus Jacksonville’s one “home” game that’s not set in Duuuuvaaalll.
The only thing that is possible is a competitive disadvantage for that team. Do they play multiple weeks at a time in the states? Do they split it half and half? There is no way that you can legitimately tell a London-based team that their schedule is fair in regards to everyone else’s.
Don’t forget about the time difference. From Dallas, London is six hours ahead, plus eight on the west coast. In no way can you ask that London squad to play in the early matchup.
I’ll be honest, I know nothing about the exchange rates and how the taxation plays out when working abroad, but something tells me that its not in the employees favor to make a majority of their income in another country. Uncle Sam has a way to always show up to the family reunion spades game unannounced and he wants all the books.
Oh but then there is player safety. A hot-button in today’s NFL. Putting an entire organization on a plane, over water, for many miles at a time doesn’t sound like the best practice. I’d rather see the return of the three-man wedge.
I love football. I’m all for expanding the game into other countries and cultures. That is a beautiful thing. But it can only be done with the utmost care. I have no problem with hosting a few games across the Atlantic. It has been well received, but don’t push it Commissioner Goodell.