Regular Games in London? Here's The Only Way It Works


Apparently the NFL is considering having some teams play games on a regular basis in London. The NFL is working on its global marketing here and says they will evaluate whether or not they will eventually have a team in London. The 49ers last played in London last season and have also played pre season games in Mexico. I have no problem with the NFL doing everything they can to promote the game globally. But I want no parts of my 49ers being one of those teams playing in London on a regular basis.

The problem is the system is flawed, when the 49ers last played in London it put the team at a real disadvantage. The team had a road game in Carolina vs. the Panthers the previous week and then had to travel to London the following. What were the 49ers rewarded for doing the NFL a solid and agreeing to play a regular season game overseas? One less home game that’s what, wow thanks commisher!Home field advantage cannot be ignored but that’s not what’s really flawed in this whole thing. NFL teams based on the west coast have historically had trouble traveling to the east coast of the United States, especially if it’s a 1 pm EST game. Traveling to London is a much tougher adjustment, even more so for a warm weather team like the 49ers who are used to sunny California, London is more like a colder Seattle.

If the NFL moves forward with this plan and has more regular season games in London there is only one way to do it.

The NFL’s wild popularity has a lot to do with its parity, look at the 2011 season not many people if anybody had the 49ers, Bills and Bengals as NFL forces. Competitive balance is what the NFL does best, and it’s a big reason why they are the most successful professional sports league in the world. To keep that competitive balance the NFL has to do all it can to prevent teams playing in London from having any disadvantage or for that matter any advantage over the other teams in the league.

To do that Roger Goodell and the NFL needs to implement a system in which all 32 teams play in London on a rotation. Plans are already in place to play games in London through the 2016 season and there is no reason why it won’t go past that and if the NFL discontinues its efforts in London.  Its more likely the NFL would move the games to another overseas location before killing the effort all together, in other words all 32 teams would have to take their turn eventually. The system would be rather simple and it’s puzzling something hasn’t been put in place already to ensure these teams aren’t punished for agreeing to play over there.

Here’s how the system should be: Initially exclude teams that have already played in London from playing there again until all 32 teams have played at least 1 game in London or another overseas location if the NFL goes that route.  All other teams would play games there based on a rotation determined by lottery similar to the NBA draft. When a team plays in London or anywhere overseas the week’s prior to and after that game must be regulated so that each team gets a home game the week before traveling overseas and a bye week immediately after. That would solve any team having to stay on the road for 2 week’s as the 49ers did when they chose to stay in Carolina an extra few days and then travel to London early last season. It would also give players and coaches a rest the week after the game with a bye week and allow for everyone to get re-acclimated to the time zones in which they live in and resume their normal NFL schedule.   And last but not least, who came up with the idea that teams lose a home game when they play in London?  That’s the dumbest and most obvious part of fixing the system, teams shouldn’t be punished by losing a home game rather the game should be considered a road game for both teams.

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Tags: 49ers Matt Hamm NFL London Regular Games In London? Here's The Only Way It Works Roger Goodell

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