For the fifth consecutive year, the NFL is preparing to play a regular season game in London England, but it’s not exactly going to be sending London into a frenzy. As ESPN reports, just three days before the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers do battle at Wembley Stadium, there was little buzz over American football in the streets of London.
It is only Thursday.
But seriously, just how much do they like American Football across the pond?
Let’s flip the script. Just how much do they like soccer, er “football” in America?
I am a huge fan of both games and it’s always interesting to contrast both games.
Truth be told, most Americans don’t understand the game of soccer, not even close. They can’t stand the diving, they don’t understand the rules, they don’t know why more goals aren’t scored with such a big net and a comparatively small ball, there’s too much passing and not enough shooting. Many American’s just don’t understand the game. And in true American fashion, anything they don’t understand, they generally don’t like/support.
Add to the mix the fact that a majority of the best athletes in America are ushered towards one of the major professional sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL) that’s where the money is; and what you have is the great game of soccer being played by the country’s lesser athletes.
We saw Ochocinco try his luck at the beautiful game during the NFL Lockout, but imagine if LeBron James played soccer?
It’s quite the opposite across the pond, where the best of the best athletes play soccer.
Soccer is also a game of pure finesse, where wit, skill and creativity can outmatch speed and strength, again a stark contrast from American Football, which is more akin to a military endeavor. By that I mean, football is all about gaining ground, it is a systematic march forward towards the goal and you never go backwards to find another route forward. If something is in your way, you must go through it.
Sure there’s strategy, but most of that comes from the press box and the sidelines. But as players, one can be as creative, intelligent and clever as you want on the grid-iron, but ultimately, that won’t stop a 250 plus pound monster- man who can run like the wind, bench press a Buick and is generally angry 20 out the 24 hrs in the day, from body slamming you into the turf. Truly America’s game.
All that said, the NFL still has hope that American Football will continue to rise in popularity in England.
We polled our readers the question “What would you name a London NFL Team?” Here are the results.
31 percent said they would call the team the Royals.
20 percent said they would call the team the Monarchs.
20 percent also felt Beefeaters would be a suitable name.
14 percent were keen on calling them the Geezers, which is a terrible name for a football team, while 13 percent chose name Limeys.
Some lone soul picked “Capitals” as a suitable name, he’s probably the same person who actually enjoyed Kevin Kosner’s WaterWorld.