Minnesota Vikings Cheer Squad in London for International Game
It is no secret that the National Football League has been trying to expand into the international market for quite some time. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has a large fan base all around the world and the NFL sees no reason why American Football can't be just as popular outside the US.
There are many hurdles for the NFL to overcome before it can reach a global appeal. For one, most international sports fans consider football to be a game played kicking a round ball into a goal. The whole concept is relatively foreign and probably confusing for these fans.
The other major hurdle is that NFL athletes have voiced considerable objections to playing in the International Market. An NFL franchise in say London would have a very difficult time signing top players to their roster and would probably need to pay a premium.
Regardless of these hurdles, the NFL is still full speed ahead in their quest to become a globally recognized trademark. This Sunday of Week 4, the Minnesota Vikings will cross the Atlantic to battle the Pittsburgh Steelers in London Town. They even got Gene Simmons on board to sing the National Anthem. The American National Anthem that is!
I have a few questions to ask about this booking:
1. Why would the new owner of an Arena Football Franchise (LA Kiss) agree to promote a rival Football League?
2. Why in the world would anyone think Gene Simmons has the singing ability to pull off the national anthem?
3. How much alcohol is going to be served to the Brits to make all of this entertaining?
Would love to hear some of your answers in the comments below.
The rally was scheduled to last three hours and 16 minutes. The starting time of the rally and the planned duration are nods to a bible verse, John 3:16, which Tebow had inscribed on his eye black for the 2009 BCS title game.
James Stewart, a 56-year-old Jacksonville native and Jaguars fan who is one of the event's organizers, said about 20 people participated in the rally, while 30 media members covered the event. The website Jags-Tebow.com
registered by James Stewart later read "THE
RALLY ON SEP 16TH WAS A START. IN ALL THERE WERE APPROX 100 SUPPORTERS."
The group now also has a volunteer to make signs and bumper stickers and have someone to handle its Twitter account in an attempt to publicize its Tebow campaign.
"We've accomplished what we had hoped for the first time out," Stewart told ESPN.com.
Stewart said that Monday's rally likely would be the first of many. He said
he expects to have a rally every Monday afternoon.
"The Jaguars' season is really in the tank," Stewart said. "They don't have a
lot of promise. There's not a lot to watch. We're consumers and the Jaguars are
a product, and there's a lot of room for improvement. Tebow we think would be
value added if he were to be signed and given an opportunity at quarterback.
Ironically, James Stewart is also the name of a retired Jacksonville Jaguars' Running Back.
James Otis Stewart, played solidly for the Jaguars, and still holds the franchise record for
the most points in a single game (30). He also holds the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise
record for the most touchdowns in a game with 5 rushing touchdowns. Both these records
were obtained on October 12, 1997 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
What do you think - Should the Jaguars sign Tim Tebow? Tell us in the comments below.
The New England Patriots
and New York Jets
are each coming off last-second wins in their season openers, but the level of satisfaction on both sides was markedly different. The Jets eked out a one-point victory over Tampa Bay in quarterback Geno Smith's NFL debut and will look to carry that momentum into
their showdown with the host Patriots on Thursday night. New England blew a 10-point lead and needed a late comeback from Tom Brady
to overcome upset-minded Buffalo.
The Patriots have won the last four meetings, including a 49-19
thumping of the Jets on Thanksgiving night last year - a game remembered for the infamous "butt fumble" by New York quarterback Mark Sanchez. Smith will get his second start while Sanchez seeks a second opinion on his injured right shoulder
from renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Brady and New England's overhauled receiving corps struggled in the opener and the team could be further depleted by injury for Thursday's matchup.
Brandon Carr and the Dallas Cowboys are serious about forcing turnovers.
They needed six to put away Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
Carr returned an interception 49 yards for the clinching touchdown, and the
Cowboys overcame a big night from Manning to beat him for the first time at
their fancy $1.2 billion stadium in a 36-31 victory Sunday night.
Tony Romo shook off hits to the ribs that knocked him out for the final Dallas play of the first
half and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jason Witten.
Manning threw three touchdown passes to Victor Cruz and four overall, and he had New York
in position for a comeback victory despite the flurry of mistakes.
But with the Giants trailing 30-24, Manning's pass went off the hand of
running back De'Rel Scott into Carr's arms.
The cornerback beat Manning down the sideline with 1:50 left for Dallas'
second defensive touchdown. Barry Church returned a fumble 27 yards for a
touchdown in the third quarter.
''It's infectious. It's contagious,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. ''We
challenged them at halftime. We had three, let's get three more.''
The Cowboys had only 16 turnovers all last year, switched to a four-man front
with new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and swore all preseason that taking
the ball away was the foremost thing on their minds. They proved it from the
first snap of the season.
DeMarcus Ware intercepted Manning's first pass, and the Giants turned it over
on their first three possessions. The Cowboys didn't take advantage of the early
gifts, but built a big enough lead to hold off a New York comeback once the
Giants finally stopped turning it over.
It matched the most turnovers for the Giants since 1987, when they had seven
against New Orleans. And it was the most Dallas has forced since 2003.
''Just tells you our system is so much built on attitude,'' said defensive
line coach Rod Marinelli, who was defensive coordinator for Chicago last year
when the Bears led the NFL with 44 turnovers. ''We had a lot of guys play
tonight who jumped in and helped us. It's just team defense.''
Church scored on the fourth New York turnover - the second fumble from new
starting running back David Wilson, who lost control of the ball on a strip by
Nick Hayden just before hitting the ground. Church scooped up the ball and ran
The Cowboys went up 27-10 in the third quarter after the fifth miscue - a
punt that bounced and hit Trumaine McBride while he was trying to block for the
return. Rookie Devonte Holloman won a scramble for the loose ball, and Romo
threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Witten.
''I just think it's pretty exciting to see what our team defensively has been
able to do here, in training camp, preseason and into the season,'' Romo
When the mistakes stopped, the Giants made it a game again. New York went 80
yards, capped by Cruz's second score on an 18-yard pass, and Cruz scored again
from the 10 to pull the Giants to 30-24 midway through the fourth quarter.
New York got the ball back, but the Cowboys forced a quick punt. After Dallas
again failed to move the ball, Carr came through with the clinching
''You're not going to win the game turning the ball over five times and
muffing a punt,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ''I'm totally, totally
disappointed, embarrassed about that football. That's sloppy, sloppy
The Giants scored with 11 seconds left on Manning's fourth touchdown, a
4-yarder to Brandon Myers. But Dallas recovered an onside kick.
Manning was 27 of 42 for 450 yards and had three 100-yard receivers in Cruz
(five catches, 118 yards), Hakeem Nicks (five for 114) and Rueben Randle (five
Romo was 36 of 49 for 263 yards, and Miles Austin had 10 catches for 72
yards. Witten, who had only three touchdowns last year, had eight grabs for 70
and became the third tight end in NFL history with 9,000 yards receiving.
DeMarco Murray had 86 yards rushing for Dallas.
Romo threw a 15-yard TD pass to Witten before halftime, and Dan Bailey also
had two field goals (30 and 38 yards) by then for a 13-10 lead.
In the final minute of the first half, Romo was hit in the ribs and had the
wind knocked out after being crushed between Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Trattou
after throwing an incompletion. Kyle Orton came on to finish the half, but Romo
was back after halftime.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Romo didn't receive any treatment, and that
the medical staff cleared him to play.
''One tough player, one tough man,'' Jones said. ''He will go out and play in
pain and play hurt.''
After Manning's second interception, this one by new Cowboys safety Will
Allen, Dallas had third-and-11 at the Giants 14.
Romo threw a pass toward rookie Terrance Williams that instead deflected off
the Giants' Prince Amukamara into the arms of New York teammate Ryan Mundy, who
raced 91 yards. He was caught from behind by Murray at the 1.
GAME NOTES: The crowd of 85,348 was significantly smaller than the NFL
regular-season record crowd of 105,121 that watched the first Giants game at the
stadium in its 2009 debut. ... Giants CB Prince Amukamara was knocked out of the
game with a concussion after a helmet-on-helmet collision with S Ryan Mundy, who
was cleared to return.
Peyton Manning ties record with 7 touchdown passes in season opener over Ravens
Manning and the Denver Broncos waited eight long months, then another 33 minutes to get the season started because of a lightning storm.
It seems like the electricity in the lightning went straight into Manning's arm.
After three punts to start things off, Manning threw a record-tying seven touchdown passes, something no one had done in 44 years, in directing Denver to a 49-27 victory over Super Bowl champion Baltimore on Thursday night in a much-anticipated rematch against the team that ended the Broncos' playoff run in January.
Manning connected with his most prized addition, Wes Welker, and former
college basketball player Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas for two TDs each in
piling up the most points scored on the Ravens in their 18-year history.
''I don't like excuses but I do think that lightning delay did slow us
down,'' Manning said. ''You guys have seen teams break it down: you come up for
the team prayer, you put your hands in and you say, `Broncos on 3,' and you go
out to the field.
''We did it three times tonight,'' Manning said. ''We did it, went back and
sat down for 10 minutes and came back up again. `Broncos on 3,' now sit down for
another 10 minutes. I know they had to deal with it, too, but it took us a while
to get started.''
Wearing an orange-and-gray glove like the one he wore on that icy January
night the last time these teams met, Manning took a while to get warmed up
against a defense that had to replace seven Super Bowl starters.
He ditched the glove when the rain stopped -- and then was unstoppable.
''Peyton had an amazing night,'' Broncos coach John Fox said. ''Peyton's had
a lot of amazing nights.''
Not like this, though.
Manning is the sixth QB in NFL history to throw seven TD passes in a game and
the first since Joe Kapp for Minnesota against Baltimore on Sept. 28, 1969.
Tom Brady never did it. Nor Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Steve Young
or Terry Bradshaw. Or, for that matter, No. 7 himself, John Elway, who had his
binoculars trained on the action from his perch in the luxury seats.
"I felt like we had to keep scoring because Baltimore can score at any
time,'' said Manning, who was 27 of 42 for 462 yards with no interceptions for
an off-the-charts quarterback rating of 141.1.
''He's phenomenal. To continue to come out every year and put that kind of
performance on for us, it's amazing,'' Julius Thomas said.
All part of a thorough thrashing of the team that put a harsh end to what had
looked like a Super Bowl-bound 2012 in Denver. The rematch came nearly eight
months after Baltimore beat Denver 38-35 in double overtime on an icy January
night in the same stadium.
The hero on that night was Jacoby Jones, who caught a 70-yard TD pass over
Rahim Moore with 31 seconds left to tie it in regulation. This time, his night
was cut short when he went back to field a punt in the first half and teammate
Brynden Trawick plowed into him, sending him to the sideline with a sprained
''That's an experience problem, he's an inexperienced guy,'' Ravens coach
John Harbaugh said.
When the teams finally took the field after the long delay, it was clear how
much had changed.
This night was certainly a masterpiece for Manning.
Notes: Broncos injuries: KR Trindon Holliday (lower left leg), Eric Decker
(right shoulder) and S Omar Bolden (left shoulder). ... Ravens RT Michael Oher
left with a sprained ankle. ... Shaun Phillips, who played in Miller's place,
had 2 1/2 sacks in his Denver debut. ... The Broncos were without CB Champ
Bailey (foot), who's expected back in Week 2 when the Manning travels to New
York to face his little brother, Eli.