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.
Nielsen estimates that Tuesday’s premiere of the show about sports handicapper Steve Stevens averaged 127,000 viewers, including 65,000 in the adults 25-54 demo — 40% lower in overall viewership and 34% lower in the demo than the network’s year-to-date averages in the same 10 p.m. timeslot (212,000 and 99,000).
The show has raised a lot of eyebrows in the sportsbook industry. Sports betting website Prime Wagers, which is “proud to be the most trusted online sportsbook site” and is focused on transparency, posted an article
earlier this month saying we've "never heard of Steve Stevens", who runs VIP Sports out of Las Vegas and claims to be winning more than 70% of his picks.
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.
Vancouver, British Columbia - Landon Donovan scored in the third minute and the Los Angeles Galaxy held on to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
Donovan got his fourth goal in the last three matches to help the Galaxy (12-9-4) secure sole possession of second place in the Western Conference.
Donovan scored after A.J. DeLaGarza's pass hit Whitecaps central defender
Johnny Leveron and came to him. The Galaxy captain planted a high shot in
the left corner of the net over Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted.
''It helps a lot when you're on the road,'' Donovan said of the early goal.
''It puts your team in a really good position, and even if they score a goal,
you're back where you started, so it's a nice way to start a game.
''We can play a little more cautiously and just worry about defending and
trying to counter - and it really played to our advantage tonight.''
Donovan needs four more goals to become the all-time leading scorer in MLS
Los Angeles goalkeeper Jaime Penedo recorded his first MLS shutout in only
his second career league appearance and third overall with the Galaxy.
''It was a grind-out road victory, one that we haven't had all year, so it
was good to get one,'' Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said.
The Whitecaps (10-9-6) lost their second straight overall and just their
second at home this season.
''It was obviously a bad start, the worst start you could have got, with the
goal so early,'' Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said. ''That was
''But after that, I thought that we played well. We got forward and created a
number of good chances.''
Usually prolific offensively at home, Vancouver struggled against Los Angeles.
Whitecaps striker Camilo, who entered the game tied for the MLS scoring
lead with 14 goals, began the game on the bench due to a slight groin strain
sustained last weekend against Colorado, and stayed there throughout.
''So that was disappointing,'' Rennie said. ''And, obviously, in a game like
that today that was really tight, a player like Camilo is someone who could make
a difference and could perhaps get us a goal.''
It ended Camilo's string of 17 consecutive starts in league games dating to
Darren Mattocks, who recently returned from a knee injury that required minor
surgery, started in his place. It was the Jamaican international's first start
since the last meeting between the teams at Vancouver on May 11, when he scored.
But he did not do much this time, rarely touching the ball before he subbed out
in the second half.
The Whitecaps almost tied it in the 10th minute, but Gershon Koffie's shot
from about 30 yards sailed wide of the right post. Vancouver had another chance
in the 15th minute, but Mattocks' pass to Kenny Miller inside the box
inadvertently hit him in the hand, nullifying the opportunity.
Los Angeles had a chance to increase its lead in the 25th minute, but Keane's
shot off a throw-in went just over the crossbar. The Irish international had another
chance from just outside Vancouver's box after a giveaway about seven minutes later,
but his left-footed shot went just wide of the right post.
It's an MLS regular season game. The winner will get three points, or a tie will mean each team earns a point. In terms of the standings, it's just another game. Right?
With CenturyLink Field already sold out and expecting over 67,000 fans, new Sounders acquisition Clint Dempsey set to make his home debut, and with the Portland Timbers in town contesting the league's fiercest rivalry, Sunday's game will be anything but ordinary.
“You recognize its your rival and it doesn't matter what position you are in the standings,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said after training Friday. “It's always going to be an important game.”
In addition to the aforementioned factors, Sunday's match will take on extra importance because the Timbers, unlike their first two seasons in the league, have the opportunity to both make the playoffs and finish ahead of their fierce rival in the standings.
Portland sits in third place in the Western Conference, in the midst of its most successful season to date. After a
slow start, Seattle is on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, five points back of Portland, but with two games in hand.
“Maybe it takes on a little more significance right now because they feel 'Hey we're on top of them right now, we're ahead of them in the standings and maybe the power has shifted,'” Schmid said. “So it's up to us to come out and
For a team that averages over 40,000 fans and routinely delivers one of the most raucous atmospheres in MLS, Sunday should still be an extraordinary day in the history of the Sounders franchise.
With the biggest crowd to ever see a soccer game in Seattle expected, the Emerald City Supporters, known for their massive tifo displays, are set to unveil the largest CenturyLink Field has ever seen.
“It's something you gotta get excited about,” Schmid said. “It's got to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and you get there and hopefully the players can take that emotion and don't turn it into overexcitement.”
The fans, and Schmid, will hope to see Clint Dempsey get on the score sheet for the first time with the Sounders in his third game since joining the team from Tottenham.
“It's just a matter of he not putting so much pressure on himself to try and get that first goal or try and get that first assist,” Schmid said. “Just let it come and I think once it comes he'll be settled and I think it will help our team.”
Whether Dempsey gets on the board or not, Sunday is likely to be one of the more memorable regular season games in the league's history, and one which will be remembered for much more than the impact it has on the league standings.
By Seth Vertelney | Goal.com