Five reasons the NFL should be coming to Australia, not England
Carolina Panthers defensive end Thomas Keiser (98) chases Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. AP Photo/The Detroit News, Daniel Mears
This weekend, America’s favourite sport will be making its annual pilgrimage across the pond in an attempt to rake in a few bob and apologise for the NFL Europe debacle.
The game between St Louis and New England in the old dart is the latest in a long list of games to be taken to London, and with the Jacksonville Jaguars signing on to play a match at Wembley for the next four years, the English will be well serviced when it comes to getting their NFL fix.
But to paraphrase that song, what about us? Where’s our bloody match?
Sure England might have a powerful currency, huge supporter base, world class stadia and is far closer geographically to the US.
But, apart from all that unimportant level stuff, I think us Aussies would be a far better option to hosting some NFL action.
So, here are five reasons why the NFL should be coming to Australia, not England.
5. Better photo opportunities
Sports publicity rule number one when a visiting game is in town is to set up a cheesy photo shoot for star players.
Now London isn’t short of a landmark, I’ll pay that. But how does Buckingham Palace, the London Eye or Nelson’s Column compare to, say, a koala?
Exactly, it doesn’t. Organise for Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski to get up close and personal with Blinky Bill and I can guarantee the whole junket would pretty much pay for itself.
4. Happy to board a bandwagon
One of the big reasons NFL team owners are happy for their boys to gallivant around the globe during the season is the goal of making their ‘brand’ global, much in the same way EPL clubs have done.
Now while the English market may be far bigger, are you really going to get Angry Andy from Arsenal and Terry Tough from Tottenham supporting the same team? Ha!
If any NFL team even winked slyly at Australia they would have 20 million instant fans and their quarterback would be racking up the OAMs in between getting called round the clock by Russell Crowe.
Just ask Leeds Utd.
3. Happy to put up with stupid team names
They’re pretty traditional about things in the mother country. Sure a couple of ‘Wildcats’ and ‘Lightning’ have crept into the country through Super League and county cricket, but in London where the round ball is king, most teams are named after some dire 18th century profession, with nouvea graphic designer nightmare logo to match.
Downunder though we’re not above a lurid clip-art club crest and absolutely adore ridiculous alliteration, so send Jacksonville over and they’ll be right at home.
None of that confusing promotion/relegation stuff either.
2. Better chance of securing potential talent
I don’t want to get into the whole Australian athletes are better than English, Ashes/Olympics/World Cup argument, because to date both Australian and English players have only had cameo appearances in the NFL.
In all fairness though England did have a side in an NFL associated competition for a number of years, while NFL investment in Australia talent has been extremely limited.
On top of this the fact that the top athletes in England can already potentially earn NFL style salaries in the EPL, something just not feasible in Australian sport, is another reason why NFL scouts would stand a better chance of securing the crème de la crème of our sporting talent.
Hell, we’ll even chuck in New Zealand and Samoa’s talent too.
1. Less moaning
Honestly, do NFL admin continually want to put themselves through the yearly agony of their English hosts moaning about players making divots in the surface just five months before the FA cup final, Teddy Roosevelt making too many changes to the game and the US being tardy in World War II?
It must be painful. Even C-grade American celebrities are treated like rock stars in Australia (see NRL pre-match entertainment) and our media will treat any NFL sides with the respect athletes of their calibre deserve.
So come on NFL, what do you say guys? Should I throw another shrimp on the barbie for 2013?
Chris Chard is a sports humour writer commenting on the often absurd nature of professional sport. A rugby league fan boy with a good blend of youth and experience taking things one week at a time, Chris has written for The Roar, Rugby League Player Magazine, US Sports Downunder, the QRL and People. Tweet him @Vic_Arious