39th Game

This year there will be another 3 regular season NFL games played at Wembley stadium, 240,000 people will go and watch them and this will repeat itself again next year and the next. I believe it is time for the Premier League to start exporting its product to foreign markets in the way the NFL has.

There are 380 BPL games and 256 NFL games in a season and the NFL is willing to outsource 3 this year and almost half of all teams have played in UK now. The problem comes because in the NFL there is a much smaller gulf between the biggest and smallest franchise because of salary caps and the drafting system so there is always parity within the league whereas in the Premier League money is not equally distributed, the top players go to the top clubs and you are left with the same few teams fighting it out at the top every year. This means that globally the demand may be there but it is only really there for those top teams. Most of these big teams have already started doing tours of America for their pre season and those games all fetch very good attendances so it is obvious the market is there and I really do think that it needs to be exploited.
The NFL are trying to make their game a global game, football (soccer) already is but America still have trouble accepting it. This summer things have begun to change after their performance in the World Cup and I think this momentum needs to be built on. With David Beckham starting his franchise and many players choosing to play in America rather than stay in England it is obvious the game is building out there but I think if one or two games a season we’re to be moved out there I think it would truly move soccer up to the same levels as NFL and other sports in America.


Repost: Falcons Not Interested In Trading For Clowney & No. 1 Pick

I definitely think that the Falcons will look to trade up for someone, they love a trade up for a big player just like the did with Julio Jones.
I also can’t see how the Texans can pass on Clowney because he has the potential to be one of the best defensive players for a generation.

CBS Houston

Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans will not be working together on a trade for the No. 1 overall pick involving Jadeveon Clowney, SportsRadio 610 has learned.

The Falcons are interested in trading up to acquire a player they value above their spot at No. 6, but they do not believe that player is worth picking with the No. 1 pick. SportsRadio 610 has also learned that the player the Falcons are interested in is not Jadeveon Clowney.

The Falcons were one of a number of trade possibilities for the Texans as they figure out what they want to do with the number one pick in the draft.

John McClain said last week that the Texans are deciding between Clowney and Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel if they stay at the first pick, but they would be willing to trade down if the offer is good…

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Why American Football is the greatest sport.

Now before I start this article I should say I don’t really think American Football is the best sport but I do think in the UK it is massively underrated and hopefully I’ll explain why in this article.
For me my interest in the NFL started in about 2001 when I played the demo of Madden 2002. It was the Baltimore Ravens vs New York Giants and I thought I’d go for the Ravens just to pick the team I imagined to be less well known. In 2008 I started watching game highlights and have progressed from there to watching more videos, going to the International Series games and getting more and more into the draft and seriously it’s a fantastic sport to get into.
The season runs from September to February so it’s all concentrated over the winter which means you get a whole seasons worth of excitement over 6 months.
The games themselves take about 3 hours to play and for an outsider that seems like ages but when you’re watching it really isn’t, you sit and talk about what’s happened, drink and eat, the pace is perfect.
The action is intense. Yes some plays are a one yard run and that’s it but in every game you’ll get a big hit, you’ll get an amazing run, an amazing catch etc that will quickly get you hooked.
Just from the Ravens you need to watch the last two minutes of the game vs the Vikings last year. 2 minutes and the lead changed 5 times, all while the pitch was covered in snow that would have seen an English game postponed!
Then the offseason quietly rumbles away with stories of contracts and college players to watch until the draft. For such a simple event they really build it up, imagine the transfer window crammed into three days. You get 6 to 10 new players and then get to study how good they look and how much you think they’ll improve your team!

Seriously I’d highly recommend the sport, to start I’d say pick a team and watch their highlights every week and go from there and I promise you won’t regret it.

Donald Sterling and Racism in Sport

NBA: New Orleans Hornets at Los Angeles ClippersSo this story has been going for a few days now but it’s not had that much coverage in the UK until the ruling was made. Basically Donald Sterling was the owner of the LA Clippers basketball team (Star player is probably Blake Griffin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ9o7owSUcQ) and he was caught on tape saying to someone that he ‘didn’t want black people at his games’. This came out and the NBA commissioner (same level as Sepp Blatter) has banned him for LIFE from the NBA and fined him $2.5 MILLION.

When someone is racist this is what should happen and in this respect american sports are far ahead of ours. Another example is the Rooney Rule in NFL that says for every Head Coach post the team has to interview someone from an ethnic minority for that job. This has lead to their being 4 African-American head coaches in the NFL. That’s about 12% of the leagues 32 teams.

In England there are 92 league clubs and no ethnic managers… zero. If the NFL had 92 teams it would be a reasonable assumption to make that there would be about 12 ethnic coaches, yet there a none in the English leagues, this needs to change.

The way the NBA has handled this situation is spot on. UEFA were faced with a similar situation when England under 21’s played Serbia. There was racist chants from Serbian players/coaches/fans and it ended with 4 players got bans (the Serbian FA later banned two of these players for a year), 2 coaches were banned for two years and they received a £60,000 fine. The two English players who bore the brunt of the abuse also got bans for reacting to that abuse and being sent off.
The £60,000 (about $100,000) fine was a joke. UEFA gave Nicklas Bendtner an £80,000 for showing a sponsors logo at EURO 2012. They gave fines of £16,700 and £32,500 to Porto and Lazio following racist chanting and then gave Manchester City a fine £24,735 for being a minute late onto the pitch. If UEFA and FIFA are serious about getting rid of racism they need to take a leaf out of the NBA’s book and hand out serious fines and serious suspensions. In a game where players can earn up to £300,000 a week, handing out a third of that as a fine for racism is ridiculous.

I understand that the games are different and situations slightly different but racism is a problem in sport and the fact the NBA game Sterling a fine that was 25 times larger than the fine UEFA handed out shows how poorly UEFA have handled such situations.

The FA banned Luis Suarez for 8 games and fined him £60,000 when he was found guilty of racist behaviour and while I agree that this is more powerful than any of the UEFA examples above it is still not enough. You could argue the 8 game ban was enough as it kept Liverpool from having their best player for almost 20% of the league season but the £60,000 is again ridiculous. Suarez earns the best part of £200,000 a week. So that fine is about 30% of just 1 weeks wage. Imagine a bank worker who earns £20,000 a YEAR was guilty of the same racism behaviour towards a colleague, there is not a chance that the company would only ban them for 10 weeks (20% of the year) and fine them £115 (30% of a weeks wage). It’s more than likely they would be immediately fired but because Suarez is the best at what he does and an irreplaceable commodity for Liverpool he gets off much lighter than he should and the problem of racism is sport is never fully discouraged.

EDIT: Going off on a slight tangent a few years ago Charles Itandje, a backup goal keeper for Liverpool, was accused of inappropriate behaviour during a Hillsborough memorial service at the club. Because of this behaviour he never played for the club again. Now I’m not saying what he did was okay because clearly it wasn’t but because he was only a backup keeper, never destined to set the world alight, they could make a statement and let him go. Had it been Suarez doing the same thing I doubt the outcomes would have been the same because of how important he is to the club. My point with this tangent is that no matter what the ‘crime’ is a football may commit their punishments will vary from player to player dependant on their importance. This is why I applaud the NBA because even though Sterling was an owner of a franchise they still gave him a massive punishment.