It’s just wrong, the word franchise does not have a place in British sport. Fortunately this is not a British sport, the clue is in the title, so lets enter into it with the good grace and conformity you would expect from this side of the pond.
Once again the NFL is coming to London with three games being held at Wembley, realistically it is the only place in the UK we could have a proper game of American Football. Nowhere else is close to being adequately equipped and many feel it is inevitable the NFL will have a London based team with reports today indicating it may happen in seven years. If there is money to be made, it will happen, when exactly will probably be dictated by broadcaster rights and deals. America might have its own political struggle against letting an outsider join their club but once again, the money will soothe any sore wounds.
So the one criteria that needs to be fulfilled is would there be a British audience for a London team? The answer is yes.
The Americans and Brits are certainly “two nations divided by a common language.” American sports largely go unappreciated in the UK, but not football.
Young Brits are part of a generation who have grown up with our own sports, along with American interpretations of ‘sport’ and as such, can appreciate both British and American cultures. We enjoy American Football from a British perspective within our own culture parameters. We shouldn’t try to replicate what is already there, we should have a uniquely British franchise.
The make up of American Football makes it handy for the first time uninformed British viewer. American Football games stretch out to over 3 hours in reality, but consist of a total 12 minutes of action. Yes Americans have somehow devised a sport that can break time. The endless onscreen replays make for great tutorials and UK broadcasters have filled this time well to educate the British fan.
The NFL is and oddity in the capitalist’s dream of the USA. It is ‘fair.’ In a country that cries Lenin at the suggestion of universal healthcare, the NFL is effectively a socialist regime. The Premier League teams have incredibly disparate amounts to spend on players. All NFL teams have exactly the same amount to spend annually on players due to Salary Capping.
The teams with more outdated stadiums receive payouts from overall stadiums profits. Imagine Manchester United providing Blackpool a percentage of the Old Trafford gate receipts because Bloomfield road needs improving. The wealth is shared.
Now we come to the deal breaker. Forget the real life tangible benefits. A diplomatic nightmare, raging for years could soon be finally solved.
Both sports can be called football. Few realise the term ‘soccer’ was a British invention and we have of course regretted it ever since. We would all value our America friends much more if they could call our beautiful game football, and it isn’t too much of a bother to call their sport Gridiron Football or American Football. It has ‘American’ in the title, they usually love all that! To ease any international tensions lets meet them half way and go for ‘Association Football’ for a while. Yes it’ll hurt, but as much as ‘Soccer?’