In what was an exceptionally exciting game in Britain, the New Orleans Saints outlasted the San Diego Chargers, 37-32 Sunday and thus fulfilled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's objective to give foreign fans a taste of magnificence.
The game was all Goodell could have hoped for, as the outcome was in doubt until the last play, while offensive stars such as Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister, Philip Rivers, and LaDainian Tomlinson all showcased their prodigious skills for more than 80,000 spectators, and millions of European fans of futbol americano.
If one believes in portents, or signs, if you will, then the Saints have to be on Cloud Nine, as last season, the Giants used a trip to this same stadium to edge the Dolphins and go on to win the Super Bowl. Brees, (30 of 41, 339 yards, 3 TDs) swiftly cast aside any such thoughts as the classy gentleman/deadly assassin (what a combination, thank heaven he's not schitzo!) said the Saints still have plenty of work to do.
For we Denver Broncos fans, this was an early Christmas present to say the least, as we had a bye, licked our wounds, and watched our closest competitor in the division fall flat on their faces. Still, there was controversy laced in this matchup as well. The Saints, who have been as intrepid as Indiana Jones over the course of the last few seasons had yet another "home game" away from the friendly confines of the Louisiana Superdome.
If you talk to any NFL head coach or high-profile player, they'll tell you that home field advantage is of paramount importance. By giving the Saints a "home game" on foreign soil, the NFL definitely made the Chargers feel at home as well, as one of the end zones read "Chargers."
Still, rather than critiquing the NFL brass, New Orleans dutifully took care of things on the field and consequently, find themselves back in the thick of things in the NFC South. Personally, as an NFL fan who is multi-lingual (Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish if you need me) and one who loves multiculturalism, I think that the distribution of my favorite sport to the masses is a good thing. Hopefully, the denizens of the world feel likewise.