I don't get. I just don't get it. Why take away a perfectly good home game from the Bucs, no less against Brady (who figures to be playing by that point) and the Pats?
I don't think the Bucs like it, I don't think the Pats like it, and I don't think their fans like it either.
I'm aware that the Bucs' executive Vice President, Joel Glazer, said the following: "The Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization is extremely excited and honored to be chosen to participate in the NFL international series." But does he really mean it? I think not, and here's why.
From the team's perspective, more specifically the players', you're going to be tired and worn out. After just playing a game on Sunday, both teams will probably fly over sometime early in the week to avoid jet-lag and to get familiar with the field.
You have to fly overseas and play in a completely different atmosphere. Then, after that game, you have to fly back to the U.S. to get prepared for another game the following week.
It gets a lot worse for the Bucs. A team gets eight home games a year. Home-field advantage is a huge factor in a game (less so this year), and each team has to make the most of their home games.
The Bucs, however, will only get seven next year. Hosting a game in London wipes out their home-field advantage entirely. The players don't have the crowd backing them, and both teams are familiar with the field conditions the same amount.
Moving on past the teams, I don't see why the NFL wants to do this. I know that Roger Goodell has plans of extending football globally (which I don't approve of) but having one game a year in England won't do anything.
Yes, both previous games were sold out, meaning the fans like it (at least they like it once a year, perhaps only because it's unique), but it's not like the British fans are voting on globalizing the sport.
Goodell is slowly going to lose a little fanbase in the United States by doing this, and has to go through the trouble of making this such a special event and hyping it up. Why do they have to mess the with the regular season? It's ridiculous to me. Why not just have all international games in the preseason?
The Dolphins hosted, and lost, last year and look what good that did them. This year, the Saints played host against the Chargers, and although they won, they are a prime example. The Saints, 6-6, are currently on the outside looking in of the NFC playoffs, and are 4-1 at the Superdome.
That means that even though they did win their "home" game, they had to play on the road, and lost an opportunity to play an eighth game at home. Seeing their success at home so far this year shows that they could be missing the playoffs purely because they had essentially nine road games and seven home games.
I know that argument may have made little sense, but even though the Saints won, it was away from home.
I just don't agree with these games, or Goodell, who plans to have another one abroad in 2010.