Bears London Recap: Aikman Calls NFL in London "Arrogant"
The not so bright lights. The not so loud fans. Something was missing from last night’s Bears game. Forte put up more impressive numbers. The line managed to keep Cutler off of his back, mostly. Lovie even won a challenge. But something was a little off with the stage itself.
Troy Aikman had the following thoughts this morning on the Mulley and Hanley show, “I’ve been a part of the world league on the broadcasting side; I know what the NFL is trying to do there. The Europeans over there were not all that excited about U.S. football. They want to focus on soccer. I think there is a little bit of arrogance on our part in thinking that these other countries are just excited about watching American football.”
If Europeans don’t want American football in London, then surely it was the American audience that tuned in to see the spectacle of an NFL game played on British soil. No, that wasn’t really true either.
Only 15 percent of U.S. households were shown the Bears Bucs game by FOX. One can’t help but think, if the Europeans don’t really enjoy it and the game isn’t important enough in the US to be carried nationally, why go through the trouble and expense of staging it?
Aikman continued, “My issue with it is if we’re going to act like it’s a big deal, then let’s make it a big deal. Let’s make it a Sunday night primetime game or at least put it in a late window on Sunday afternoon and send it to 90 percent of the country. That game went to about 15 percent of the country.”
As usual, Aikman’s right. Now a Sunday night game that airs at 7:20 p.m. in Chicago would have to kick off at 1:20 a.m. London time, which is clearly not feasible. But a nationally televised International Game that started at 9:00 a.m. Central, 3:00 p.m. in London, could be exciting. It could be a Monday Night Football game on Sunday morning, complete with Tirico, Gruden, and Jaws making the call. The Annual International game could be something special. Instead of what it was. A tree falling in the woods with only 15 percent of us there to see it.
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