An American Super Bowl in London: NFL Hopes To Take the Game Abroad

Angel Navedo@NamedAngelSenior Writer IApril 24, 2009

LONDON - OCTOBER 26:  Ne-Yo perfoms the American National Anthem during the Bridgestone International Series NFL match between San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium on October 26, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Amidst all the draft buzz and infatuation with everyone's next top prospect, some disturbing news has leaked out of the NFL's offices regarding conversations to play a Super Bowl in London.

NFL officials have confirmed that there have been legitimate discussions to hold the Super Bowl in London.

While the next three locations for the big game have been established, it's possible that London will play host to an unofficial American holiday within the next five years.

"We've spoken on what it would take to host and for us to bring it over," said events vice-president Frank Supovitz to the BBC, speaking in New York City a day before the NFL Draft will take place there.

"The city has all the facilities needed, and in great quantity."

Progress for the sake of progress?

The intentions to turn this into the International Football League are out of control. How can one justify taking the Super Bowl out of the country? Because 80,000 fans made it out for a regular season contest?

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I understand the dollars and cents. I know it's all about revenue. But the Super Bowl is an American tradition, one that many fans overseas don't understand or appreciate. Color me selfish if you must, but I stand by this.

There's no doubt in my mind that a Super Bowl in London would bring in enough revenue for the league to consider it a success, but it would be a failure when it came to league-fan relations in the US.

It's another slap in the face to the common NFL fan who already can't afford to attend the Super Bowl when it's on US soil.

As much as I want the New York Jets to achieve Super Bowl glory in my lifetime, I've resigned myself to the fact that I won't be able to afford to attend the game when they do make it.

Sending it overseas is another blow to the true NFL fans who made this league popular enough to even consider such a move.

Can you imagine a Super Bowl not played during prime-time? That's what it's going to be if it's played in London, unless the NFL wants to subject their new fans to sticking to American time.

It would be silly of me to compare the NFL Europe project to the Super Bowl, but American Football has never been able to develop an actual following overseas. Soccer and rugby reign supreme with sports fans outside of the US.

They'll come out in droves to a Super Bowl for the novelty of it all, but where will the true fan's presence be?

At this point, there's no need to play coy; the general idea behind all of this is to find a way to justify making a professional franchise in the UK. It's been rumored and speculated upon for as long as I can remember, and this would be a strong step toward making it happen.

And make no mistake, the plan will fail if ever executed.

Unless the NFL has a secret on how to expand the NFL talent pool, there's no way a franchise will have the legs to survive in London while it builds toward the future. The league can hardly work out a reasonable schedule between east and west teams to try and accommodate reasonable overseas travel.

There aren't enough talented players to help the troubled franchises in the US succeed on a regular basis. Is London prepared to tolerate an 0-16 embarrassment?

Are they going to find enough quality players to pique (and keep) the interest of soccer and rugby lovers?

It's another test of American fans' patience. The threats of making the Super Bowl a pay-per-view event made heads roll. This is going to launch them clear out of the atmosphere.

Angel Navedo is a contributing writer to and the Examiner for the New York Jets. He can be reached here, or you can follow him on Twitter.