Don't Fix What Isn't Broken
You may have heard recently that the NFL is adding additional games to be played in London during the 2014 season. It started off as one game, this year there are two games, and next season there will be three games. The obvious thought is that the reasoning behind this is to market the game globally, but it’s apparent the NFL is making a push to get a team in London eventually. Will people in London really pick up the NFL and embrace it like we do in the US?
Sure they sell out the games at Wembley Stadium but the fans there do not have any rooting interest, and it could very well be the NFL games are simply a novelty to these people in London. Let’s face it soccer is the number one sport in the world and will never be contested, so who is to say the NFL will be as popular in London as it is here? It is a risky maneuver that for now is making money by exposing the league overseas, but in the long run could end up being detrimental to finances.
Think about expenses for all teams traveling extreme distances to London to play a game one week. Think about the increased time differences, think about the culture change, think about the lack of rest. There are reasons to expand to London but there are even more reasons to not expand, and hopefully the NFL puts this experiment to bed sometime soon.
So while we’re on the subject of expansion, rumors have been swirling that the NFL will be adding more games to Thursday night. Ratings are down tremendously on the current Thursday night programming on NFL Network, so the solution? Add more games! It’s foolish to even consider this, people are barely watching these horrendous match ups so adding more will just make things worse.
On one final note the NFL is also in the process of expanding the number of playoff teams to 14, just another change for the rapidly evolving NFL that is expected to take effect in 2015. They will also be eliminating a preseason game, so the reasoning behind adding playoff teams is to cancel out lost revenue. Of course, it’s always about the money. The playoff format is fine the way it is, just let it be.
The NFL is absolutely perfect the way it is right now. Every year revenue is going up and the buzz and interest amongst fans is unmatched, yet you would not know it. Sure I understand for a business to be successful they must always evolve and adapt to the markets but this is not the case in these situations mentioned above. The perfect analogy for the NFL right now is that they are the undefeated fantasy football team with the perfect team and superstars at every position, but all they want to do is make trades. Just leave things alone and enjoy the ride, the NFL is fine just the way it is.