Originally posted by Jcool:
Biggest problem would be attracting Free Agents. Sure american soccer players do it all the time, but I bet 40% of NFL players aren't going to want to have to live in London and the 60% that would will want more money to do it. You would start hearing of players requesting a trade because they cant adjust to a complete different culture in London. Also if you think Eli Manning was totally out of line for telling the Chargers he wouldn't play for him.... Be ready for a yearly "will the first round pick of the London Rams request a trade?" This isnt Canada were you can drive a few hours to get back to the USA.
I'm not so sure this would be an issue. There may be the odd player that wouldn't fancy it, but ultimately money talks. If the London Rams were offering the best contract then that's where the player will go more often than not. Very few NFL players play for their home town team, so have to base themselves away from home during the season. London's not that different a culture.
Logistically, having a team on a separate continent would be a challenge but not an insurmountable one. The sensible solution would be to move the Rams to the NFC East with the Cowboys moving to the West. There's no logical reason for Dallas to be in the East. There is the traditional rivalry with Washington, but this has never really made any sense to me. Maybe when they were both powerhouses but the Redskins have been mediocre for so long now that the game has become a bit of an irrelevance. The schedule for the London Rams would have to be carefully thought out. If they had away fixtures against west coast teams they would probably have to play them on consecutive weeks and then have their bye week at the end of that stretch. All teams travelling to London would have their bye the following week.
Having said all that I'm just not sure there is the demand for a London franchise yet. It's all very well selling out one game a season but eight is a very different matter. I'd be interested to know what percentage of the crowd at the annual games so far actually come from London. I get the impression that fans are travelling not only from all over Britain, but from all over Europe. This just wouldn't be practical for them eight times a year. I'm not sure that many European NFL fans would want to do it even if it was practical as most already have strong allegiances to teams. I've been a 49ers fan for 30 years and unless the British team was based in my home town of Edinburgh there's no way I'd support them instead. For a London franchise to be successful the bulk of their support would have to come fro the London area. The NFL are probably going about it the right way by sending the Rams over for the next 3 years in the hope that they can start to build an allegiance between London and the team, and I suspect the next step will be to build up the number of games played in London each season and see how successful that is. Ultimately, if London does get a full time franchise it's many years away I think.