Today was an interesting day. I learned that the NFL is essentially abondoning it's foreign exposure gameplan and are now going to try to sell the game to the international market on only select occasions. And boy am I pissed.
This is the NFL, in my opinion the flagship of US sports. It is our soccer, our rugby, and it's something that needs to be shared with the world. NFL Europa was a good idea on paper, but it failed to produce the popularity for our football that is had across the world for Europe's futbol. And that was the goal right. I mean, having German's like our sport is dandy and all, but why is it that only Germans like it. Last time I checked the Brits bought all the tickets to the Giants-Dolphins game at Wembley, and the Dolphins suck and I don't think that the Brit's really give a damn about Eli Manning. So clearly it's not that they can't get the game to spread. The Mexicans like it too. They sold out Estadio Azteca (AKA The Third Largest Sports Stadium in the WOLRD!) to watch the 49ers and the Cardinals, two of the worst teams in the league, duke it out in the Bush Bowl. So why shut down the league?
Well, the NFL didn't say much, but they did have Mark Waller, the senior VP of NFL International say this, ""The time is right to re-focus the NFL's strategy on initiatives with global impact, including worldwide media coverage of our sport and the staging of live regular-season NFL games. We will continue to build our international fan base by taking advantage of technology and customized digital media that make the NFL more accessible on a global scale than ever before and through the regular-season game experience. NFL Europa has created thousands of passionate fans who have supported that league and our sport for many years and we look forward to building on this foundation as we begin this new phase of our international development." Translation: Germany is great and all but we **** up by putting all NFLE teams in one country and so we're scrapping the project.
My major issue with their new idea is that even though they league is trying to spread out of Germany and North America, on their list of countries that are candidates to host game in the '08 season, only one of those countries isn't Germany or in North America, and that country is England, and the last time I checked they're hosting a game this season. If you're trying to expand, then expand, but don't fold a league under false pretenses.
Now onto my other grievence. My most favorite agent in all the world (for those of you with sarcasm detectors, they should be freaking out right about now) Scott "I'm a tool" Boras has just filed a request to make the World Series a 9 game event. Mr. Boras, you're insane.
First of all, the season goes too long as it is. The future Mr. Octobers of the world are now going to have to be Mr. Novembers. When you risk having a World Series game getting canceled due to a snow out you're going to long. Baseball is not a winter sports. To make the World Series, which has been getting worse and worse ratings like our buddies over at the NBA, a nine game series is an insane request. Especially when you're suggesting making it the most agonizing event in the world travel wise. There's a reason that the All Star game moves around to neuteral sites, its so that the World Series doesn't have to. That's how it is in every league with the exception of the NFL which has their Pro Bowl in the same place every year and moves its championship game around instead. To expect players to spend a day traveling, and another 2 days attending the awards ceremony and hall of fame announcment ceremony is crazy when they need to be focusing on winning the big games. Derek Jeter is right in this case, its too long.
Finally I would like to cover the topic of the late Chris Beniot. The WWE needs to step it up. The use of steroids is rampant throught wrestling, and there is only one man who can put a stop to it for good, and his name is Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Mr McMahon knows that his wrestlers use steroids. Infact there have been reports that he supplies his "athletes" with them. It's irresponsible. It's because of that that people like Chris Benoit do what they do, and I'm not talking about during shows. What happened last week in Atlanta is disturbing. The Double murder-suicide purpotrated by Benoit is a travesty, my prayers and thoughts are with those who have been effected by it. But the most disturbing thing about the whole incident, is the way that the WWE has handeled it.
They were smart enough to cancel a memorial service for Mr. McMahon's faked death in a fake car explosion, a storyline that in my mind was taken too far when they started it. People die every day, many people dies from terrorist attacks like the one that was faked by the WWE. The "death" of McMahon was their version of Orson Wells's "War of the Worlds" radio pranks. Everyone bought it, but now that this has happened they need to just drop this terrible idea for a plot. As of yet, I have heard nothing about that possibility.
The WWE also has yet to properly address the issue of steroid use in wrestling, and as the flagship for the "sport" they should take the charge in the war against steroids in wrestling. It won't be long before there is another Benoit-esque incident.
Once again, feel free to leave comments or email me at email@example.com. That's all for now folks.