The League

Larry Brown
National Blogger

Larry Brown

Works as an update anchor and show host at Sporting News Radio and also writes and runs the sports site larrybrownsports.com.

L.A. Before London

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To answer this question all you have to do is reverse the question: will soccer ever catch on in the U.S.? The answer as we've come to find out is "no" when you view it on a large scale. I think football could have some success internationally in the right location but it would only be a minority sport abroad. Why become a 4th or 5th priority in a foreign city when football is king in America? One of the issues at hand is that outside of rugby, there really isn't any international sport equivalent to football. I believe new fans can watch the game and understand the objective -- move the ball towards the end zone -- but when you look at all the rules, penalties, and strategies, it proves to be an extremely complex game to understand. In other words, it's not easy for a new fan to pick up.

We used to say that baseball was America's pastime but that's more than caught on internationally, specifically in Asia. Football really has become a sport unique to America and its tradition is growing increasingly more ingrained in our society. The history of the teams, the legendary players, the urgency to win for fans isn't as transferable internationally as it is when you're born into a family of Eagles fans or Redskins fans, or in a passionate football city like Kansas City. For these reasons I believe it would be difficult for football to become a premier sport internationally.

Lastly, I oppose the idea of growing the NFL internationally as a whole. We all saw what happened with the NHL when they tried to expand into the Sunbelt, exposing the sport to less passionate cities; it was a massive failure. Why ruin such an outstanding and proven domestic product?

I live in what's supposed to be the second largest media market in the country. Why don't we focus on making sure Los Angeles has a team before London? Is it because Roger Goodell's too concerned about creating the next London Fire or Frankfurt Galaxy? Why don't we try and help an American city in this economic climate before we try to go international?

By Larry Brown  |  October 24, 2009; 9:08 PM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots , Roger Goodell , Tampa Bay Buccaneers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"We all saw what happened with the NHL when they tried to expand into the Sunbelt, exposing the sport to less passionate cities; it was a massive failure. Why ruin such an outstanding and proven domestic product?"

Larry Brown does realize the National Hockey League was originally based entirely within Canada? If the NHL never expanded internationally, there would be no franchises like the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, or any of the other American franchises that followed...

Edward J. Cunningham
Rockville, MD

Posted by: femfour | October 25, 2009 4:49 PM

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