The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Vamanos, Amigos!


During the Monica Lewinsky-era, John Cleese said there are two main differences between the United States and the UK: When Brits hold a world championship we actually invite other countries to try and compete; and when one meets a head of state in our country you only need get down on one knee.

The National Football League's attempt to broaden football, called "Gridiron," overseas is the organization's effort to plant seeds that might one day allow the Superbowl to legitimately become a world championship - and make a little extra profit along the way. But the league should not be overly excited about impressive attendance numbers for some recent NFL regular season games played in Europe (Saints over Chargers, Wembley Stadium in October 2008 - 83,226 attendees).

The National Hockey League had a similar idea about growing the game and became enamored with moving franchises from the great White North of Canada to the warmer U.S. climes of Dallas, Arizona and California. This hasn't worked out so well and, sadly, robbed great Canadian cities (yeah, I said it) of hockey teams that anchored their communities. I was at a wedding a few years ago outside of Toronto where the couple danced their first dance to the theme from "Hockey Night in Canada." The guests jumped to their feet and roared.

But the NFL is wise to consider putting a franchise in Mexico. Overseas expansion is overrated when we have an enormous, Mexico City, in a familiar time zone, that would love to be included in the league's growth plans. On October 2, 2005, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-14 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, under the name NFL Fútbol Americano. It was the first regular season NFL game held outside of the United States. The game drew the NFL's highest game attendance at the time with 103,467 spectators.

Too often, grand plans are laid out about putting NFL teams in London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Timbuktu.

But the real future of football is in Latin America.

By Jason Maloni  |  October 23, 2009; 11:54 AM ET  | Category:  New England Patriots , Roger Goodell , Tampa Bay Buccaneers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: London Football a Foggy Idea | Next: NFL Is Too American


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Forget Mexico City, put a team in Monterrey.

Posted by: JERRYB1 | October 24, 2009 11:46 AM

Don't use the NHL warm weather argument on California. We held the Winter Olympics here in 1960. All 3 of our NHL teams are very healthy.

Posted by: hockeygrin | October 24, 2009 12:47 PM

Forget Latin America, this is a soccer realm from Rio Bravo to Patagonia. Mexico was the last soccer convert but because of the Soccer World Cup in 1986. Mexican teams are very important players in the America Cup. You didn't mention Brazil and Argentina. That's nearly impossible because both countries are soccer heavyweights. You're a hundred years late.

Posted by: draiscl | October 24, 2009 8:00 PM

we all know Europeans are racist in general and don't like blacks.. (they throw bannanas on the field during soccer matches).. how they gonna deal with 2/3 of the players being bruthas..

F's a dying continent.(declining birth rates, socialism, etc..)

Posted by: ObamaisFraud | October 24, 2009 9:06 PM

There's no such word in Spanish or Portuguese as "vamanos". There is "vamos" or "vámonos".

Posted by: mattfugazi | October 25, 2009 9:21 AM

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