Two weeks away from a Jaguars-49ers game at Wembley, the NFL announced today that they’re adding a third regular season matchup as part of their “International Series” that over the past decade has devolved from 100,000 attended preseason games in Mexico City and Terrell Davis’ coming out party in Japan, to a regular appearance by Jag Rags in England and the occasional game in Toronto that’s so sleepy it makes the Edward Jones Dome and its Ram Rules* look like an Amon Tobin show.
The league claims that “avid fans” (surely a quantifiable thing) has risen 30 percent in the last two years, so to capitalize they’ve booked the Jaguars to be at least one of the teams playing in London every year until 2016. The Jaguars get a lot of crap (and paintballs) thrown their way, but it is worth keeping in mind that even the least profitable NFL franchise is worth more than almost every English soccer team.
Of course, not to beat a dead Shetland pony, but every time London is mentioned, all media outlets are required to remind us that this is all in preparation for the inevitable expansion or relocation of a team to London, as predicted by most terrible Saturday afternoon sci-fi series from the 1980s. “It’s the Tokyo Robots versus the London Turncoats in the Pepsicola Bowl with the losers to be publicly executed LIVE!”
*I watch this video on average twice a week since its inception because: schadenfreude.