In the same way that the English Premier Soccer League wishes to take its League abroad for game 39, the National Football League (NFL) of America is repeating its visit to Wembley to play an international series game between the New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers. The game is scheduled for October 26 and it is understood that games of this nature will be repeated until at least 2010. Last year’s first game took place between the eventual ‘Superbowl’ champions, the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins.
The two teams selected for this year’s match are apparently high-class entertainment teams and have been purposely selected to put on a first-class show for the ever-growing number of British fans. The two teams have great attacking ability, or to use American parlance, offensive ability and it promises to be a high-scoring game with little attention to defensive ploy. It looks like the two teams are led by Kevin Keegan’s American equivalents, if so it should live up to the hype.
The last game at Wembley between the ‘Giants’ and the ‘Dolphins’ was a low-scoring game in which the ‘Giants’ won by 13 points to 10, but the NFL directors want this next game to be high-octane. to please the public. The teams seem to have orders to mark at will.
The Saints and Chargers have ‘Superbowl’ aspirations this year and hope to follow in the footsteps of the ‘Giants’; Both teams are expected to reach the play-offs this season. If either team wins the ‘Superbowl’ this year, then Wembley can expect a lot of interest from other teams in the next two years.
The big surprise for many is that more than half a million UK NFL fans have already applied for tickets. 45,000 tickets went on sale in May and were sold in 90 minutes and another 15,000 went on sale in June and were sold in just half an hour. The final sale of the remaining 20,000 tickets will go on sale in September and, if the organizers make any sense, they should increase the price by 500% as they will apparently continue to be sold.
The obvious popularity of an American sport here, which not many people understand, played by men in protective clothing and where the team changes every time you try, oops … sorry … The touchdown is scored, it’s kind of tough for the traditionalists. UK sports fans need to understand. But there’s no question that tradition counts for nothing and this new wave of NFL London is surely just the beginning of things to come.