Giants, Dolphins are sent overseas
Fry up the fish n' chips and forget about the brats and baby back ribs this week. The NFL is skipping across the pond to play a regular season game. Tom Coughlin has to be thrilled about this and the Dolphins management has to be thrilled to give...
Fry up the fish n' chips and forget about the brats and baby back ribs this week. The NFL is skipping across the pond to play a regular season game.
Tom Coughlin has to be thrilled about this and the Dolphins management has to be thrilled to give up a home game in Miami - Not that the fish have had much luck in the New World. Maybe a trip to the mother land will inspire a win.
The Giant-Dolphins game will be one of many regular-season contests over the next five years to be played overseas.
The NFL owners have agreed to play two games each of the next five years outside of North America to promote the league to a global audience.
While the NFL is the undisputed champion of American professional sports, it is years behind the NHL, NBA and MLB when it comes to internationalization.
The NHL has long recruited players from Eastern Europe, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Germany to its teams.
Out of all the big four, the NHL was the first to field six all-star teams from six different countries - USA, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden and Finland - for the 1998 Olympic games.
Major League Baseball has grown significantly internationally. The major and minor leagues are bursting with talent from Latin America and Asia is auctioning off just the rights to talk to its stars for millions of dollars.
Then there is basketball, where the United States is trying to recapture its pride after watching Latin America and Europe conquer our game.
The NFL unfortunately joined the game late. Its feeble attempt to drum up interest through NFL Europe, a summer league for third stringers, finally came to an end this year and its invasion this weekend is a last-ditch effort to gain some international dollars.
Just like soccer's attempt to take over America, the NFL's quest to become the football league of choice in Europe is a lost cause.
Roger Goodell and the other 31 owners (I doubt Packer fans are up for surrendering a home game to Europe, unless it involves a free trip to Germany for free brats and free beer) need to focus on its home turf where a new power is growing by leaps and bounds every year - NASCAR.
Here are this week's big games:
Giants vs. Dolphins (London)
Whether it is in the USA, Mexico, Canada, Europe, China, Antarctica, the Moon, Mars or Madden 2007, the Dolphins will stink. They may have a shot in Tecmo Super Bowl, however. Giant 21, Dolphins 10.
Lions at Bears
After a pitiful first start for the Bears, Brian Griese has put together a number of impressive performances to get Chicago back into the race in the NFC North.
The Lions won the initial match up in Motown but expect them to see a different Bears team this week. Bears 34, Lions 28.
Eagles at Vikings
With Tavaris Jackson trying to work through a broken finger, Brad Childress has no choice but to hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson. Vikings 20, Eagles 12.
Texans at Chargers
The fact that the NFL is even considering playing a game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego is ludicrous.
The mayor of San Diego will decide today whether the game can be played there but the NFL should make the decision for him.
The Chargers can play somewhere else while Qualcomm acts as a relief center for Wildfire victims. Chargers 24, Texans 21.
Packers at Broncos
For the first time all year, I will pick against my Packers but believe me, I won't root against them. As I learned last week against Pittsburgh, don't bet against the Denver at Mile High. Broncos 27, Packers 24.
Here are the rest of this week's picks. Cardinals, Falcons, Ravens, Cowboys, Chiefs and Seahawks are on the bye.
Colts over Panthers; Steelers over Bengals; Browns over Rams; Titans over Raiders; Jets over Bills; Jaguars over Buccaneers; Patriots over Redskins and Saints over 49ers.
Last week: 10-4
Season: 67-35 (.657)
Matt Wellens is a sports reporter for The Dickinson Press. He can be reached at email@example.com