After the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the San Francisco 49ers 42-10 yesterday at Wembley Stadium in London yesterday Jags coach Gus Bradley addressed the media. His job security now looks shaky after his team were blown away in front of a packed 83,559 crowd but he remains positive.
He told a postgame press gathering: “”We’ve got to get things right. Our mindset is to keep building and get to the point where we come back here and give London a team fighting for a play-off spot. I thought it was a great atmosphere and the crowd stayed until the end with great energy.”
It was the first of the four annual Wembley “home” games that Khan’s club will play over four seasons.
The speculation is that, with the Jags struggling to sell out in Florida, they are prime candidates to be the club that moves to London if the NFL plant a permanent outfit here. But the real question here is not as much will the Jags move to London as it is does the U.K. really want an NFL franchise?
A quick Monday morning check of the Times of London, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and the Sun all barely made mention that the game was even played. The BBC, Sky Sports, ITV and TalkSport were all giving the Premier League scores, F1 results and the latest cricket news.
There are clearly enough people who have ties to the United States to support an NFL team in London but without any colleges, high schools or youth leagues it simply is hard to figure that the league could grow. We know that the NFL Europe was a disaster and to be honest Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League all have bigger world followings than does the NFL.
The NFL is really a North American sport and that is it. But clearly it is the King of North American sports and maybe that should be good enough. Will the NFL put a team in London, they could and use it to keep a European gateway but the league will never be a world league.