The Atlanta Falcons playing in London during the 2021 NFL season looks even worse now than we ever thought it would.
There weren’t many Atlanta Falcons fans that were happy when the team announced that they had decided to give up a home game in Atlanta in order to travel to London to “host” a game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Now that we know who the opponent is and that it means the Falcons will have a ridiculously early bye-week, it makes giving up a true home game even more ridiculous.
Atlanta Falcons have nothing to gain from taking their franchise to London
Here is a fact that the NFL knows, the American game of football is not popular overseas and never has been. Sure, they will sell out a stadium and there are NFL fans all over the world but it doesn’t mean the league or product can be successful.
They have tried.
From 1998-2007, the NFL ran what was formerly known as the World League of American Football, though when they took over operations at the end of the 1997 season, they changed the name of the league to NFL Europe hoping that would attract more fans and followers.
Roger Goodell finally pulled the plug as the league was losing more than $30 million a year. While the league was good for the development of players, coaches, officials, and new rules, European sports fans don’t like how American sports are run.
According to John Williams, director of the Center for the Sociology of Sport at the University of Leicester, said NFL Europes “lack of flow”, and time spent between plays for “tactical talks and time outs”, deemed “too contrived” by fans of more free-flowing sports like soccer which do not have these same issues.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank will see no upside or increase in his bottom line for playing this game. On top of that, the Falcons will now have a bye week during week 6 of the season and have to play 12 straight regular-season games and that is before any playoff game.
The least the NFL could have done was moved the game closer to week 10 so that the Atlanta Falcons would have had a more logical bye-week for doing the NFL this favor.