The NFL is trying to turn the American game of football into a global sport. Their method of doing so as of late has been through playing games overseas, and more specifically in London. The Minnesota Vikings will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday at 1 pm ET at Wembley Stadium in London England. While the NFL has been doing this overseas series for years now, it is time to ask if it is really the right thing for the NFL, and more specifically the Vikings.
This game in London counts as a home game for the Vikings, which is disappointing considering the city of Minneapolis misses out on one game this year. That means season ticket holders and businesses in the area will feel the affects of only seven home games this season. The NFL is trying to expand their brand in order to make more money and raise the popularity. The unfortunate thing, however, is that they are doing this at the expense of the the teams that play overseas.
Travel time contributes to the wear and tear of players, and forces them to take longer flights and stay in hotels compared to staying in their houses as Vikings players would do for a normal home game. The league has even floated the idea of having teams based overseas in Europe, which has been shot down fortunately as it would give home teams even more of an advantage given teams would be traveling more than usual.
The Vikings are still looking for their first win of the year, as are the Steelers, meaning this game is an important one for a Vikings team looking to make it back to the playoffs despite a bad start. Having an eighth real home game would really help a team like the Vikings who are already on the verge of making the postseason and need every advantage they can get.
Two of the Vikings’ next three games are against winless teams meaning they have a shot at turning their season around, however, it is a shame one of these games won’t be in front of their home crowd like it should. That’s why the NFL should stick to games strictly in the United States.