Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Morning Ram-blings: Looking at London
By Nick Wagoner
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will play the first of two games in London this season when they meet Sunday. Amid those preparations, rumors continue to run rampant that the NFL would eventually like to have a team there on a permanent basis.
As part of our weekly NFL Nation Says initiative, I asked a few St. Louis Rams players what they'd think about playing on a team based permanently overseas. Mind you, the question has nothing to do with any team moving over there, simply whether or not the players would want to play on a team that isn't based in the United States or North America as a whole.
NFL teams have gotten a warmer reception from fans in London than the idea of having a team there permanently has gotten from NFL players.
"I would be absolutely livid," Long said. "I love growing our sport globally, but logistically to put a team through that would be like punishment. They have great fans there and they were super-enthusiastic and awesome to everyone when we were there (in 2012), but to ask people to take those road trips every time they do an away game is just ludicrous."
From the early returns that Dolphins reporter James Walker and Eagles reporter Phil Sheridan got, Long is far from alone in his opinion. I've covered Long since he entered the league in 2008 and I've known him as an intelligent guy who thinks for himself and is open to outside-the-box thinking and ideas. But it's hard to find an angle in which having a team on a different continent would be logical.
I covered the Rams-Patriots game last year in London and was taken aback at the passion and energy of NFL fans across the pond. It was a cool experience and a lot of fun to meet the people who traveled from all over to watch American football. But I also have lasting memories of trying to adjust to jet lag and the time difference, and I was just some schlub trying to write about a week's worth of football activities, not someone who actually had to prepare for the physical rigors of a game.
Barring some sort of futuristic travel solution in which teleportation is possible, I'd have to think most players around the league will agree with Long on this subject. I know I do.
Our daily roundup of anything you might've missed in this space Tuesday. ... We opened the morning with a look at how things are going for the Redskins and how the Rams' first-round pick looks better by the week. ... From there, unfortunately, we turned back to something that received only brief mention in these parts yesterday, the comments of former Rams offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe. The Rams issued a statement on the matter, and later in the day, coach Jeff Fisher said Nsekhe is "not necessarily a deep thinker." ... The Rams checked in at No. 20 in this week's Power Rankings, down three spots from last week. ... We looked further at the importance of the Rams getting the run game going Thursday against San Francisco. ... Finally, a quick rundown of the day's injury report.
Relentless Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz checked in with two Rams pieces, one on the Rams' persistence in the short passing game and another on the relative silence of San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick and what that might say about the Niners' mindset.
Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell added his thoughts on Fisher's ability to get his team to bounce back after a rough game.