The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s ambassador to the world and it is a terrible idea. Every year for the past five seasons the NFL has sent the sorry excuse for a professional team, the Jags to London to spearhead a movement towards a global NFL. Yet, the Jaguars have constantly been near the bottom of the league during this stretch, so are they the right ambassador or the only choice?
The Jaguars will host a game at Wembley stadium for the next three seasons with more possibly on the way. So, why is the NFL sending the Jags, a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, over to London each year to act as tough leagues number one diplomat?
In my experience, a good product will sell itself, so why are we sending the Jags and Bengals to London instead of The Patriots and The Seahawks? The Jags are almost unwatchable half the season and this is who the NFL is using to sell its product…
It’s obvious that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL want to expand outside of the US and London is the first target market. The money is there to be made so you know the NFL will get their greedy hands on it somehow.
The Jaguars have an international owner in Pakistani-American Shahid Khan and he has expressed interest in possibly moving the team permanently to London. Jacksonville is a small market in an area already saturated with NFL teams, so a relocation is likely.
What about the players, who need all the prep and recovery time possible after games? They are the ones who suffer from playing games overseas. A day less of preparation and added travel time only wears on the players mental and physical health.
While players are asking for fewer games and more recovery time, owners and the league want more games and further travel. The sides see the future of the NFL very differently and with a looming strike when the collective bargaining agreement ends in 2019, the fans will end up losing the most.
A strike or lockout is almost guaranteed so prepare for a drawn-out battle as the two sides fight for their rights. It seems like a poor time to try and expand when there is so much internal strife between players, the owners and the league.
Like I said earlier, the NFL is only worried about the bottom line and it’s obvious that player health and quality of product are not their immediate concerns. Until they realize that the product and players should be their number one concern, the NFL will struggle with its own demons.
Expect to see more NFL games overseas, with bottom feeders Jacksonville Jaguars scarfing up all those scraps left over by the original football in London. It will be tough to steal market share form the world’s biggest game by sending over the Jags as your ambassador.
Lionel Messi Decides Barcelona’s Future This Coming Summer
Barcelona’s legendary star, Lionel Messi, shares that he will decide his next career move in summer. Messi nearly departed the Nou Camp after he successfully submitted a request transfer in summer. However, he opted to remain at the club. Josep Maria Bortomeu pointed out that Messi had to pay the €700 million release clause before he would be given the right to do so. Bortomeu’s words were said during an interview, alerting Manchester City as they were involved in Messi’s decision to either stay or move on.
“Nothing will be crystal clear before the end of the year. I’ll wait until the season is over. What matters now is thinking about the team, finishing the year well and not being distracted by other things, shared Lionel Messi. “I don’t know what will happen. I’m focused on what we have here and battling for whatever we can. “I’m not thinking about how the year will end. As of today, it wouldn’t be wise for me to say what I’m going to do because I don’t know,” he continued.
While Messi declined to speak further about his next career move, he spoke fondly of his close friendship with Paris Saint-Germain’s forward, Neymar, as he mentioned that he would also want to have a chance to join the Major League Soccer (MLS) games. “I’ve always had the dream of playing in another league, in the United States,” Messi explained. “Maybe it will happen, doesn’t have to be right away. Today I am just focused on these next six months.”
He went on to speak of a possible Barcelona reunion with his friend Neymar. “It’ll be difficult to bring in players because the funds aren’t there. We’ll have to bring in plenty of top players to get us competing on all fronts again and they come at a price. Neymar would be extremely expensive. How would the club pay PSG for the transfer (of Neymar)? The situation will be tough for the new president, who will have to be intelligent and get everything in order. Changes will be needed for him to do well,” Lionel Messi speculated. “I don’t know if Neymar said that (that the two would play together next year). You’d have to ask him about what he said. We do chat sometimes and we are in touch,” he added.
Speaking of Luis Suarez, Messi also shared how he felt about Barcelona selling the striker to Athletico Madrid despite the fact that the club was one of their biggest rivals. “What they did seemed crazy to me, because of how he left. He left for free, paying him his contract and a team that fights for the same thing as us,” Messi lamented.
Although Lionel Messi plans to make his future career decisions at the end of this season, fans are still glad to have him around. Surely, wherever he decides to go and whatever options he chooses to go with, he will still be one of the main Barcelona star players for many of his avid fans.
Sports World Today Still Heavily Affected by Covid-19
The unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus badly impacted the normal sports routine worldwide. Massive suspension and cancellation of various sports events were initiated in a move to curb the rapid transmission of the deadly virus earlier this year. Let’s take a look, however, at the condition of the sports world today.
In the world of basketball, Mississippi coach Kermit Davis unfortunately tests positive for COVID-19. His condition might result to him being placed at the sidelines when the season finally begins. The news was announced earlier on Tuesday, adding that Davis will undergo a second test. If he, however, tests positive again, he will be forced to opt out of the Rebels’ first couple of games as he will be required to go through self-quarantine at home.
To offset his absence, though, Ronnie Hamilton is expected to play as head coach during the upcoming home events on November 25 and 26. The Rebels are scheduled to go against Central Arkansas and Jackson State on the said dates. To soften the blow, Davis will be allowed to watch through the practice sessions and even contact the team via virtual means.
During the scheduled basketball season opening, the Indiana Hoosiers won’t have the usual live audience to cheer them on. According to school authorities, the stands will indefinitely remain empty. Nevertheless, officials plan to work closely with local health authorities and the campus and Big Ten leaders to find out when fans can be permitted to enter the Assembly Hall.
The sports world today is anticipating the time when new normal protocols will provide them easier gameplay. As for the Hoosiers, they are used to having the biggest basketball student fanbase.
To stem the lack of live audience, the university plans to put cutouts for sale. These cutouts will be placed on the empty seats. They will be priced at US$25 a piece with the option of having either women’s coach Teri Moren or men’s coach Archie Miller autograph these cutouts which will, then, be sent to the fans who purchase the tickets. Also, ticket buyers are guaranteed to avail of refunds or simply avail of the different options via the varsity club’s online site.
As for Tennessee Tech, the school is presently undergoing a difficult time with regard to their attempt to begin their women’s basketball season. Vanderbilt cancelled their game and then Chattanooga followed suit.
On Tuesday morning, Vanderbilt announced the necessity of cancelling their game against Tennessee Tech that was scheduled for November 25 due to the sudden occurrence of positive tests among their athletes. Following that announcement, Chattanooga made a similar call, stating the need to halt activities for a two-week quarantine. The said move resulted to the cancellation of their schedule games against Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
Indeed, the sports world today is still reeling from the hideous impacts of the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. At present, it is not only basketball events that are being cancelled and suspended. Several other sports are being halted, as well, as sports authorities struggle to find a way to conduct their events while observing the new normal protocols.
John Jay Defeats Lourdes as Sports Events Resume in Dutchess County
Interscholastic games finally start in Dutchess County despite the current COVID-19 pandemic. “You always want to have a great season and make it far, but this time it’s not just about winning. We have to do the right things to make sure the season keeps going so we’ll even have a chance to get far,” asserts Kari Horos, a sophomore member of the John Jay East Fishkill girls soccer team as sports events begin in the country.
However, Horos mentions that this season will be a unique experience as bagging a victory won’t be the only goal during this time. As it happens, there are several other things that factor into the equation. Amid the on-going Covid situation, there are several hindrances that players need to tackle—and get accustomed to—so that this season becomes a good experience for all.
Many players mention the difficulty of playing while wearing a mask. Wearing a mask, they say, prevents them from breathing easily. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that athletes are not in their optimal conditions due to the prolonged inactivity brought about by the previous and on-going COVID-19 lockdowns, according to Patriots coach CJ Greenwood.
Running, a basic activity involved in various sports, is like “taking deep breaths with a plastic bag on your head,” says the 61-year-old referee, Rick Snyder, referring to the necessary protocol of wearing masks during in-game events. Nonetheless, they all accept that this is one of the sacrifices that they have to tackle this season.
Despite the various difficulties experienced by players during these season’s events, John Jay’s Ava Viebrock got to handle the game well. She was able to lead John Jay into winning over the Patriots with a 2-1 score during their game against the Our Lady of Lourdes High School. “[It] was important because it gets us started on a good note,” Viebrock shares.
With only about 40 spectators present, the boys’ and girls’ soccer teams successfully hosted the Duchess County high school games in spite of the raging coronavirus pandemic that forced all schools in the country to close in March, earlier this year.
The decision to push through with the events remained previously unclear. But in August, authorities decided to resume the activities. This, amid the continuous health concerns as New York became the country’s epicenter during the height of the pandemic. Hayler, Viebrock’s sister, is part of the Johnson and Wales’ soccer team. Earlier in July, her school opted to withdraw from all fall sports.
John Jay team members feel that this fall season is in a precarious condition. The games, they say, may depend on the unfolding situation as authorities are strictly monitoring any upsurge in COVID-19 in-game infection which could decide whether the games will continue or not. “It’s been a long, winding road to get here. [District athletic directors] Kurt Jesman and Maureen Myers have done a great job to get us to this point and my girls are doing what they need to for the protocols. But I keep telling them that every game could be our last, so play like it,” Greenwood shares.
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