Now Jacksonville want to be London's team
In 2009 and then again two years later, everyone assumed the Buccaneers were trying to align themselves with the United Kingdom. Well they did have the fan club and website I guess.
Then came the announcement that the St.Louis Rams would play at Wembley from 2012-2014 because of their owner's association with Arsenal. Which was all well and good until the Rams found out their lease with the Trans World Dome would not allow it.
So now the NFL has itself a new relationship as the Jacksonville Jaguars want to play a game in London for three straight years. And once again it is down to the fact that an NFL team draws poorly at home that causes them to look longingly across the Atlantic.
But this Shad Khan who now owns the Jags really does take the biscuit for lack of intelligent things to say. " In all honesty, internationally, they don't know the difference between the Jaguars and the Steelers" was his priceless comment a few months ago.
Well Earth calling Khan (sorry but every time I hear his name I think of the second Star Trek film with the late Ricardo Montalban in the role of the uber-baddie). We do know the difference between a good team and a bad one, the same as we know the difference between a decent NFL owner and a complete muppet.
It would be a close-run thing between the number of Jacksonville fans I have seen at past Wembley games to the number of Christmas cards Maurice Jones-Drew is likely to send Khan in the future. They are a bad team in a college town that has never drawn well since being an expansion team in 1995.
The previous Jaguars' owner even had the smart idea of covering over a few thousand seats at All-Tel Stadium so he could still get games aired locally and still no-one really cared. The only way Jacksonville was going to succeed as a popular team in the state was if they had traded for Tim Tebow and they even screwed that up.
So now the UK will welcome Jacksonville and at least by way of the NFL schedule we know that the Bucs cannot be the visiting team until 2015 at the earliest. And the announcement brought all the usual idiots out of the woodwork on American message boards either claiming the franchise would move to London, or that the Brits should just get pre-season games as they would still watch them regardless.
They just don't get it do they? No matter how many times you try to explain the British interest in the NFL, it really just flies over their heads like a Blaine Gabbert pass. The average British NFL fan walks all over the average American one in terms of actual knowledge of the game.
Then again, the Jaguars coming to London in October 2013 does mean I catch up with my old buddy Greg Olsen who is now their quarterbacks' coach.
You've been great, enjoy Hayzi Fantayzee.