NFL wants a team in London

Can American football hop the pond?

Latitude News staff By Latitude News staff

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass during the NFL’s annual game in London. But it seems the football game the British really cared about this weekend was Chelsea vs Manchester United. (Reuters)

In a globalized world, the barrier between international and domestic reporting becomes increasingly irrelevant. America doesn’t exist in isolation and news doesn’t stop at the border. Every week Latitude News scans the regional press for stories that drive that point home.

 

  • According to a report in the Boston Globe, the NFL wants a team in London, where it has played one regular season game a year since 2007. Before his team’s 45-7 thrashing of the St. Louis Rams at historic Wembley stadium in England, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said London was ready for an NFL franchise. The struggling Jacksonville Jaguars are the most likely candidate to relocate, but NFL officials caution an American football team in England is still a long way off. Over the last few years the league has made a push to expand overseas. Since 1986, the NFL has played preseason games in Mexico City, Tokyo, Berlin, Montreal, Dublin and Sydney. The Buffalo Bills also play one “home” game a year in nearby Toronto. Still, it’s clear Londoners aren’t quite ready for the NFL. Another reporter for the Globe decided to do a traditional pub crawl and see what the locals thought of the other “football.” He asked one drinker what a quarterback did: “I don’t know,” the man replied. “Probably sleep with a cheerleader.”

 

  • Here’s another sports story that bridges the gap between domestic and international: with hockey on strike, residents of Windsor, Canada were rooting full-force for the Detroit Tigers in this year’s baseball World Series. Due to a geographical quirk, Windsor is actually located south of Detroit, and some Windsor residents live closer to the Tigers’ home at Comerica Park than many of the players. ”Windsor is 95 percent behind the Tigers,” one Canadian fan told a reporter from the New York Times while watching the game at a bar in Windsor. “I mean, it’s right there. That’s our team.” Like its American neighbor, blue-collar Windsor has struggled in the down economy. Unfortunately, the Tigers didn’t give either city much to cheer about this year. They went down meekly to the San Francisco Giants, losing the series in four straight games after getting outscored 18 to 6.

 

  • At one high school in Richmond, California, 45 percent of students are learning English, the Richmond Pulse reports. In order to help them, the school district hired a program from San Francisco that matches students with trained volunteers. “Sometimes students don’t get praise that they can write, that they can express themselves,” says Franco, a student. “Now, when people from the community tell you that your writing is as good as anybody’s, that gives you more confidence.” According to a study from the non-profit Migration Policy Institute, around 5.3 million K-12 students are learning English. That’s almost 10 percent of the country’s students in that age group. Another surprising fact: almost half the kids who are still learning English were born in the United States, not abroad, to immigrant families.