Beware Packers fans: the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking to take away one of your beloved home games at Lambeau Field. I'm not talking about one of those meaningless pre-season games that you are required to pay regular season prices for--but one of the games that counts in the standings and toward the Brett Favre record book.
This weekend, the NFL played its first regular season game in London--and officials say it was a huge success. The 90-thousand tickets sold out and there was demand for another 200-thousand after that. Several NFL owners--with dollar signs in their eyes--now want these overseas games to be a more regular occurance. Some think every team should take a turn giving up a home game to play an international contest.
The Packers would be a perfect candidate for the next round of games. I've been to Europe and people there have heard of the Packers--most think Vince Lombardi is still the coach--but there is some interest in the franchise. And if Number Four announces its his last season--it would be a huge additional draw. We ended up with Beckham after he was old and washed up--why not give the Euros a past his prime Brett. I'm guessing the French could even find a way to make him a citizen.
The Packers would also be most vulnerable to having the decision thrust upon them. With no money-grubbing owner raising a fuss at league meetings, the Pack would be a bit under-represented. And we know what a company man Bob Harlan is. The green and gold may actually have an unusual ally in Cowboys owner Jerry Jones--who is building a one billion (that's bilion with a "b") stadium outside of Dallas--which will be about half luxury boxes. He has no intentions of giving up a single cent of that revenue--which he does not have to share with other teams.
The ultimate goal of the league is not so much to establish a franchise in Europe or the far east--but rather to have the threat of moving a team there in the future. The league is big on having that "alternate" location available when teams go looking for public funding for new football-only stadiums. Outside of Los Angeles--which would already have a team if it wanted one--and Las Vegas--which the league that posts injury reports to help set point spreads thinks is too tied to gambling--are the only viable sites in the US.
First we exported all of the production work nobody wanted to do for low wage. Now we are exporting the entertainment we have to pay to much to enjoy.