The NFL looks at the world and sees money not yet in its pockets. So at various times in the last 17 years, the league has sent its teams across the Atlantic in search of those unsecured pounds, euros and pesos, like Queen Isabella sent Columbus to find pepper.
It’s working, slowly but surely, to the point where the NFL is now handing out media rights to its teams in other countries.
The Vikings, one of 20 NFL teams to bid for international media rights last year, were awarded five years of rights in Canada and the UK last December. They play their third game in London on Sunday – an 8:30 a.m. kickoff here in the Midwest – at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
There appear to be Vikings fans in England, some who buy shirts, some who will also pay to fill the 63,000 seats at Hotspur Stadium. For them, however few or many, it is a wonderful opportunity. For fans here in Minnesota, the whole rigmarole is a hassle.
The New Orleans Saints arrived in London on Monday, determined to adjust to the six-hour time difference and be at their best on Sunday morning. The Vikings, after extensive research by its executive director of health and performance, chose to leave Thursday afternoon and play a kind of practical joke on the team’s circadian rhythm — an attempt to trick players’ bodies into thinking they should be eating dinner at 1 p.m. 11 a.m.
That seems like a lot to go through for a game against a 1-2 Saints team without its starting quarterback, and jet lag seems like a terrible reason to lose a game you should win. Still, the Vikings are in London pretending it’s six hours earlier and aiming to improve to 3-0 overseas.
The Vikings’ cheerleaders, less critical and expensive employees — and perhaps not expected to be at their best Sunday — were dispatched early to clear the beaches and kick up enthusiasm. In Minnesota, fans already sucked dry by available commercial jewelry will get nothing but a change in their weekend schedule. It’s not what you’d call adversity, but you know why?
The NFL isn’t going to put a team in London or Frankfurt, Germany, and probably not even in Mexico City. What it’s looking for is a windfall like the one the Premier League just got from NBC/Comcast, which coughed up $2.7 billion last year to televise all 380 of the league’s games through 2028.
It would trickle down to NFL fans if … well, it won’t. Not unless you’re in Europe in a few years and desperate to see your team on TV. Even if it raises the ceiling or floor of the salary cap, it’s all relative.
Why anyone in England would pick the Vikings as their team — one of 12 in the NFL to never win a Super Bowl and not even get there since 1977 — is a mystery. But this is how American fans choose their favorite Premier League teams. Sports fandom is regional. The Premier League has some of the best footballers in the world, but why would anyone here choose to support Manchester United over, say, Arsenal?
There are Minnesotans who fill sports Twitter on Saturday morning with joy and sorrow over the wins and losses of West Ham, Chelsea and Tottenham Spurs.
Spurs beat AC Milan at the U.S. Bank Stadium in 2018 and Chelsea beat the same opposition there in 2016. So maybe outreach helps. Maybe it’s just a chosen idiosyncrasy, a way of being different. Maybe it’s just a comfortable niche among like-minded people who look good in a scarf. Maybe it’s just for fun and everyone else should just shut up already.
As for whether the Vikings bring in more fans overseas, who cares? All it would do is make the NFL, and specifically its 32 owners, richer. Whether you watch it or play for it, having your team selected to play a regular season game in Europe isn’t an honor, it just kind of stinks.
If it’s any consolation to Vikings fans, the Packers running backs will get their first taste of it a week from Sunday when their team plays the Giants at Tottenham Stadium. For one more week, Green Bay is the only NFL team not to have played an International Series game. They have been lucky.
What channel is Vikings London game on?
How to watch Vikings vs Saints in London. Read also : NFL World Reacts to Viral Cowboys Cheerleader Photo. Vikings-Saints will be shown on NFL Network.
Where do the Vikings play in London? MINNEAPOLIS â For the first time since 2017, the Minnesota Vikings will travel to London this fall to face the New Orleans Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 2.
What time do gates open for Vikings games?
The gates to the U.S. Bank Stadium opens at 17. This may interest you : A 2-year-old Packers fan from De Pere became a surprise with her tea party at training camp.00.
Where can I tailgate before a Vikings game? Vikings Tailgate Garden at Commons Park outside the U.S. Bank Stadium is your best tailgate venue on game day. Enjoy local food trucks and your favorite Molson Coors products.
Does the Vikings stadium open up?
Humphrey Metrodome, the indoor stadium opened in 2016 and home to the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL); it also hosts early season college baseball games of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. To see also : Kartik Aaryan turns into a cheerleader for men in blue, watches match his cute dog.