Friday, December 06, 2013


The build-up to next season's NFL International Series trifecta of games made for interesting news on Wednesday night when it was announced that the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions, on October 26th, will take place at 1:30pm UK time.

This means that American football fans will have to wake up early to catch the first game of the day.

It also means UK fans travelling to Wembley Stadium to witness the game live will have to make an earlier start than they had planned.

The idea of a 1:30pm kick-off is an interesting one, and it raises many questions.

Will it clash with a marquee Premier League game?

Why wasn't the 1:30pm kick-off announced ahead of the season ticket sales launch that took place a number of days beforehand?

Another question that once again popped up concerned the possibility that this was a way for the National Football League to test the waters to see what a 1:30pm kick-off would do if there happens to be a UK-based franchise in the future.

You knew the UK franchise thing would pop up again, right?

The thing is - I cannot see how a 1:30pm start will work for a road team. It's taking another four-and-a-half hours out of preparation and acclimation time. I do not see the benefit of it from that side.

And don't be fooled to think that head coaches and owners of these road teams will bring this up if 1:30pm UK kick-off times are ever brought up again beyond 2014.

Working in favour of the October 26th early kick-off is that British Summer Time ends that day and the clocks will be working in favour of the United States. The difference between the UK and the east coast of the US will only be 4 hours.

Any other time of the season, there would be a five hour gap.

In the press release, NFL UK's managing director - Alistair Kirkwood - wrote that it is 'a great chance for London and the International Series to be showcased and for the whole of the US to witness the knowledge and passion of the UK fans'.

The whole of the US?

Some of them will still be asleep.

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