Lions-Falcons Non-Preview

Detroit football fans living in Atlanta were treated to a fleeting moment of excitement upon the release of the 2014 NFL schedule, which showed the Lions and Falcons meeting in a Week 8 home game for Atlanta. That moment of excitement fleeted as those fans noticed the kickoff time, 9:30 am, and further investigation revealed the location of the game to be London, England, Great Britain, United Kingdom. Remind me again why we fought the Revolution?

After a hot start, the Falcons aren’t looking too good lately. Up in Motown, it’s the Lions who are looking like the UGA Bulldogs, putting together the pieces and winning with their best player on the sidelines. The Lions still should consider the Falcons a dangerous opponent this week– that is, assuming the Falcons even make it to the game:

The truth is, after their team’s disappointing start, Falcons fans probably are less worried about their team showing up in Spain for a game in London than they are about the fact that there apparently are no direct flights from Hartsfield-Jackson to Heathrow.

(HT: Deadspin)

Winter Jam

Bruce Springsteen is a prolific recording artist and live performer, but if you had to limit yourself to just one of his albums, the decision process would be easy: it’d be his Live at Hammersmith Odeon without question. I cannot imagine a better introduction to Springsteen and the E Street Band than that album and today’s selected Jam, which includes a literal introduction, in particular.

Without thinking about it too much, the E Street Band might be the tightest loose band I’ve heard, and on this album, which spans two compact discs, they play every song as if it’s their last– and this was 1975! Since then, sadly, a few members of the band– Dan Federici and Clarence Clemons– have played their last songs. Thankfully, however, high-definition video of this concert, during the band’s first overseas trip, exists and brings the Big Man, the Boss, and everyone else to vibrant life. Here’s the door:

Tuesday Afternoon Inside Linebacker

fairleyALDLAND’s weekly football roundup is back, taking a look at all the highs and lows of the latest round of football action.

College Football

Pregame:

  • In anticipation of the LSU-UGA game, a secret-recipe cheesy bean dip was made. So much was made, in fact, that it lasted much longer than the game, although not quite as long as Georgia coach Mark Richt spent kissing his wife following a win over Kentucky.

The games:

  • LSU-Georgia was a thriller. Georgia continues to lose important players to injury, but it doesn’t seem to slow them down. This week, star running back Todd Gurley sprained his ankle in the second quarter, but backup Keith Marshall filled in and had a career day. In the end, the Dwags outgunned the Tigers 44-41 and are in the driver’s seat on the road to the SEC championship game in Atlanta.
  • I also thought Ole Miss-Alabama would be a good game, but it was not. The Rebels limited Alabama’s scoring early, but they were unable to do any scoring of their own, which is an easy-bake recipe for a loss. Ole Miss 0, Alabama 25.     Continue reading

Can Jaguars Swim?

british jaguars

The NFL has not disguised its efforts to develop its brand abroad, and it appears to be moving toward establishing a team in another country. With expansion, which probably would reduce current owners’ revenues, unlikely, the only ready option is to relocate an existing team across the boarder.

The obvious choice is Canada. The Buffalo Bills already have some sort of timeshare arrangement with Toronto, but so long as Roger Goodell remains NFL commissioner, that move will not happen. (Goodell:Bills::Selig:Brewers, sort of.) Mexico doesn’t quite seem to be happening for the NFL either.

Instead, the league has set its eyes on Europe, and London in particular. Even though it abandoned NFL Europe, the league is pressing its product there more than ever, and it’s doing so in a targeted way. The team to go? The Jacksonville Jaguars.

I watched last night’s crime against football on Sky Sports, a British broadcasting operation. During breaks, they were airing commercials for some UK version of fantasy football that featured three Jags cheerleaders and chances to win gear from “your favorite team,” spoken over the image of a Maurice Jones-Drew jersey. (You can view the commercial here.) Jacksonville is playing Atlanta in the NFL’s now-annual game in London, but the commercial doesn’t include any Falcons imagery. It’s all about establishing a long-term connection between European fans and the Jaguars.

The newish Jags owner is on board with that long-term connection– Shad Khan, a native of Pakistan who moved to America at age sixteen and became a billionaire through the automotive-parts industry, called the Jaguars “the home team for London.” Khan also bought a London-based soccer team, Fulham Football this summer, and in Khan’s eyes, that’s no coincidence: “Obviously, there would be some practices, some synergies we’d like to take advantage of [between the Jaguars and Fulham],” he said. Khan also pointed out that the Jaguars will be playing one home game in London at least for the next four seasons.

U.S.-based fans may just now be hearing about the prospect that a team, possibly the Jaguars, could be making a more permanent connection to London, but from the looks of things like the commercial I saw last night and Kahn’s actions, the NFL may have already made a decision.

An American Running Back in London (via WSJ)

Mostly he walked. He walked all around London. Down narrow streets to Hyde Park, to the Thames River, to bustling Piccadilly Circus, hidden in the crowd like an anonymous tourist. “Just kind of hanging out, man,” Barry Sanders said. He saw “Les Miserables,” which he also saw in New York. He saw another show, but he couldn’t remember which one. Occasionally, somebody would recognize him. But usually they did not. He met some students from the London School of Economics. They talked a little football. American football.

Back home, everybody wanted to know why Barry Sanders had disappeared. … Read More

(via WSJ)

London Olympics organisers hit dead note with opening ceremony plans

The cheeky Guardian reports:

The London 2012 opening ceremony is going to be called Isles of Wonder, but there can be no wonderment more wonderful than the fact that Olympics organisers wanted Keith Moon to perform.

Moon has been dead for 34 years.

The drummer for the Who died in 1978 after ingesting 32 tablets of clomethiazole, a sedative he had taken for alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

The band’s manager, Bill Curbishley, told the Sunday Times he had been approached to see if Moon “would be available” to play with the surviving members this summer.

“I emailed back saying Keith now resides in Golders Green crematorium, having lived up to the Who’s anthemic line ‘I hope I die before I get old’,” came the excellent reply.

“If they have a round table, some glasses and candles, we might contact him.”

For its part, the staff of the Guardian is just really looking forward to seeing Jesse Owens compete.

They also could’ve gone with a “Pictures of Lily” reference (“[]he’s been dead since 19[78]”), but it wouldn’t have rhymed and seriously, how did the London Olympic Committee miss this one? Moon isn’t just the one-time drummer of a classic rock band. One could be forgiven for not knowing the life status of the drummer from Mot the Hoople. I’d even give you Faces or the one-armed guy from Def Leppard. But Moon is the famously dead drummer of one of the biggest British rock bands ever. I mean, there he is atop British Drummergod Mount Olympus alongside John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones), and Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith, Ginger Baker’s Air Force). This would be like the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Committee inviting Duane Allman to perform or the 2096 Alanta Olympic Committee inviting Jerry Garcia.

Speaking of Atlanta and dead musicians, though, now that someone finally put CNN’s hologram technology to value-adding entertainment use, maybe Moon can make it after all.