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"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have arrived in London ahead of their NFL game against the Chicago Bears," AP reports.
And, apparently, it's insanity!
"To celebrate," the Telegraph reports, "this weekend sees a variety of NFL events occurring in London, starting with the first ever NFL Friday Night Lights Film Screening of Jerry Maguire in Trafalgar Square.
"The event will be attended by the Oscar winning star of the film, Cuba Gooding Jnr himself, who will be discussing the making of the film directly before the free screening. Also in attendance will be NFL superstar Terrell Owens, talking about the realities of NFL and its portrayal in Hollywood. "
"The last time the Bears went to London, the world was different," Rick Telander writes. (If for nothing else, click through to see the Sports Illustrated cover previewing the 1986 game there.)
"It was August 1986, and quarterback Jim McMahon ran down the concourse at O'Hare Airport to the Bears' waiting 747 charter, sporting camouflage, wearing sunglasses, trying not to spill his cup of beer, smoking a cigar.
"When the Bears checked into the Hyde Park Intercontinental Hotel, an employee asked Walter Payton, 'Are you as good as the Refrigerator?'"
The inevitable . . .
"Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie defensive end Adrian Clayborn has had his first real taste of English culture, and he's not likely to go back for seconds anytime soon," the Tampa Tribune reports.
"Clayborn partook of some traditional fish and chips shortly after arriving here with the Bucs late Monday. All his dip into one of England's most famous dishes did, though, was ruin his evening.
"'It didn't sit well with me at all,' Clayborn said Tuesday after suffering through a restless Monday night. 'It messed up my stomach bad.'"
The desperation for an angle . . .
"The first isn't that the Bears are holding a game overseas - in 1986, the defending Super Bowl champion Bears played in the first NFL contest held in the United Kingdom, a preseason victory over Dallas, and 11 years later, they faced the Steelers in a preseason matchup in Dublin," CSNChicago.com reports.
"Sunday will mark the first time the Bears will play a regular season game outside of North America, but there are a few bits of added trivia involving the Buccaneers. Both teams enter Sunday's matchup at Wembley Stadium coming off victories for the first time in the history of the NFL's regular season series in the United Kingdom, according to NFL director of media relations Michael Signora."
Another inevitable . . .
"The London game always triggers a new wave of daydreaming about an NFL team one day making London a permanent home, particularly the Bucs, who are owned by the same oddly bearded gent who owns Manchester United," Drew Magary writes for NBCNewYork.
"It's always fun to think about the NFL or the NBA reaching across an ocean and planting a franchise in Europe or Asia or someplace exotic. You hear the word 'global' a lot from the likes of David Stern and Roger Goodell, and with good reason: There's money to be had in international markets, particularly thriving markets like China. It's easy to envision a future where the NFL has teams in London, Shanghai, and Dubai, and you can jet out to games in your flying car if you feel so inclined.
"But the hard truth is that the NFL will NEVER field a team outside of North America."
Even if someone shows them the money?
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