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Lions players mixed on idea of having team in London

Some Detroit Lions players recently weighed in on the idea of having an NFL team in London.


As the NFL continues to look at playing more games in London, there is increasing speculation that there will someday be a team overseas. It's no secret that the NFL wants to grow the game in Europe, and given the emphasis they have put on games in England, London seems to be the logical location if a team were to ever make the move across the Atlantic Ocean on a permanent basis.

The biggest problem with this idea is the travel. Logistically, it just doesn't seem like a team could make eight games in London each year work. The time difference would be an issue, and spending so much time traveling would be tough to do for an entire season. There's a reason why teams always get a bye the week after playing in London.

If a team ever does end up in London, expect a mixed reaction to the news around the league. The Free Press' Dave Birkett recently sought out the opinions of Detroit Lions players on this topic, and there were players for it and players against it. Wide receiver Nate Burleson, for example, likes the idea.

"That would be tough, but I like traveling, so I would love it," receiver Nate Burleson said. "I’m in my later years, so a free trip to London wouldn’t be bad at all. But no, I like it. I think change is always good, no matter how far or how foreign it may seem to people who are used to this traditional look of the NFL.

"We have an international fan base, so why not take it to the next level?"

On the flip side, center Dominic Raiola, who is very familiar with time differences given that he's from Hawaii, said it'd be tough to have a team in London.

"If you can have one there, why can’t you have a team in Hawaii? I feel a little slighted," said center Dominic Raiola, a Hawaii native. "Seriously, it’d be hard. It’s a time adjustment. You’d have to have a bye after teams play there. That’d be tough."

My guess is that there will be a team that London can call its own at some point down the road, just not on a permanent basis. I could easily see a team splitting its home schedule with four games in the United States and four games overseas. I just don't see how it would be feasible to have a team permanently based in London, though.

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