Something a little different for you all today on this gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Actually, I take that back, it's overcast and ugly outside my apartment right now. But it's gorgeous somewhere. My girlfriend is gorgeous. Therefore, it is gorgeous somewhere. Did that make any sense? No? Alright. Carrying on...
Check this article out. It comes from an SB Nation writer, so we're boosting internal views! Woohoo! But it is very interesting.
The NFL currently plans to play two games in Europe this season, which is a great idea, in theory.
I just got back from a conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, as I believe I mentioned on Friday. My school is about ~3 hours from the Atlanta airport, and then the Atlanta airport is about 4.5 hours worth of flying from Vegas itself. It's about 1,750 miles.
My flight left at 11 am Sunday, which meant I had to get up around 4:30, meet up with my group, then drive to Atlanta, get on the plane, and fly. I slept for two hours the night before. When my plane arrived in Vegas around 1-ish PST, I was a pretty tired fellow.
I proceeded to check into my hotel and sleep 15.5 hours straight. Yes, 15 hours. When we came back, Same 7-ish hours of traveling, I slept 12 hours the night I got home. It's exhausting.
London, on the other hand, is more than double the air distance from Atlanta than Vegas is. It clocks in at around 4,200 miles. That's a good 8-9 hours of flying, easily, and it's in the bad direction (going east).
Now, unlike many people, I have a hard time sleeping on planes, and when the plane starts going down, I have to make a conscious effort to yawn about 50-60 times an hour to clear my left ear (I have some problem I don't know about).
If I don't do the yawning thing (I've taught myself to yawn on command), my left ear tightens up, and then eventually provides the single worst pain I've ever felt in my life. I describe it as "giving birth out of my left ear". It's not fun.
NOW, while air travel provides some wonderful convenience, it is likely that I'm not the only human being who can't sleep on a plane, or the only one who has ear problems.
To fly that far (and to fly east) you're almost guaranteed to be on some kind of red-eye flight unless you're lucky. That itself is awful.
So if the NFL expands a team or two into Europe, you'll have teams traveling at least 4,000 miles every week to go play the team, which will throw everyone's bodies off, which will cause them to play like garbage, which will affect divisional races, etc.
Granted, I'm not in supreme physical shape, and I don't mind flying, but traveling all that way takes a toll on the body, both there and back. No matter how good you play, you have to come back. And no matter how good you are, you can't just fix your sleeping habits overnight, especially when traveling five time zones to the east.
The flipside is the monetary increase the NFL would get. We all know that money drives the world, but is this a good idea?
While there might not be any real concerns about the players' health, I think it's something that has to be considered. I'm already iffy about the London games just because I know what it's like to travel half the distance and it wore me out.
What do you think? Should the NFL expand into London further? Would a team in London be a good idea?