Patriots' Kraft: London ready for its own NFL club
At the NFL's FanFest on Saturday, the day before the Patriots face the Rams at Wembley Stadium, Pats owner Robert Kraft said London was ready for an NFL franchise.
For the pro-NFL segment of the London crowd, which reportedly numbered in the thousands, Kraft might have given those fans an even better reason to feel excited. Kraft told them at the pep rally that he believes London is ready to procure its own NFL franchise.
"You're already hosting the premier league, and we believe we're the premier sport in the world," Kraft said, via ESPN Boston. "I think London has shown, with the way they've handled the Olympics and every other major sporting event, that it's time for you to have your own NFL franchise, based in London."
Of course, that’s what all of the games in London in the past half-decade and the rhetoric by Roger Goodell is leading toward. The NFL wants to expand its market globally, and it makes sense that one way to do so is to make a play for part of the European market by putting a franchise in one of the world’s major cities.
One problem: Which franchise is going to move? I’m guessing it won’t be the New England Patriots -- even if this is the second time the Patriots have played in London.
“These people out here make us feel that this is a home game -- New England is coming back to England," Kraft said.
Also on the day before the game vs. the Rams at Wembley Stadium, New England tight end Rob Gronkowski heeded the crowd’s chant to do his signature touchdown celebration and slammed the microphone he was holding the same way he would spike a football after a scoring catch.
Predictably, as the Boston Herald video below shows, the crowd loved it (even Bill Belichick laughed at the display).
Let's call it the Blair Walsh revenge game
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