There's been a lot of talk about the EPL playing a game abroad, initially it was regarded as a stupid idea, why would we want to give up home advantage and the opportunity to see our beloved teams just so a few fans from other countries can have the convenience we all take for granted. I have to admit I rebuked the idea initially too for purely selfish reasons.
I love my Saturdays, meeting up with my dad revelling in the atmosphere with other fans on the tube before discussing who's going to play and where, and what the score will be whilst taking in the most picturesque of walks through Bishops park. Watching future Oxford v Cambridge hopeful's row up the Thames to the sounds of the away fans practising their songs, feeling that buzz as you see Johnny Haynes and the iconic cottage, the thousands of people all there to cheer on their heroes. Getting a drink before kickoff and settling into your seat as you feel the culmination of the week's excitement for the game as the hammy end bursts into song. I live for those days, it was a proud moment when I was able to return the favour and buy my dad his season ticket after the years he's paid for me and it's certainly a tradition I will be continuing with my children.
Football however is not the only sport I am passionate about, I'm an avid cricket fan which fills the summer break perfectly, but in the last few years I have started to become hooked on Basketball. Being 6 4" certainly helps and led me to being thrown into the school team as captain. However it's only since BT Sport have got the right to show NBA over here that I have caught the bug. I love the action, the speed, the competitiveness and there's a game on just about every night. My adopted Cleveland Cavaliers might not be the best team but I loved Cleveland when visiting a few years ago and they had the only British player in Loul Deng. Now the NBA is bringing a regular season game to London and I couldn't be more excited. Finally I'll get the chance to see some of the stars I watch on TV up close. It's a ridiculous feeling like a kid waiting for Christmas and I'm certainly not alone. Tickets go on sale this month and is guaranteed to be a sell out. It was a similar situation regarding the NFL with Wembley selling out all 90,000 seats and officials claiming they could do so three times over, it's no huge surprise that the idea of a franchise is being brought up in London. The idea of that logistically to me is almost incomprehensible with an 8 hour flight to every away game but I guess money talks.
This however makes me think that maybe a ‘global game' idea could work; I want others to feel that excitement about my beloved Fulham, to take their families without having to book a holiday and break the bank. There's obviously a huge Fulham following in America thanks to people like Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey and more recently links through our new owner. From what I have read the recent pre season tour was a huge success despite our relegation and controversial manager. Imagine what it could do for the club financially too, America is a huge market and Soccer is only going to grow in popularity, the potential from shirt sales to hospitality packages for those who can afford to come over are endless. I think now that I'd be happy to see one game go abroad as long as it was a sensible location where links could be built for the future both in football and financial terms. I will obviously be convincing the wife that wherever the game does go ahead that it's beautiful at that time of year. I'd love to hear what people think from both sides of the continent.