Peyton Manning is having a disappointing week. All his hope for an American Football Explosion in China are starting to dwindle, especially following recent revelations that even the 2018 game was unlikely to happen; not that any of this will affect the NFL lines.
It is difficult to determine just how much enthusiasm there is in the United States for the booming interest in American Football in China. But there are people who have been working hard to bring the game to China, and it doesn’t look like they are making nearly as much headway as people like Manning suggested.
For one thing, it doesn’t look like the plans to play a regular-season game in China are going to go ahead; at the very least, that particular idea has been put on hold. In an interview with MMQB.com, Mark Waller, the NFL’s executive Vice President of International, revealed this week that the likelihood of the game tentatively planned for 2018 going ahead was very low.
However, Waller dismissed rumors that the NFL was giving up on the Chinese market as a whole; rather, he emphasized the league’s keen interest in pursuing the football fan base in the most populated nation on earth.
He also added that the NFL hadn’t given up on the 2018 game as a whole; rather, they were working very hard in the background to make it happen. There is still hope that the game might go ahead if certain factors come together.
There are people who think that things are falling apart because the NFL simply isn’t as interested in China as they claim. However, most such people are under the impression that the NFL only needs to give the go-ahead for the 2018 game to happen.
There are a number of complications that must be overcome before the NFL can actually host a regular season game in China, numerous issues making this concept a little difficult to realize. One of the biggest is the time issue.
The original idea was to have the Rams and the 49ers play a game in China in 2018; however, one needs to keep in mind the fact that both teams are situated in a time zone that is 15-hours apart from China’s own time zone.
This difference is a crucial factor because it raises a lot of questions. You have to figure out when the teams will get back and how the game might affect their schedule back home, especially with regards to games that must be played after the China match.
The schedule also has to appeal to Chinese fans for them to have a good time. That isn’t even taking into account U.S fans who might want to watch the match live. The NFL is still pondering the issue, contemplating new ideas and trying to find a kickoff time that appeals to everyone’s schedule.
One also has to account for the journey to China. It takes more than 12 hours to fly from San Francisco to China; the Rams and the 49ers have to take that factor into account when they are organizing their playing schedule.
For the time being, the NFL is looking to countries like London, Mexico, and Canada where plans for NFL games are still moving ahead.