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NFL exec: London getting ‘huge game’ of winless teams


Government subsidies for large airport projects, currently assessed on a case-by-case basis, would be outlawed starting in early 2014, whether for new infrastructure or upgrades of existing facilities, according to the draft EU blueprint . There are unintended and potentially catastrophic consequences, Johnson said in a Sept. 20 letter to EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia . In tying the hands of member states, the measures would limit Londons ability to expand vital links to emerging markets in Asia and South America, he said in the document obtained by Bloomberg News . Johnson is at the forefront of a U.K. debate over airport capacity in southeast England that pits the existing Heathrow hub against his own proposals which include building an entirely new base far to the east. The EU rules would limit London to expanding terminal capacity at existing bases with less ambitious plans that could be more easily financed, he said. Consultation Almunias spokesman Antoine Colombani said the European Commission has taken no decision on the matter and that the EUs regulatory arm will now start to analyze feedback received during a consultation period that ended yesterday. We will of course carefully assess all the arguments raised, including in Mr. Johnsons letter, he said. The Commission said on publishing draft guidelines in July that airports with annual passenger numbers above 5 million are usually profitable and are able to cover all of their costs. Transport for London, the body that implements the mayors transport strategy, said in a submission accompanying his letter that while incremental investment can usually be privately financed, the delivery of larger one-off developments in the order of tens of billions of pounds would still require aid. Such projects would include the expansion or replacement of a major international airport, according to the document. Johnson has said Heathrow, Europe s busiest hub, should be replaced by one of two undeveloped sites in the Thames estuary or by an expanded Stansted airport, 35 miles north of London.

29. But the league has been featuring its product abroad for decades. Lefteris Pitarakis, AP Big Ben poses in front of Big Ben. Yes, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger did his share of offseason promotional work in London, including this shot in front of his namesake, to market the league. Lefteris Pitarakis, AP Fullscreen The Jaguars and 49ers will meet in London on Oct. 27, marking the first time two games have been played there in the same season. The Jaguars will “host” a game in England each of the next four seasons as owner Shad Khan tries to expand the team’s international footprint. Lefteris Pitarakis, AP London’s 6-year-old Wembley Stadium has become the NFL’s primary European venue. It holds approximately 86,000 fans for American football and never fails to quickly sell out. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports London gets a mini-makeover when the NFL comes to town. Matt Dunham, AP NFL-sponsored fan rallies at Trafalgar Square are part of the festitivities. Matt Dunham, AP The games come complete with pomp and pageantry. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Before exporting regular-season contests as part of its International Series, the NFL regularly staged preseason games in England, Germany and even Japan. The league also supported a minor league called NFL Europe. Katsumi Kasahara, AP The International Series actually kicked off in 2005 when the 49ers faced the Cardinals in Mexico City, the first time a regular-season game was played outside U.S. borders. Marco Ugarte, AP S Robert Griffith’s Cardinals trounced the 49ers 31-14 at Azteca Stadium in front of a record crowd that exceeded 103,000. Claudio Cruz, AP Fullscreen The Bills have been farming out one regular-season game per season to Toronto since 2008 in a bid to expand their regional presence outside of Buffalo. Unfortunately for the Bills, they’re only 1-4 in “home” games at the Rogers Centre in an event that’s been met with tepid local enthusiasm and overpriced tickets. Rick Stewart, Getty Images But the International Series’ flagship affairs occur in London, beginning with the Dolphins-Giants matchup in 2007, which came complete with a 26-foot statue of Miami defender Jason Taylor. The game was the NFL’s first regular-season foray outside North America. Ben Stansall, Getty Images The contest itself was nothing memorable, plagued by rain and a waterlogged Wembley field that didn’t hold up very well under the damp conditions. Richard Heathcote, Getty Images QB Eli Manning’s 10-yard TD run helped give the Giants a 13-10 win during a season that later produced a Super Bowl XLII victory for them. Richard Heathcote, Getty Images Perhaps the most entertaining installment came when the high-powered offenses of the Saints and Chargers converged at Wembley in 2008. Nick Laham, Getty Images Saints WR Lance Moore celebrates a 30-yard TD reception in a game New Orleans won 37-32, the most points ever scored in an international game. Matt Dunham, AP England got a taste of New England football when Tom Brady’s Patriots trounced the Buccaneers 35-7 in 2009. Brady passed for three TDs. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports The Brits got a full dose of Broncos QB Kyle Orton (8) in 2010 rather than experiencing the play of then-rookie Tim Tebow. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports WR Michael Crabtree and the 49ers were too much for Orton’s Broncos, winning 24-16. Alastair Grant, AP Fullscreen The Buccaneers, who are owned by the Glazer family (they also control world-famous soccer club Manchester United), were back in 2011. But they fared no better against the Bears, who won 24-18 as RB Matt Forte racked up 183 yards from scrimmage and scored one TD. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports Brady and the Pats invaded again in 2012. They faced a Rams squad that had initially agreed to play three “home” games at Wembley but later backed out given their tenuous stadium circumstances in St. Louis. Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski stole the show in a 45-7 wipeout of the Rams, catching eight passes for 146 yards and two TDs. In his Gronk save the Queen performance, the tight end mimicked a member of the Queen’s Guard after one of his scores — or, in Gronk-speak, “That little nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house.

Putting An NFL Team In London Is Dumb.  Let’s Do It Anyway.

A Pro Bowler? Sounds like a drug-addled GLORY BOY whos no longer interested in anything but himself! CUT HIM. In Greggs world, Pro Bowler is an implied epithet. In August, this column supposed “Smith is the real deal What THIS column presupposes is what if he sucks on third down? At the Niners, Harbaugh/West was so eager to showcase Kaepernick that Smith fell out of favor despite performing well. In Smith’s final 2012 appearances with San Francisco, he combined to go 25 for 27 with four touchdown passes and no interceptions. Should Smith play well in Andy Reid’s pass-wacky system, this trade will be viewed as the year’s steal.” OMG YOU NAILED IT. Three games in and you have been TOTALLY validated forever. Has anyone ever quoted his own past work as many times as Gregg Easterbrook has? This entire fucking column is dedicated to showing you how smart all the previous columns were. Readers fairly have asked how they can know I write the words “game over” in my notebook when I believe a head coach has just made a fatal error.