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NFL in London: 3 reasons why it's a bad idea

The first NFL-in-London game of the season happened on Oct. 2 between the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars (The Jags won 30-27 and Andrew Luck got further away from his first Super Bowl), game one of three to be played overseas this year and the 15th the League started their "International Series" in 2007, when the first ever NFL game was played at Wembley Stadium in London between the Dolphins and the New York Giants.

SEE ALSO: National Fail League: The biggest flops from Week 4

There's no doubt that 2007's inaugural game was a bit of an experiment. Whether or not the game, which was not available to national American audiences, was a success from the fans' perspective, it was a big hit for the league, and part of the reason why the International Series has only gotten more and more prominent since. Despite a slow start—there was only a game per season in London from 2008-2012—2013 and 2014 saw two games each. This has culminated in three contests across the pond this coming year: the aforementioned Colts-Jags game, the Rams and the Giants on Oct. 23, and Cincinnati Will face Washington on Oct. 30.There is also one Monday Night Football game, between the Raiders and the Texans, scheduled for Nov. 21 in Mexico City, which has been sold out for months.

Whether you love it or hate it (or fall somewhere in between), the NFL is clearly in favor of international expansion, for reasons that aren't hard to guess: Through 2014, nine of the 11 contests played in London sold more than 83,000 tickets. In other words, the International Series has been a financial success for the League, the measure behind most, if not all, of their decision-making, but there are some inevitable downsides to this focus and approach. Here's three:

1. Jet lag

Oakland Raiders v Miami DolphinsGetty

Anyone who's ever traveled overseas knows that jet lag can be miserable, and it seems more probable than not that when an entire football team travels to London for less than a week, the players will naturally get jet lagged. By extension, watching and playing 60 minutes of intense football while in the throes of it is a worse experience for fans and players, respectively, alike.

Sure, it's possible to suggest that since both teams are suffering from a similar disadvantage — i.e. playing in London is like playing in the pouring rain or heavy snow— but just the fact that both squads are similarly disadvantaged shouldn't serve as an excuse for poor overall play. The most logical solution would be to have the teams go out for a few weeks and practice while acclimating themselves to the new time zone: in regards to the NFL schedule goes, though, that's impractical. Until a big change occurs, the teams are stuck with a short trip to London for one game and some nice jet lag along the way.

2. Timing of Games

This mainly goes for the fans back in America, but still touches on convenience. Watching football on Sundays is tradition. Though the London games don't inhibit that, they make it pretty difficult. Every single London contest this coming season will take place early on Sunday morning, depending on what time zone you live in. Good luck to those of you church goers out there whose team's playing in London. Hopefully your phone has Gamecast. Football's a spectator sport at the end of the day, and while the Londoners get to watch the game at a normal time, Sunday morning NFL games border between annoying and too impractical.

3. A Lost Home Game

Miami Dolphins v Denver Broncos

Getty

This one goes for both the fans and the players. Home-field advantage has become a crucial component in the NFL. Just look at how famous certain venues have become for decimal levels and influencing opponents. The boisterous environment and ruthless home fans can single handedly propel a team to victory: or at least give an alleged 12th-man advantage. Therefore, playing in what's ultimately a neutral site completely takes away any home advantage a team might have.

Then there are the fans: going to London seems like a bit of a stretch for a Sunday afternoon. Losing a highly coveted chance to watch your team live won't sit too well with the loyal, hometown crowd — who, arguably, are more deserving than the expats and interested international fans, given the high price of regular season tickets and the commitment of attending a game. While this is similar to the jetlag argument in some ways, where neither team's disadvantaged because it's a neutral venue and it shouldn't matter all that much, it still feels like something of an unnecessary convenience for the teams, and one that is spurred on by the league's desire to make more money, rather than providing a better on-field product.

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See the highest-paid players in the NFL this season

28 PHOTOS
Highest-paid NFL players of 2016 (BI)
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Highest-paid NFL players of 2016 (BI)

28t. Dez Bryant — $16,000,000

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Position: Wide Receiver

2016 earnings breakdown: $9.0 million salary, $7.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Bryant signed a 5-year, $70 million extension on the eve of the 2015 season, avoiding a potential holdout. The deal was a big win for the Cowboys because it was less than Calvin Johnson was being paid, it didn't have a lot of fully guaranteed money, and it freed up cap space.

(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

28t. Jay Cutler — $16,000,000

Team: Chicago Bears

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $16.0 million salary

One thing to know: At one point, Cutler's 7-year, $126.7 million contract was named the worst quarterback contract in the NFL.

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

27. Tyrann Mathieu — $16,671,407

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Position: Free Safety

2016 earnings breakdown: $1.0 million salary, $15.5 million bonus, $171,407 in other bonuses.

One thing to know: Mathieu's 5-year, $62.5 million contract is the largest in the NFL for a safety.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

26. Ezekiel Elliott — $16,800,066

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Position: Running Back

2016 earnings breakdown: $450,000 salary, $16.4 million signing bonus 

One thing to know: Only seven running backs have larger contracts than the 4-year, $25.0 million rookie contract Elliot signed after being drafted fourth overall in this year's draft.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

25. Trent Williams — $16,968,750

Team: Washington Redskins

Position: Left Tackle

2016 earnings breakdown: $6.8 million salary, $10.0 million signing bonus, $218,750 in other bonuses.

One thing to know: The $41.3 million guaranteed on Williams' 5-year, $68.0 million contract is the fourth largest among non-quarterback offensive players.

(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

23t. Darrelle Revis — $17,000,000

Team: New York Jets

Position: Cornerback

2016 earnings breakdown: $17.0 million salary

One thing to know: Revis has made $118.2 million in his career. That ranks third among active defensive players, behind only Julius Peppers ($156.0 million) and Mario Williams ($120.4 million).

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

23t. Matthew Stafford — $17,000,000

Team: Detroit Lions

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $17.0 million salary

One thing to know: Stafford has thrown 22 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

22. Ben Roethlisberger — $17,750,000

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $17.8 million salary

One thing to know: In their last 16 games together, Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown havecombined for 151 catches, 2,048 yards, and 14 touchdowns

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

20t. Eli Manning — $18,000,000

Team: New York Giants

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $17.5 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus

One thing to know: With the retirement of his brother Peyton Manning, Eli is now the NFL's leader in career earnings among active players, with $205.8 million banked so far.

(Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

19. Carson Wentz — $18,050,973

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $450,000 salary, $17.6 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Wentz is the second-highest-paid rookie, signing a 4-year, $26.7 million rookie contract.

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

18. David DeCastro — $18,100,000

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Position: Guard

2016 earnings breakdown: $2.1 million salary, $16.0 million bonus

One thing to know: DeCastro was originally scheduled to make $8.1 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract. Instead he signed a 5-year, $50 million contract extension, just three months after responding to a question about his future by saying, "I’m making a lot of money this year. What am I worried about?"

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

17. Jared Goff — $18,968,308

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $450,000 salary, $18.5 million signing bonus

One thing to know: The gave up six draft picks for the right to draft Goff, including their first-round pick next season. Based on how the Rams played in Week 1, that could be a top-3 pick

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

16. Cordy Glenn — $19,000,000

Team: Buffalo Bills

Position: Left Tackle

2016 earnings breakdown: $3.0 million salary, $16.0 million bonus

One thing to know: Glenn makes the list this year thanks to his new $60.0 million contract and $16.0 million signing bonus. His total earnings next year will fall to $11.0 million.

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

15. Kirk Cousins — $19,953,000

Team: Washington Redskins

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $19.95 million salary

One thing to know: Cousins received the franchise tag from the Redskins, giving him a 1-year, $19.95 million contract with no bonuses. That base salary is the largest in the NFL this season.  If he receives the franchise tag again next year, his salary is expected to jump to something in the neighborhood of $24.0 million.

(Photo by John McDonnell / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

13t. Demaryius Thomas — $20,000,000

Team: Denver Broncos

Position: Wide Receiver

2016 earnings breakdown: $13.0 million salary, $7.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Thomas' $70 million contract ranks fourth among non-quarterback offensive players. 

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

13t. Cam Newton — $20,000,000

Team: Carolina Panthers

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $13.0 million salary, $7.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Newton's $103.8 million contract and $60 million guaranteed both rank sixth among quarterbacks. 

(Dustin Bradford via Getty Images)

12. Carson Palmer — $20,250,000

Team: Arizona Cardinals

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $7.2 million salary, $6.8 million signing bonus, $6.4 million roster bonus

One thing to know: Palmer's $158.4 million in career earnings ranks fifth among active players.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

11. Brock Osweiler — $21,000,000

Team: Houston Texans

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $4.0 million salary, $12.0 million signing bonus, $5.0 million roster bonus

One thing to know: Osweiler had started just seven games in his four-year career before signing a 4-year, $72.0 million contract as a free agent with the Houston Texans

(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

9t. Philip Rivers — $22,000,000

Team: San Diego Chargers

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $10.5 million salary, $5.5 million signing bonus, and $6.0 million in other bonuses.

One thing to know: Rivers has already made $173.9 million in his career and still has $45.0 million left on his 4-year, $83.3 million contract.

(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

9t. Muhammad Wilkerson — $22,000,000

Team: New York Jets

Position: Defensive End

2016 earnings breakdown: $7.0 million salary, $15.0 million bonus

One thing to know: Wilkerson's $86.0 million contract is second only to J.J. Watt among defensive ends. 

(Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

8. Justin Houston — $23,500,000

Team: Kansas City Chiefs

Position: Outside Linebacker

2016 earnings breakdown: $7.4 million salary, $8.5 million signing bonus. and $7.6 million in other bonuses.

One thing to know: In a perfect example of how quickly large contracts change, Houston signed a 6-year, $101.0 million contract prior to the 2015 season and then had that deal restructured prior to the 2016 season. 

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

7. Von Miller — $25,100,000

Team: Denver Broncos

Position: Outside Linebacker

2016 earnings breakdown: $2.0 million salary, $17.0 million signing bonus, and $6.1 million other bonuses.

One thing to know: Miller signed a 6-year, $114.5 million contract just months after being named the Super Bowl MVP. The total value surpasses Ndamukong Suh's deal as the largest among defensive players.

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

6. Fletcher Cox — $27,299,000

Team: Philadelphia Eagles

Position: Defensive Tackle

2016 earnings breakdown: $1.3 million salary, $26.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Cox makes this list thanks to his huge $26.0 million signing bonus. Next year, his earnings drop to $4.2 million, before going back up to $12.7 million in 2018. With his contract counting $22.0 million against the cap in 2019, look for Cox to rework his contract in the next two years.

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

5. Tom Brady — $28,764,705

Team: New England Patriots

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $764,705 salary, $28.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Brady has said that he wants to play until he is 45 (through the 2022 season) and that he wants to play 10 more seasons (through the 2025 season).

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

3t. Joe Flacco — $29,000,000

Team: Baltimore Ravens

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $4.0 million salary, $25.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Flaccoo restructured his last contract, basically turning his 2013 contract into a nine-year, $187 million deal with six years remaining.

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

2. Andrew Luck — $30,000,000

Team: Indianapolis Colts

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $12.0 million salary, $18.0 million signing bonus

One thing to know: Andrew Luck's new 5-year contract is the largest in NFL historyin terms of total value ($140.0 million) and guaranteed value ($89.0 million).

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

1. Drew Brees — $31,250,000

Team: New Orleans Saints

Position: Quarterback

2016 earnings breakdown: $1.0 million salary, $30.0 million signing bonus, and $250,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Brees was in the last year of his contract and was set to take up an enormous $30 million in salary cap space. He recently extended his contract, lowering his salary-cap hit to $17.3 million, thanks to a $30 million signing bonus.

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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