Blog Entry

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

Posted on: April 18, 2011 5:47 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 6:17 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Less than a week ago, a report surfaced that the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would play in London during 2011.

That information was verified by the NFL on Monday afternoon, when the game was announced as the first part of the 2011 schedule. The rest of the schedule will be released on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 PM EST, live on NFL Network.

The game will take place on Sunday, October 23 and will be played at Wembley Stadium at 6:00 PM UK time, which means Chicagoans will get to watch their Bears play at the normal noon central time they're accustomed to.

"Our past four games in London have demonstrated the tremendous passion for NFL football that exists in the UK," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a press release. "We hope by staging another extraordinary game at Wembley that we can continue to grow our existing fan base and attract even more new fans."

Oh, but there is one catch to that timing which was kind of buried in the press release -- if the labor situation isn't cleared up by August 1, the game will not be played in England. This, I presume, is to make sure that the NFL doesn't manage to make another country angry by making forcing worthless ticket sales down the throats of the citizens there.

Back to football, though: The Buccaneers sound excited, and not just because it means they can avoid at least one blackout in 2011 (hey-o!).

"We are honored to be selected to participate in the NFL International Series for a second time,” said Buccaneers co-chairman Bryan Glazer. "We are looking forward to promoting Tampa Bay's emerging young team on the world stage. We have the longest running fan club of any NFL team in the UK and look forward to seeing so many familiar faces from the Bucs UK fan club at the game."

All jokes aside, I had no clue that the Bucs were so popular in Europe. Perhaps it has something to do with the close proximity of Florida to England? Or perhaps the pirate-theme? Or maybe just because the Glazers own Manchester United as well. Probably the last part.

Of course, the Bears have been in this position before -- having played in Wembley way back in 1986 during a preseason exhibition overseas.

"To return to London to play an NFL game – this is going to be fun," said Chicago Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey. "I remember how enthusiastic the fans were in 1986 when we played in Wembley Stadium and defeated the Dallas Cowboys. London fans were so welcoming and blended their traditions of singing soccer songs with the NFL-style of presenting games. Of course the Chicago Bears are very pleased to have been named the 'Team of the Year’ by UK fans following the 2010 season. So we are looking forward to facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October and playing in person before our terrific fans in the UK and Europe."

Anyone else seeing some sort of bizarro world rivalry building up here, where the Bucs and Bears fight for the right to own England's heart? Maybe it's just me.

Whatever, this is a matchup that'll be derided by many people as the typical "junk-o-la game shipped to England."

But the truth is the Bears were in the NFC Championship Game last year and they've got plenty of flashy stars, and the Bucs have one of the game's biggest risers in Josh Freeman in addition to a bunch of young talent.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:47 am

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

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Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 4:34 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

I think the Bucs are on the way to reclaiming the fans in Tampa Bay. Previously the old regime had lost the respect of the fans, with the way they conducted the team business. The fans were turned off.

With the current G.M. and coach they are recapturing the fan base with the way they are rebuilding the team from the draft and not a revolving door of has-beens, washed up cast offs from other teams and no franchise quarterback.

We now  have a franchise quarterback, the team was a game away from getting into the playoffs last season. We beat the defending NFL champions Saints, and saw improvement on both sides of the ball this past season. The present management team is drafting players that are Bucs and have a knack for getting good talent.

Most everyone was against drafting Freeman as the quarterback of the future. This management team, coaching staff and scouts were able to see something we, the fans did not see and drafted Freeman. I was a skeptic at first as most, most are now glad that the coaches and management team did in fact draft him now.

The future look pretty good. Eventually we will see sell outs and home games on local TV will no longer be blacked out.  

As long as we don’t go back to ole habits of the past regimes, we will be ok.


Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 3:57 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

This is the second time in 3 years the Bucs have had to play in London so i don't think they are rotating anything. Galzier the owner of the Bucs does own some soccer team over there though!!!!!

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 3:04 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

I think to be fair they are going to rotate and make all 32 teams play a home game in London -- but I could stand corrected on that. 32 years is a long time - they are obviously making the home team in London at this point the NFL bottom feeders as far as attendance. And I hope Iam wrong but 10 years from now London may have an NFL team -- but that would present some serious travel issues -- if that happened I would think a London team would play 2 games at home - come to the USA for 2 games and stay in the USA all that time - come home for 2 games - go to USA for two games - etc etc.  NBA faces an even bigger dilemma if they put a team in China or Europe -- I don't see that happening but could be wrong.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:46 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

Are you sure their is even going to be a season???Greedy Owners Greedy players and agents. Take away a home game from Tampa bay one they would no doubt sell out is not fair to their fan base. The Chicago fans its no big deal they still get 8 home games. NFL GREED.

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:48 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

The only games the Bucs can sell out are when the bigger market teams play here ex. Pitt and G.B. last year. To take away a Bears home game here in F.L. does not help anything. Nobody wants to watch the Bucs play the Cardinals or a team of that nature. Im glad i have my Direct TV and can watch my Falcons play whenever i want unlike the Bucs fans in Tampa who get blacked out for every game. Pretty stupid if you ask me. Im from Rochester and had to deal with the Bills being blacked out all the time and now they play a game in Toronto every year. Ouchhh  support the local and U.S. economy forget the rest or we will be playing football here errr or soccer as we call it.

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: April 19, 2011 12:46 pm

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

Agreed Steve, @hen1991 is talking out of his backside again.

Also, qprcoleuk, what you say is true, I, for example, also chose the Cowboys as my team back in 1984 as Texas was my favourite state and in my view "Cowboys" was a much better nickname than "Oilers". So Dallas it was! Note, my brother who always felt he had to do the opposite to me naturally chose the Redskins.

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: April 19, 2011 10:45 am

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

@hen1991. How do you know what we want? We show what we want by selling out a much larger stadium that Raymond James in a few days at double the ticket prices. Think for a second before being ignorant. It's a simple concept. They wouldnt sell out, we do.
Enjoy your Minnesota North Stars hockey these last few years? Ah that's right....

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: April 19, 2011 9:36 am

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

I feel for ya TDawg.  However, you and I both know that the NFL isn't going to take a HOME game away from teams like the Bears or Packers that sell out every game.  Can you imagine the uproar in Chicago if a home game was taken away?

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: April 19, 2011 5:34 am

Bears, Bucs in London, sked coming Tuesday at 7

The reason there is a long standing supporters club is, mostly down to a bit of a piss take,  Football (US style) first came over here in the early 80s.  The Bucs were pretty crap then (and still are).  When choosing a team to support, it all became pretty random, and not that many folk had been across to the US then, as holidays were still expencive.  yes some had been to Florida - so Miami and Tampa did pick up extra support because of that - some affinity to a place (I chose dallas because I liked the blue star on silver).  Others chose Tampa, simply because they were not any good, and it would, therefore, be fun/a joke to support them.  They just got organised into a fan club quickler than the rest.

It has nothing to do with the Glazer ownership of Manure!

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