Hey, everybody. Big news! The NFL is sending six teams to London next year!
Wait, you don't care because the London games are irrelevant to Americans unless they involve the team you cheer for, and because going from two games to three isn't an earth-shaking development.
But how 'bout this: One of those three games is going to kick off at 1:30 p.m. GMT. That, for those uninitiated in time zone abbreviations, is Greenwich Mean Time, which is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and seven hours up on Pacific Daylight Time.
In other words, if you're an Atlanta Falcons or Detroit Lions fan living on the west coast, be prepared to set your alarm for 6:30 a.m. in order to watch your team on Oct. 26.
This comes from the Associated Press story on the new time slot:
The league said the switch will make it easier for a global audience to tune in and also create an unprecedented fourth game window for American viewers that day.
But actually, that first point is kind of weird. Because the English Premier League plays several games during that same window on Sundays and I've been told that non-American football is kind of a big deal across the pond. Elsewhere in Europe, the soccer world is bustling on Sunday afternoons, while the Sunday evening window is a little more open. But oh well, I guess it's worth a shot.
Back here in the United States and Canada, a 9:30 a.m. EDT NFL kickoff is unprecedented, but it's actually pretty intriguing domestically. That morning time slot has pretty much gone untapped by the North American sports market. Yes, some of us will watch soccer instead, and others will be sleeping. Football could be just what the doctor ordered for Americans looking for something better than whatever stupid cartoons have taken over for classics like Bobby's World or Inspector Gadget. (If you're between the ages of 20 and 35, you won't regret clicking on those links.)
Right now, I'm guessing a lot of football fans either sleep in, read the paper, watch NFL pregame shows or spend time with their families during the time in which this special Sunday morning game will be taking place. I think we can all agree that all of those things — except maybe the pregame shows — are great, but the NFL knows damn well that it can hijack that time period from you and your family, just as it did your Thursday night.
So don't expect this to be an isolated event. The relationship between the NFL and London is only becoming more intense. They're going steady now, and the best way they can engage those in the homeland while doing so is by invading your Sunday morning with a bonus game window.