London Calling? Not In The First Half Of 2020 For Sports

The NFL is in a twilight zone.  

Major League Baseball has canceled the mid-June London, England St. Louis Cardinals-Chicago Cubs series. The Wimbledon tennis tournament which is held just outside of London and was scheduled for June into July has been wiped out by the coronavirus. London is a target market for the National Football League and even though it is early April, a question needs to be answer. Can the NFL stage fall matches in that city? The National Football League has four games scheduled in the English’s capital with the dates set. Shad Khan’s Jacksonville Jaguars franchise is supposed to play two London “home” games this fall. The National Football League has shut down facilities and taken scouts off the road and has shut down public festivities that were supposed to take place during the league’s annual draft which was supposed to have been the Las Vegas Raiders Nevada kickoff. That was scheduled for April 23. The league plans to hold a draft and it might resemble a 1950s type draft with guys in the backroom calling in selections. The 2020 difference? Scouts have hours and hours of videos on draft prospect and in the 1950s, some teams’ scouts picked players based on publicity pictures in magazines.

Because the United States is being locked down state by state, NFL teams cannot bring draftees into team facilities and that means players cannot work out at team weight rooms and go to meetings. There will be no Organized Team Activities or practices in controlled situations with players in t-shirts and shorts. Still the NFL is hopeful of getting a 17-week season in despite the April and more than likely into May restrictions. The NFL also has a game scheduled in Mexico City. Other leagues have shut down and have lost games, the NFL is biding time but some decisions need to be made about its next steps.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Switzerland’s Roger Federer walk with the trophies after the men’s singles final match of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Sunday, July 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)