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Dec 5, 2012 12:59am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Wes Welker Youth Jersey . —The Jacksonville
Jaguars are going to be Englands team. The NFL and the Jaguars announced Tuesday
that the small-market franchise will play one home game in London for four
consecutive seasons beginning in 2013—a step the team believes will broaden
its fan base and take some pressure off locals who have mostly failed to fill
the stands in recent years. “I passionately believe the big growth now is going
to come from overseas,” owner Shad Khan said. “Weve got to go where we can
leverage and take advantage of some of those things. Youve got to fish in ponds
where youve got fish in there. Were going to a pond where there are no
fishermen.” The Jaguars will play at historic Wembley Stadium, which has hosted
one NFL game annually since 2007. “We want to create an identity, a bold,
ambitious franchise that is aggressive and forward-thinking on the field and
away from the field,” Khan said. “We want to be the kind of franchise players
want to belong to, sponsors want to be part of, and Jacksonville is proud of.
... The key point is to sell Jacksonville to the world. We are a well-kept
secret, but after today, thats not going to be the case.” By all accounts, the
Jaguars are the NFLs least popular team. They rank at or near the bottom of the
league in website hits as well as Twitter and Facebook interactions. Although
Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States in terms of
land mass, it is home to just 1.3 million people—and that includes several
surrounding areas; London alone has 8 million people. Missing the playoffs in 10
of 12 seasons has made attracting fans a problem in Jacksonville. The team used
to pack the stands regularly, even though it plays in a stadium built to house
large crowds for the annual Florida-Georgia college football game. But in 2005,
the Jaguars decided to cover up nearly 10,000 seats with tarps to reduce
capacity and limit television blackouts. Even though the Jaguars havent blacked
out a home game since 2009, they still have struggled to fill EverBank Field.
Playing an annual game in London will reduce season-ticket prices by 10 per
cent, possibly making the remaining package a more affordable and enticing
option. Reaction, though, was mixed among the fan base. Some supported the
decision and others questioned the teams motives. After all, if the Jaguars
become Englands team and continue to have issues back home, whats to stop the
NFL from moving them across the pond for good? “You cant fault them if anyone is
mad about this,” kicker Josh Scobee said. “We can only ask for their support in
going over there and ask them to watch it on TV.” The St. Louis Rams had been
scheduled to play in London in 2013 and 2014, but they pulled out last week,
citing a need to focus on lease negotiations and ease fan discontent. The
Jaguars scooped up the available games—plus some. “Its just good for the
Jaguar brand,” tight end Marcedes Lewis said. “Its exciting to go over there and
put ourselves on the map worldwide. When I got drafted in 2006, there were some
of my family members who didnt even know who the Jaguars were.” Players
recognized the major pitfalls—travelling overseas and giving up home games—
but no one knocked the decision publicly. “We know football is the greatest
sport in the states, so for fans in other areas who dont get to watch it first
hand, its good for them to experience and see what we all brag about,”
cornerback Rashean Mathis said. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell joined Khan for
the announcement, which fittingly came on a grey, rain-soaked day in
Jacksonville—typical London weather. Goodell reaffirmed his commitment to
expanding to multiple games in England and eventually establishing a franchise
there. “The big issue for us was finding a community that understood that this
could be great for the community, wrap their arms around it and say this is a
win-win situation,” Goodell said. Khan said the Jaguars are committed to playing
all four years at Wembley, even if the team becomes a Super Bowl contender and a
hot ticket in Jacksonville. “I think if you make a commitment, you stick with
it,” said Khan, who bought the team in November for $770 million. “To me, were
all in.” Khan added that he would consider playing more games overseas after the
deal expires in 2016. He also acknowledged that the payoff probably wont be seen
immediately. He suggested that Londoners could fall in love with the Jaguars and
decide to visit Jacksonville regularly. The ultimate goal, though, would be to
have European companies spend millions in Jacksonville. “If somebody builds a
container port, if somebody makes an investment out of Germany or England or
Netherlands and they chose Jacksonville, that would be a huge return from my
viewpoint,” Khan said. “You could have people come here—weve got beautiful
golf, weather—instead of vacationing in Miami or some place and they come up
here and watch a game or two. That would be a huge return for me.” Coach Mike
Mularkey and cornerback Aaron Ross have made the trip before—Ross with the
New York Giants in 2007, and Mularkey with the Dolphins that year—and both
praised the fans and the experience they gained from making the trip. “I know
Shads been trying to have people recognize whats going on here in this town,”
Mularkey said. “I think this is a great opportunity to get it. Obviously going
overseas, thats making a statement.” Rob Gronkowski Womens Jersey . DeMar DeRozan
scored 23 points and the injury-riddled Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks 102-86 on
Sunday night for their second straight win over a playoff-bound team. Brandon Spikes Jersey . Louis Cardinals
roughed up the reeling Atlanta Braves, 12-3, in the start of a four-game set at
Turner Field. http://www.prostorepatriots.com/stevan-ridley-jersey-1
. [PhotoAgencies]  SHANGHAI - Chinese super star Liu Xiang said here on Sunday
that he will not be satisfied with only a medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games
after winning the Shanghai Diamond League with a world leading time this season.
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goal in stoppage time capped a furious come-from-behind rally for Real Salt Lake
in a 3-2 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night. Aaron Hernandez Youth Jersey . Italy coach
Cesare Prandelli says he wishes the 21-year-old forward well, “but he needs to
improve and this is a change I have to make.” Balotelli wasted several chances
in the first half of Italys 1-1 draw with Croatia on Thursday, appearing
hesitant in front of goal.NEW YORK NHL players and their union began
examining the leagues proposed expansion of revenue sharing as labour talks
continued Tuesday. NHLPA executive director Don Fehr says he cant make a
counterproposal on the leagues full package until his group receives and
examines the requested team financial reports. The first batch—76,000 pages
—arrived late Monday night. The meetings will continue Wednesday at the league
offices in New York. John Hannah Jersey. More talks are scheduled
next week when Fehr returns from a meeting with NHL players in Russia. Fehr says
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clause that would force them to wait longer before becoming unrestricted free
agents. Commissioner Gary Bettman says “ample time” remains to make a deal
before the current CBA expires Sept. 15. ’ ’ ’ 

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