|Sam Bradford on NFL in London: ‘Very apparent that we were in a foreign country’||10.24.12 at 9:10 pm ET|
The NFL began introducing American football to Europe and England with the American Bowl in 1986 with exhibition games. Then came NFL Europe.
In 2007, the Dolphins beat the Giants at Wembley Stadium starting a series that will continue on Sunday with the Patriots and Rams doing battle.
But, even with all that exposure, the NFL still has a lot of work to do to reach the next generation of fans in England.
“Yeah, it’s definitely different,” Rams quarterback Sam Bradford said Wednesday from London. “We went to that “Play 60″ event [Tuesday] and it was very apparent that we were in a foreign country. Just the youth here compared to the youth in America, I mean, they had very little awareness to what American football was. I think it surprised me a little bit just how little they knew about our game, which I think is one of the reasons it’s such a great opportunity for the NFL to come over here. These kids aren’t exposed to American football and if we want to expand our game, we’re going to have to do things like this to get them active and get them interested in learning more about the game.”
Bradford was then asked to compare the football skills of the American and European kids he’s interacted with at the “Play 60″ events.
“You really can’t even compare them because I mean, I have a feeling that yesterday some of the kids we were dealing with, it was probably the first time they’d ever seen an American football,” Bradford said honestly. “Obviously they play a lot of soccer over here. I asked a couple of them what they played and the predominant answers were soccer and cricket. I think, obviously, they’re just brought up a little differently in terms of the sports they’re exposed to. It really is kind of hard to compare them talking about football.”
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