AMERICAN FOOTBALL COMING TO LONDON?
(P1) UK CHANCELLOR George Osborne wants to have a National Football League franchise based permanently in London within the next five years to confirm the city’s status as the “sporting capital of the world”.
(P2) The chancellor met with NFL executives, team owners and former players at Downing Street as the Miami Dolphins prepared to face the New York Jets at Wembley stadium on Sunday.
(P3) Osborne said he would “love to have a team here based in the UK playing in the NFL” and he believed Britain was making steps towards that goal. “The real prize, the real TOUCHDOWN for London, would be to get a team based here,” he said.
(P4) When asked about the potential TIME-FRAME for such a move, Osborne said: “Hopefully it is something we could achieve in the next few years, maybe four or five years’ time. These things can’t change OVERNIGHT because obviously teams are already based in some home cities in the States. But I am in talks with the NFL, sorting out the arrangements.
(P5) “They get such a huge welcome, teams like the Dolphins and the Jets when they come here, there is a big FAN BASE here and it would mean a huge amount for our economy because it would confirm London as the sporting capital of the world – and that is what I want to see.”
(P6) The chancellor met the NFL’s Dan Marino and Curtis Martin during the visit, exchanging a Rugby World Cup 2015 ball for a gold NFL Super Bowl 50 ball. Osborne also received Jets and Dolphins shirts.
(P7) Marino said he believed LOGISTICS of bringing a team to the UK on a permanent basis would be the biggest challenge.
(P8) The former Dolphins quarterback and Hall of Fame member said: “There are other sports that do it – basketball, baseball, they go on the road for three and four weeks at a time. I think that’s probably the way they would handle having a team here … To play in London would be pretty interesting.”
(P9) Marino and Martin threw an American football around outside Downing Street as they gave Osborne a brief TUTORIAL. The chancellor threw just one pass and Marino later joked that Osborne’s throw “needs work”.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Does American football have a fan-base in your country?
- American football is much more violent than soccer, and is played by much larger and more physically EXAGGERATED athletes. Do you think it is more or less exciting than soccer?
- There has also been talk of having an NFL team based in Mexico City. Are sports becoming more international in general?
- Why is the UK’s top financial official involving himself in a sports issue?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Fan base