Just moments after Mike Smith was in the “hot seat” addressing the injury issues surrounding Julio Jones, some seemingly positive news came across the wire concerning a future edition of the Falcons.
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) October 8, 2013
Hurray! (Right? Maybe?)
Well, in all actuality, this is a negative with regard to on-field performance. The Falcons are willingly giving up a home game for the 2014 season in order to take this “goodwill” opportunity, and while it may benefit the organization the long term (they are surely banking on this), it’s a net loss for 2014’s football product.
Grantland’s Bill Barnwell (among others) brought up a particularly interesting point. The Falcons reportedly took a $200 million loan from the NFL in order to finance their in-the-works stadium, and it isn’t a far stretch to connect the “willingness” to play a home game in London to that gesture. Clearly, there’s no factual basis to this speculation, but it’s certainly something to keep in the back corners of your brain surrounding the move.
We’re probably a full calendar year away, but the Falcons will be taking their act across the pond in 2014. For more information regarding ticketing and FAQ surrounding the trip, the organization has made several tidbits available on their website here.