As if it wasn’t unusual enough for the Atlanta Falcons to be playing a regular season “home” game in London, England, the circumstances surrounding the tilt against the Detroit Lions became even more odd on Wednesday.
— Atlanta_Falcons (@Atlanta_Falcons) December 4, 2013
Yes, you are reading that Tweet from the Falcons correctly. The London game will begin at 9:30 am ET which, in Atlanta, translates to the time when people are settling in for Sunday school class.
On the surface, it’s pretty jarring to consider a live NFL game taking place on Sunday morning east coast time, but this is clearly a move to integrate London into a more “normal” NFL culture. Every game that has taken place overseas has been a night-time kick-off to accommodate American TV, and I perceive this as a bone thrown to a fan base that the league is clearly (and repeatedly) targeting.
The biggest challenge for the Falcons is losing a home game (which we already knew), and really, the kick-off time won’t affect things for the team itself. However, it’ll be very, very interesting what kind of TV ratings and interest this game can generate while a large part of its fan base is in church, and it throws another wrinkle into an already intriguing event.
Tags: Atlanta Falcons