The Great Gordino Newsletter – Oct 28th 2014

I hope all is well with you.

There were a few things that caught my attention this week, maybe too many to fit in. We’ll see how it goes though, so let’s crack on…

"Sunderland 8-0"
Sunderland lost a football game 8-0. That’s a big loss, especially considering they are playing in the Premier League, one of the richest sports leagues in the world. It’s their worst loss for over 30 years.

They were playing against Southampton, which is well over 300 miles away. That’s a long way to travel there and back for Sunderland fans, but around 2,500 still made the trip.

A couple of days after the loss, the team announced that they would club together and pay back the travelling costs of each fan that went, and if any fan didn’t want the money they’d donate it to charity.

Now, for Premier League footballers, the total sum of around £60,000 is no big deal, but as a gesture, I love it! It could be argued that it sets a precedent, but since the 8-0 score is *so* unusual, that’s not a big factor in my view.

The club is a real fan’s club. They don’t have many supporters outside the City, no global fan base like the Man Utds of the game. Their fans are passionate, and have been through some bad times following their team, so I did smile when I found out about the gesture from the team. Of course, playing better would be nicer too!

"Reeva Steencamp"
Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to 5 years for killing Reeva Steencamp. He could be out and serving house arrest within 10 months. I’m not sure with this one. He was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of culpable homicide. He shot through the bathroom door, several times, without knowing who was in there. What did he think was going to happen to whoever was on the other side?

During the course of the trial, and it was a long course, it came out many times that he seemed to be a controlling man with a fierce temper, who enjoyed guns – quite different from the public picture we had all held of him up to the shooting.

It could be that he knew full well who was behind the door when he shot, but the legal system has run its’ course, and he’s now a convicted killer – I’m not sure what else could happen.

"Gordon Bryan"
This week I went to my first NFL game! I have covered this in my NFL Moment Of The Week – Week 8 post, there’s a link on the right of the page, but I’m going to cover it here as well, because it was a big event for me…

Having started to watch the NFL back in 1984, I had a few years away, but have been watching it again for many years, and have seen the regular season games in London grow from novelty, to special event, to where they are now, which is approaching a ’normal’ NFL game.

It’s so accepted that the talk of a London franchise gets louder every time, and this game was held at 1.30 pm UK, which was a breakfast kickoff in the US. That was trial by the NFL as part of testing the ground for a London team, and it meant that on TV it was the only game on.

"The Great Gordino"
The Detroit Lions were playing the Atlanta Falcons, who were the ’home’ team, and you can imagine how excited I was to be going to my first game.

The atmosphere was great up there – you get fans from all different teams, and fans bringing people along with them who weren’t fans. That all makes for a family atmosphere – there’s no tension or shouting that you get at football matches, were opposing fans have to be herded like sheep, kept apart to stop fighting.

The merchandise aspect is huge. I’ve written in my book FB Passion Profits how I made money myself online from NFL merchandise (in fact I show you *exactly* how), and on Sunday I handed some it back to the NFL! I bought some specific game day goodies, sweatshirt, hat, etc, and the credit card machines were singing to the NFL tune, I can tell you!

When you go to a game you get a sense of the MASSIVE size of the sport, and I’m not just talking about the players!

NFL London Oct 26th 2014
I was lucky to go to a good game – some great plays, and a tense outcome, going all the way to a last kick result, with that last kick having to be retaken! The Falcons lost 22-21, having been 21 points up at halftime, so it was painful for them, but no-one else to blame but themselves – that’s football!

Phew, I’ll be enjoying the memories of the day for a long long time!

Ok, that’s it for today, I’ll leave a couple of things for next time – do let me know what you think!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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    • I *bet* it does!
      I’ve tried with so many football fans to get them interested in the NFL, but so many of them have a default setting that it’s too American, or the players are wimps because they wear padding!
      I’ll keep trying, and can’t wait to see them converted!
      Cheers, Gordon

    • Indeed. It also hasn’t gone down well that he could be at home under house arrest in 10 months. I know each country has their own legal system, but it doesn’t seem quite right to me…

  • Hello Gordon,
    I started to chuckle when I saw the comment you made about 2,500 Sunderland fans traveling over 300 miles away to attend a game. Here in the US, it is not uncommon for NFL fans to travel over 1,000 miles to attend a game, 25,000 of them at a time… especially Steeler fans.

    Then I see your mention that you attended the London NFL game (good for you). In fact my morning program abruptly ended to show the London game over here at 9am (I’m used to seeing NFL games start 1pm or later). I remarked just how quite the crowd was as they watched that game, almost surreal. But then I watched other NFL games where the crowds were noticeably louder. So do you think Britain (Europe for that matter) will ever get involved enough to put together a team to play in the NFL?

    • The Steelers have a big fanbase here, and when they played in London there were LOTS of them, many travelling over from the US.
      Neither Atlanta nor Detroit have massive fanbases here, so the crowd was made up of a lot of neutrals, myself included, so less shouting because there’s less involvement with the teams.

      NFL Europe had massive fan numbers, but the problem was the teams were basically practice squads for the NFL teams. This time they are looking at a London franchise proper. Having the early kick off was part of the trial, to see howo it went down stateside. Pretty well I gather.

      Lots of problems to overcome, mainly being whether a London team would be able to get enough of their own fans – would fans of other teams switch to a London team? No, but they might support *both* It’s fascinating to see the possibility developed over the years, and it gets closer rather than further away!
      (it’s a good online money maker too!)
      Cheers, Gordon

  • WOW!
    1) Painful (again!) – 8-0… but, indeed a nice gesture and fans will remember and feel good and likely to continue their supports.

    2) Painful (to swallow) – Legal weapon possession is an ISSUE by itself and the rest snowball from there….

    3) Painful (22-21) – we have already discussed this 😉

    Nice update nonetheless, Gordon 🙂