London-bound Bucs to stay home if lockout doesn't end
The Bucs are all set to play the Bears in London after today's official announcement of the NFL's latest international contest. But buried in the press release confirming the news is an interesting line.
The jaunt to Europe will be canceled if there is not a resolution to the NFL's current work stoppage by Aug. 1. In the event the lockout drags on, the game will be moved back to Tampa and the Bucs would again have their full slate of home games. The game is scheduled as a home game for the Bucs and will be one of the Bears' eight road contests.
There have been some suggestions today that there's a lot of sigficance to the Aug. 1 timeline. The thinking by some in NFL circles is that league officials are confident there can be solution reached by then, in which case the NFL regular season -- and possibly even the preseason -- could remain completely intact.
It's possible the establishment of the Aug. 1 deadline is purely for logistical reasons -- it takes quite a bit of planning to stage the game in London -- but it's also possible it's much more significant.