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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Rams agree to make three straight appearances in London

20

January

If the Rams are seeking advice about playing in London, they can just ask the Bucs, who have done so twice in the past three years.

It was announced on Thursday that the Rams will play one home game at London's Wembley Stadium in each of the next three seasons The stretch begins this fall, when St. Louis will "host" the Patriots on Oct. 28.

Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said this month that Tampa Bay had informed the league it does not wish to return to London for the foreseeable future, saying the team instead wants to work on building its diminished local fanbase.

Though it likely wasn't a determining factor in the decision, the Bucs clearly suffered from a competitive standpoint from their two games abroad. They lost both games and, this season, relocated their entire operation to London for a full week. Football players and coaches generally are creatures of habit, and those kinds of interruptions generally aren't welcome. Furthermore, playing just seven home games while the rest of the Tampa Bay's NFC South competitors enjoyed eight home contests isn't a recipe for success.

Will the Rams have better fortune? That remains to be seen. But from a purely football standpoint, there seem to be more reasons to reject this idea than to embrace it (like, say, the 16-hour round trip crossing five time zones).

This marks the first time the league has made a multi-year agreement with a team to play in the London-based regular-season games. The "International Series" began in 2007, with the NFL staging one game in London each year since.

[Last modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 12:25pm]

    

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