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777rak

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New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Bucc's.

To all you England people out there, I am guessing none of you are going to the game? Could or could not be a great game. Brady comming off an UNBELIEVABLE game with 6 touchdowns, who knows maybe the Buccs (0-6) can pick up their first win in London.

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I saw this article on the BBC site today.

I'll admit to knowing nothing about this sport and, as you can see from the question in my last post, I didn't even know the game was taking place at Wembley this weekend 'till you told me.

But one thing struck me about this article, and that was this bit:

Had Tampa wanted to eke out seven or eight wins this season, they might have stuck with 39-year-old Jeff Garcia at quarterback and kept several other high-priced veterans on the roster, including running back Warrick Dunn, receiver Ike Hilliard and future Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks.

But those guys have about a season or two left in their bodies, maybe not even that. So what good do they do the Buccaneers in the future? Morris is of the mindset that it is better to get them out now and get younger players up to speed as quickly as possible, even if you have to take your lumps along the way.

If that approach is to be carried out correctly, patience is required. Jimmy Johnson went 1-15 in his first season with the Dallas Cowboys before eventually turning them into the Team of the '90s that won three Super Bowls. Morris is starting on the same kind of journey and if this is the route the Buccaneers have decided to take - and it clearly is - he must be given enough time to build the roster from the ground up...

...It is a brave thing the Bucs are doing. They have sacrificed the now for a brighter future. Some teams never have the guts to do that.

My immediate thought was, "no team in the Premier League would get rid of their best players so flippantly and build for their long-term future risking many, many losses along the way". Teams here lose their best players but get hefty transfer fees for them, they certainly don't rip-up their team sheet and start agan.

Then it struck me. Teams in the NFL can do this because, so what if they finish the season bottom of the league? I mean, their pride will take a battering but they won't have to play in the league below, lose £40m in TV money each season they're in that lower league, and have to sell their best players to top divsion clubs to make up the shortfall. It must be a completely different mindset for a manager/coach when the risk of relegation isn't there.

It's an interesting point, and not one I'd really pondered before. Relegation and promotion brings great excitement to our game and is one of the best things about our football league pyramid , but it does mean a short-term, survival instinct and a real fear of failure is present in every dressing room and in every stadium across the land. And the impact of that is coaches are less likely to take massive risks than those coaching in "closed" leagues.

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It's a valid point, but I would still rather have that system than the closed shop of an NFL or Super League in rugby league. In the same way, league games taking place abroad are far easier to accommodate in the NFL than in something like the Premier League.

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I wouldn't swap our current system for a league of "franchises" either; not in a million years. It's just interesting to compare. I wonder how relegation/pomotion would work in the states (or if it could work in the states) or, conversly, how the Premier League (and indeed the rest of English football) would fare if the risk of relegation wasn't there?

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