Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Waiting for Vikings in London

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Ron Gardenhire, Ex-Vikings, Football on TV, NFC, Vikings coaches, Vikings fans, Vikings off the field Updated: September 23, 2013 - 11:39 AM

London -- The first wave of the Star Tribune contigent - photographer Carlos Gonzalez (@CarlosGphoto) and me - arrived in London this afternoon (or morning, Minnesota time.)

The Vikings will arrive Tuesday morning, and we'll cover their first press conference here. Chip Scoggins and Mark Craig will join us Tuesday afternoon, and we'll provide stories, columns, notes, blog posts, photos and videos all week. Please pick up a paper or follow us on Startribune.com.

So far, I've checked into my hotel, eaten lunch at a Lebanese restaurant and taken a walk that led me to Paddington Station, which is kind of like London's Grand Central Station.

I asked a young man with a heavy beard working at the "ee'' phone store whether there was excitment in London over the Vikings' game on Sunday against the Steelers.

Here's a rough recollection of how the conversation went:

Me: Anybody talking about the NFL game?

Him: "Not really.''

Me: Do people here care about the NFL?

Him: "Not really. People here are into football, or what you call soccer. American football isn't really followed here, and it's on at odd times - late at night, when people are sleeping.''

Me: Will you watch the game?

Him: Probably not.

The time change is six hours, so the Vikings' noon kickoff (CST) will begin at 6 p.m. in London.

That's really not that late. The impression I got from the young man at the phone store was that he just didn't care about American football, and so hadn't bothered to think about why he didn't care for it.

------------

I wrote about the Vikings' coaching staff and their impending arrival in London for the Tuesday paper. I picked up a bunch of local newspapers, and didn't see a mention of the Vikings-Steelers game or the NFL at all.

I still view the marketing of football in Europe as misguided greed. The NFL is incredibly successful in part because of its size. There are 32 teams grouped in divisions of four. While Jacksonville is a weak link because of city size, stadium quality and poor management, there isn't a franchise that can't thrive if managed intelligently.

Expand to Europe, and you add exhausting travel to the physical challenges facing NFL players. You'd probably have to alter the way the schedule works. You'd have to play games at a time that would be inconvenient either for local fans or the prime TV audience.

While I love having an opportunity to spend a week in a great city like London, I don't even think it's right to play a regular-season game here. The Vikings sacrifice a home game and add a difficult trip to their schedule, and for what?

I'm really not sure.

----------------

1500ESPN got me a phone I can use for international calls, so I'll be keeping my usual radio schedule: Noon(ish) each day with Judd@Dubay, plus calling in to Sunday Sports Talk and the last Ron Gardenhire Show of the season, 9:30-noon on Sunday.

Please follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

Thanks for reading.

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Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
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Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
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Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
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Cincinnati
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Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
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Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 6:00 PM
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Washington
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Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
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Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
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(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
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Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
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Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
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Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
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Stanford
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(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
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Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
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TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
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(21) Clemson
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ULM
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Tennessee
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(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
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Washington
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Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
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Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
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Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
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2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
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