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London fans embrace NFL, London media doesn’t

Pittsburgh Steelers Media Access

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 27: Flags advertising the NFL in London are seen on Regent Street prior to a Pittsburgh Steelers press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 27, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

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The NFL sent a pair of 0-3 teams to London this week, but it didn’t seem to matter.

As explained by SportsBusiness Daily, a Saturday block party in London drew more than 500,000 fans. Via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers players and owners Dan Rooney and Art Rooney II were “overwhelmed” by the turnout on Regent Street, which was closed for the event.

Via SBD, however, the London media has yet to demonstrate the same zeal. The Sunday Times didn’t mention the game on the cover of its sports section, and the website of major publications like the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, and the Guardian had no NFL stories on their home pages.

According to PFT’s mole on the scene, the overall reception has been mixed. Several cab drivers didn’t even know the game was happening, and the pubs continue to focus predominantly on the other kind of football.

“We have a long way to go to catch their hearts” was the message we got from someone attending the game.

The NFL seems to be willing to wait, and to do what it takes to spread the virus of American football to other countries.