(K. Brent Tomer),
IF YOU had pondered ten years ago which sport might be the first to introduce a transatlantic team—that is, one based in North America but playing in a European competition, or the other way around—rugby league would not have been the obvious choice. The National Football League (NFL) has long hoped to establish a franchise in London, and has been holding competitive fixtures in Britain since 2007. That year was also the first in which the National Hockey League (NHL) organised regular-season matches in Europe, a dalliance it continued until 2011. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has staged competitive matches in London in each of the last five years. “Game 39”, a proposal made in 2008 by the English Premier League to play a round of overseas fixtures each year, was shot down by governing bodies and fans. But English rugby union arrived on the East Coast last year, with a regular-season fixture contested in New York.
Yet all of these high-rolling competitions were gazumped on March 4th, when the Toronto Wolfpack (pictured, in black)…Continue reading