For nearly a decade now, the National Football League has been playing an increasing number of regular season games each season in the United Kingdom. Enthusiasm for the games has been significant, and the league is looking to expand to other locales. . .and the Minnesota Vikings, reportedly, already have a chance to be in one of the games.
The league is, apparently, going to be playing a game in China in 2018, and the Los Angeles Rams have already volunteered to be the "home" team for that game, according to numerous sources, including CBS Sports.
Well, guess who already has a road trip to Los Angeles scheduled for the 2018 season?
Teams potentially facing Rams in China in 2018: Green Bay, Minnesota, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle, Arizona, #49ers & TBD NFC East team.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 23, 2016
So, with the Vikings already traveling to take on the Rams in 2018, they're automatically among the candidates to make the trip to China for this particular game.
While I would have been pretty excited to see the Vikings travel back to the United Kingdom for a game while they were waiting for U.S. Bank Stadium to be built, a game in China might be a bit different. For starters, the air quality in China is, to put it mildly, pretty bad. Who knows what sort of effects that exposure to something like that, no matter how long, could have on the players involved in the game?
Second, I'm not exactly sure when they'd play the game. For the games in the United Kingdom, the time difference is generally something that can be worked around to coincide with "normal football time" in the United States. On the other hand, a noon U.S. Central time Sunday kickoff would happen sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning in Beijing. . .can't imagine the locals would be incredibly enthusiastic about a game at midnight or anything like that. But, that's for the National Football League to figure out.
The NFL has never played a game in China. . .there was a proposed pre-season game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks for 2007 that was to be played in Beijing, but it fell through. But, if the Vikings were to make a trip to China, it would be the fifth different country outside of North America they've played a football game in. They've played games in the following cities:
London, United Kingdom (twice)
6 August 1983 vs St. Louis Cardinals - Vikings win 28-10 (exhibition)
29 September 2013 vs Pittsburgh Steelers - Vikings win 34-27 (regular season)
14 August 1988 vs Chicago Bears - Vikings win 28-21 (exhibition)
7 August 1993 vs Buffalo Bills - Vikings win 20-6 (exhibition)
7 August 1994 vs Kansas City Chiefs - Vikings win 17-9 (exhibition)
What do you think about the Vikings potentially playing a game in China?