This week’s roundup also features pre-Sky Jeff Stelling, Kasper Schmeichel as a toddler and a dog stealing the show1) Now in its 10th season, the NFL International Series bandwagon rolls back into London for the first of its four-game run on Sunday. Before the annual helping of Jacksonville Jaguars, UK gridiron fans had to make do with NFL Europe and its predecessor the World League of American Football. The Union Jags have a long way to go before they are afforded the affection of the UK’s original franchise, the 1991 World Bowl champions London Monarchs. It is hard to understand why they were such a monumental flop based on their wonderfully 1990s series of TV ads. The Monarchs also provided Jeff Stelling a break as a jobbing sports reporter for Channel 4 and played host to the American football career of outspoken NBA dad Lavar Ball. Perhaps the biggest success story of NFL Europe is former Amsterdam Admirals quarterback, and collector of bizarre weaponry, Kurt Warner. A year later he was Superbowl XXXIV MVP and the star of the Greatest Show on Turf but Classic YouTube is sure the 1998 season, where Warner led NFL Europe in passing yards and touchdowns as the Admirals fell short of the World Bowl, is what he dreams about at night. Meanwhile, from more recent times in the NFL, this from Tod Gurley is quite the hurdle, and here is an example of the peril that cheerleaders subject themselves to.2) Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO middleweight belt against Wille Monroe Jnr last weekend but it was Saunders’ son who got in the first dig at the weigh-in, delivering a low blow to Willie. Pre-fight shenanigans are nothing new of course and back when he was still fighting other boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr was a master. This clip from before his 2007 superfight with Oscar de la Hoya makes you wonder how Conor McGregor would have reacted to a live chicken. MMA’s creep into boxing’s territory is partially fuelled by its ability for pre-fight promotion. If Sean O’Connell was half as good a fighter as he is an entertainer he’d be a superstar. Sadly, with a UFC record of 2-5, he’s not. Continue reading…



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