Since the last NFL expansion team popped up in Houston back in 2002, the league has become bigger than ever. Despite its growth there are still cities around the country who won't shell out the money for new stadiums or whose fans haven't embraced their teams like others have. This lack of an open-armed fan base has led to half empty stadiums, which ultimately leads to blacked out games on TV. Here are some much needed moves 6 NFL franchises need to make:
1) The Oakland Raiders
Where to move Franchise: San Antonio, Texas
Raider Nation enjoys spikes, face paint, and the movie "Mad Max". Despite their loyal fan base, their franchise hasn't seen success since Rich Gannon called it quits. Forbes Magazine listed them as the least valuable franchise in the league. A change of scenery could revive the Raider name. San Antonio is a beautiful, historic city on the up and up. They're already home to a successful NBA franchise and there is plenty of space and money for a big ol' Texas sized stadium. Plus, their colors match the Spurs!
2) The St Louis Rams
Where to move Franchise: Los Angeles, California
According to Forbes Magazine, LA is the biggest sports market in the country without an NFL team. Sure, the fan base wasn't that strong in the 90's, but since the Rams moved to the midwest, the league has grown into a juggernaut. Moving back to the City of Angeles would be an obvious choice for a team who hasn't quite been the same since Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf. With the teams rich history on the West Coast and the high demand for a team, it's a perfect fit.
3) The Jacksonville Jaguars
Where to move: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Them Okie's love their football. According to the International Business Times, Oklahoma City has grown to become one of the largest, most affluent cities in the country. The NBA made the move to OKC, and the Thunder have been embraced with open arms. The Jaguars are a hurting franchise. Forbes magazine lists them as the number two least successful franchise in the league. Their team fluctuates from mediocre to awful year to year. This season they resorted to giving away free beer to boost stadium attendance. If things don't pick up I wouldn't be surprised if they start giving away baby Jaguars. Oklahoma City is home to one of the worlds largest oil fields, so it would be purrfect to revive the Oilers franchise in the heart of Tornado Valley.
4) The Minnesota Vikings
Where to move Franchise: London, England
The league planting a team overseas is inevitable. They've been experimenting with it for the past few seasons and it seems to be doing jolly well. I don't want to hear, "Well it's the NATIONAL football league" because the NATIONAL basketball association and the the NATIONAL hockey league both have teams up in Canada. According to ESPN.com, the Vikings have built quite a fan base over the pond. Rumor has it the Queen of England watches Downton Abbey in a Vikings Snuggie. I would imagine they would ditch the Vikings brand and go with something more British. All hail the London Monarchs!
5) The San Diego Chargers
Where to move: Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin city could be a dumb place to hold a franchise... or pure genius. Morality, ethics and the player's self control would obviously be in question, but nothing gets past the No Fun League without hefty fines. Pro Football Talk reports that Vegas wants to build a stadium as big as the Cowboy's on the UNLV campus to house its own team. The Chargers could use the much needed upgrade from the old, dumpy Qualcomm Stadium. Phillip Rivers could be the biggest football star in Vegas since the XFL's 'He Hate Me'
6) The Buffalo Bills
Where to move: Toronto, Canada
Unless you're from Buffalo, you don't want to visit Buffalo, unless of course you like Indian Casinos or museums filled with rocks Native Americans used to scale fish. Forbes ranks the Western New York city as the fourth 'most miserable' sports city in the country. A fresh move to North America's third largest city could take the sad franchise infamous for a murderous running backs and Scott Norwood and his tendency to kick wide right, and turn it into a Canada's pride and joy. The league has been testing the Canadian market with the Bills since 2008. It would be financially wise for both the league and the franchise. Lucky for the people of Upstate New York, the commute to see their old team is a short 130 mile trek across the border. Plus Canadians make amazing cheese fries.
About the author: PJ Conley is an avid football fan who misses Breaking Bad and takes way too many selfies with his dog.