SI Vault
 
Dispatches
Peter King
April 07, 2003
Quietly, the NFL is working to schedule a preseason game in Shanghai in 2005 and another in Beijing in '06. In the wake of the immense success the NBA has enjoyed with the arrival of Rockets center Yao Ming, the NFL is sending emissaries to China this month. The Shanghai game could feature the Broncos and the Patriots. "We need to be in China," says Pats owner Bob Kraft, whose paper-manufacturing company has an office in Shanghai. "Asia's the future."
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
April 07, 2003

Dispatches

View CoverRead All Articles

Quietly, the NFL is working to schedule a preseason game in Shanghai in 2005 and another in Beijing in '06. In the wake of the immense success the NBA has enjoyed with the arrival of Rockets center Yao Ming, the NFL is sending emissaries to China this month. The Shanghai game could feature the Broncos and the Patriots. "We need to be in China," says Pats owner Bob Kraft, whose paper-manufacturing company has an office in Shanghai. " Asia's the future."

...Asked near the start of the league's annual meetings about the prospects of a proposal to allow each team at least one possession in overtime, commissioner Paul Tagliabue said last week, "The coaches seem to be too preoccupied with the status quo." Two days later the proposed rule change fell seven votes shy of the 24 needed to pass, and thus the overtime coin flip remains a huge factor in the outcome of the extra-session games....

Next season, for the first time in seven years, the Super Bowl champion will open its title defense on the road, and Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden isn't happy about it. "I don't know why we buck that trend," a peeved Gruden said last week. The Bucs will help christen the Eagles' new stadium in the Monday night opener, on Sept. 8....

Kudos to the Cardinals for being up front about their signing of Emmitt Smith, the alltime rushing leader who turns 34 next month. Smith, who agreed to a two-year deal, was brought in as much for his marketing appeal as for his rushing skills. "His importance to us is equal in both areas," says vice president of football operations Rod Graves. "Obviously I feel he's an ambassador, but I also feel he's a good player with some juice left."

1