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When I don't have a whole lot of original content to throw out there, I'll try and put together links of of the past few days that seem interesting and noteworthy. There are sites that compile most any link related or un-related to the 49ers. Rather than look at everything, I'm just going to look at news that is of interest to me. Consider it a slightly more official link dump a'la Athletics Nation. It might be a front page post or it might be in a diary and you're more than welcome to create them on your own if you find multiple articles.
- Clearly this article about Marcus Maxwell is my favorite of the day. Maxwell's excellent NFL Europe performance was bound to be brought up at some point. Kevin Lynch puts together a nice feature looking at Maxwell's journey up to this point. Whether he makes the 49ers or not, Maxwell put the rest of the league on notice that he is capable of contributing. He definitely seems to have the drive to be great...now let's see if the talent catches up.
- In a bit of curious timing, NFL Europe is finished. It sounds like the league would rather focus on developing regular season games, such as the October 28th matchup between Miami and the Giants. If you're losing money as the NFL claims ($30M per season...DAMN), it certainly makes sense to cut bait. While there have been some success stories out of NFL Europe, the NFL's true developmental league is the NCAA. As long as players have to stay a couple of years, the league will get the talent it needs. NFL Europe was always a way to market the product in Europe, with any player development being icing on the cake. I figure the European fans can follow the game on tv and go back to spending most of their time watching soccer.
Matt Maiocco did have a nice, little piece about the end of NFL Europe in his blog. His main point is that for a guy like Marcus Maxwell, he is able to get some name recognition, rather than coming straight to training camp as just another no-name. Now he's an All-NFL Europe guy who had a big game on Fox. Maiocco also pointed out the various current 49ers who spent time in Europe:
- As the league continues its marketing overtures around the world, the NFL has begun promoting the game in China with a variety of tools and tactics. Some of the New England Patriots are over there explaining the game. Additionally, the league is sponsoring school-age flag football and has a weekly game shown on Chinese state tv.
The NBA has probably the greatest worldwide influence of the three "American" sports. I think this is due in large part to the ease of play in terms of equipment. Football definitely is a distant third in terms of worldwide play and international players, particularly in the NFL. I've often wondered whether the NFL could join the NBA and MLB in terms of international players. What does everyone hear think? An expanded talent pool could increase the quality of play, which would make for better football. However, I think for now the league is doing a good job in working on grass roots efforts (minus the whole folding of NFL Europe).
- Finally, SB Nation has finally been accepted by Google News. Before this, if you searched Google news for anything related to the 49ers or this site, nothing would come up (even if you typed in Niners Nation or Ninersnation.com). The mighty G has finally accepted us and it has bumped up traffic, meaning more readers and hopefully more members of the community. Big thanks to Blez over at Athletics Nation, one of the veritable Godfathers of SB Nation. Also, thanks to the tech crew who are always on the ball and keeping things running swimmingly. Great things are in store in the coming months as the network continues to improve in appearance, substance and reach. It's only going to get better.