By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – As huge a following as football commands in the United States, it compels far fewer viewers worldwide than other sports. The NFL is looking into changing that, and Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush seems to be firmly on board.
“Football is such an amazing sport, and obviously it’s only amazing in America,” Bush said. “There are another few countries like Mexico that it’s pretty popular in, and in London, obviously.
“If we can get a team over there, I think that’s going to be great for the game of football,” Bush added. “It’s just going to make the sport so much bigger. I went over there a couple of years ago with the [New Orleans] Saints, and I had a great time. I’ve been to London a few times, I love it, it’s a great city. I think it’s good for the game of football for us to get games over internationally and just make the sport even bigger.”
Bush knows many details would need to be sorted out – how often teams would travel to play the London team, how the league would make game times work with the time difference between the countries, and more – but said he would be in favor of a team in London.
In addition to trying to expand the game internationally, the NFL has worked to give fans a closer look at what NFL players go through every year leading up to a season. Teams are now required to submit when the HBO all-access football documentary show “Hard Knocks” comes calling, and Bush laughs at the mention of the series, which featured his Miami Dolphins in 2012.
“You know the reason why they’re saying teams don’t have a choice – it’s because nobody wants to do it,” Bush said with a laugh. “Nobody wants cameras on them all the time. When we did it, I think we just dealt with it. It’s good for the fans because they get an inside sneak peek of just what really goes on and how much preparation it takes and how much of a daily grind it is to be in this sport – and that’s only training camp. That’s not including before training camp, the offseason, what goes on during the regular season and playoffs and all that stuff.”
Bush says “Hard Knocks” is a plus for fans and for the game in general, just another way to get the game more exposure and make it bigger. The players, though, are not necessarily excited to be featured, and many tried to change their behavior accordingly.
“People held back,” Bush said. “Football is – we’re like modern day gladiators. There’s a lot of cussing, swearing, things going on or things that are said that you may not want the average person to hear, or the average person may not be able to handle. I think people held back. I definitely held back.
“They have some times you’ll be across the field and the camera’s way on the other side of the field and they’ll have the camera right on you, and you don’t even know, and there’s a microphone in your shoulder pads and you forget or something,” Bush continued. “It’s just one of those things. You’ve just got to be careful.”
Along those Lions, Bush said that while he does not have a favorite swear word, the one that escapes his lips most often would be “the s-word, s—.” Well, the Lions brass can rest assured that should “Hard Knocks” show up at Allen Park, Bush will be the least of their worries.