London Tour Boat Bursts Into Flames On Thames

London: A Quarter of the Way to an NFL Franchise

More from WSBT.com Dover win vaults Johnson into second place “There were flames, and there was lots of black smoke,” Phil Beasley-Harling, an eyewitness, told CNN affiliate ITV. “At one point, it looked as though the boat wasn’t going to survive.” Amateur video showed several passengers jumping into the water as flames and smoke billowed out from the windows at the front of the London Duck Tours boat, a bright yellow vehicle that takes sightseers around the British capital by road and river. After reports of the fire were received late Sunday morning, firefighters, a police helicopter and paramedics rushed to the scene. Several people were pulled from the water, and the blaze was eventually extinguished. Police said all 28 passengers and two crew members on board the vessel were safe. No one was seriously injured, and three people treated at a London hospital for “minor smoke inhalation ailments” have all been discharged, London Duck Tours said. Most of the people on board the boat were foreign tourists, ITV reported. The company and the London Fire Brigade both said the cause of the blaze, which damaged one third of the vessel, was so far unknown. Borough Cmdr. Alison Newcomb of London’s Metropolitan Police said that the maritime coast guard is investigating. “At the conclusion of that investigation, I anticipate they will make a decision with regards to future tours,” she told ITV. London Duck Tours said it has stopped operating tours on the river until the reason for the fire has been established. The company was continuing tours by road on Sunday afternoon, ITV reported. “Should technical or safety modifications be required to our fleet, these will be introduced prior to the service recommencing,” Duck Tours said, stressing that it “operates to the highest safety standards.” “London Duck Tours operates a fully modernized fleet of nine vehicles that have been completely rebuilt and refurbished between 2002 and 2012,” it said. “This includes new, purpose built hulls, new engines, computerized systems and steering equipment.” The company said it was fully cooperating with investigators and regulatory authorities.

London hardly abuzz over return of NFL

I still cant for the life of me figure out why commissioner Roger Goodell seems so intent on having an NFL franchise in London one day. I think it would be a logistical nightmare — as does Steelers free safety Ryan Clark who told ESPNs “NFL Live” on Wednesday that he would retire before playing for a London-based team if he had to make that choice. Then there is the reality of how rooted futbol is in Europe. Kovacevic illustrates how a major difference between futbol and football is one reason why the latter has never really caught on across the Atlantic Ocean. The Steelers’ players echoed the sentiments of their coach before the team left for London. There are ample sightseeing opportunities in London, but the Steelers wont take advantage of them since they are focused on coming home with a win . The Steelers need improved play along the offensive line if they are to beat the Minnesota Vikings and avoid an 0-4 start. In their quest to find the right combination up front the Steelers will continue to rotate Kelvin Beachum at tackle with Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams. Adams and Gilbert have each struggled through the first three games, and if they dont show marked improvement Beachum will see the field more and more. The Steelers dont have a lot of other options as they try to get better play out of their line, and their hope has to be that some competition will compel Adams and Gilbert to raise their respective games. Kion Wilson has started the last two games at strongside inside linebacker but rookie Vince Williams is on track to make the position his . The sixth-round draft pick played 75 percent of the defensive snaps, considerably more than Wilson, last Sunday night, and it is worth noting that the Steelers list the two as co-starters on their depth chart.

A crowd of 83,518 saw the Minnesota Vikingsdefeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-27in the seventh International Series game in the UK. More than 84,000 tickets have been sold for next month’s match at the same venue between the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers.It is the first time London has staged two games in a season, and it was reported this week that a third game is the next step. The popularity of these matches is generating a big F word around these parts: FRANCHISE. So, is London ready for an NFL franchise? Lets debunk some myths. Reports that Brits do not understand the game are lazy and glib. Sure, if you asked people who Adrian Peterson is, some would answer, “Isn’t he the guys from Cheers?” If you take a small enough sample, though, you will find people who do not understand cricket or rugby either. The NFL held a fan fest in central London on Saturday The NFL has a place in the sporting landscape in the UK where soccer is first, second and third and the rest are fighting for scraps.The League is not a novelty act, and according to a report in theIndependent last year , the NFL has enjoyed a 154 per cent rise in TV viewing figures since 2006. Five games are shown live each week across three networks, and David Kerr, Managing Director of British Eurosportwhich acquired the rights to Monday Night Football this seasontold me that he sees that trend continuing. “The NFL is great television; its a premium right,” he said. “There was a great surge in popularity when Channel 4 first start showing the sport, then it took a dip, but now it is definitely back on the rise.” Kerr refers to Channel 4, the first network to show the NFL back in 1982. The UK is a mature NFL audience, and the sport has found its place after the initial novelty of watching men smashing into each other at high speed diminished. According to sports popularity figures for Sky Sports, cited in theIndependent report, American football currently lies about seventh or eighth, alongside darts. (Dont be startleddarts is popular.)More telling is that there were consistently higher ratings for NFL games than the Premier League of English rugby when they were shown on the same network last year, according to my Sky sources.