Randy Lerner signing autographs today at the Aston Villa v Manchester City game in Birmingham, August 17 2008

Randy Lerner signing autographs today at the Aston Villa v Manchester City game in Birmingham, August 17 2008

I had to work today in my day job as a media officer supporting people in my organisation at an English Premier League Football (or for USA readers Soccer) match as Aston Villa beat Manchester City 4-2, with local Birmingham lad Gabby Agbonlahor scoring an incredible three goals in just seven second half minutes.

Some of you will by now know what links this particular game has to the NFL, some may not.

Well its a certain billionaire (if you are calculating worth in $ not £) sports team owner – Mr Randy Lerner, the owner of the Cleveland Browns and Aston Villa FC.

After watching a terrific game I was leaving Villa Park stadium when I happened to catch Mr Lerner in a stairwell.

Bemused he looked at me and I looked at him, all that came to mind was to say “Good luck with the Browns!” to which he simply replied “Thank you”.

And with that I went into the lift and he went down the stairs with his people.

Small and insignificant as it was in terms of an exchange of words, it was never the less the first, and hopefully not the last time I get to speak to an NFL owner.

With the likes of Malcolm Glazer owning Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Buccs could play the Browns in an NFL International Series regular season game in Great Britain in 2009 or 2010.

It would tick lots of boxes, as it would be intra-conference, between two exciting teams, both of whom are potential playoff teams in 2008.

Above all its not every day you get to meet an NFL owner, in England of all places !

What do you think of a Buccs v Browns regular season game in England ?

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