I am not a huge fan of preseason football. Its like ordering a large pizza with your favorite toppings, and then being given a bagel bite or pizza roll. It just makes me want the actual season. As far as the America bowl, is there any interest in football in Japan? I would think they'd have it in Europe (NFL Europe), Canada (actually play football), or Mexico (close enough proximity) instead of an area that may not be so big into it.
Having never been to Japan I can only hazard a guess, but given the way the Japanese are reputed to take to North American entertainment over there I can't imagine one NFL game being anything but huge. It's a novelty, similar to Manchester United's recent US tour. While I personally couldn't care less about soccer, for even a small percentage that do this was a huge deal, as evidenced by the attendance figures. Why? Because it's a novelty. The chance to see Man U in person doesn't come around every day, so that's a big deal to soccer fans. If the NFL only comes to Japan once a year, even if only a small percentage of the country cares about pro football you still get a huge gate because there are so few opportunities to see it live.
I was amazed to learn that the opening game of the Italian League was played in the US, just when we do something gimmicky like start the baseball season in Japan. It's weird when the US is the other end of the stunt.
Braving the horror show that is Comicon. We're not set up, but we'll be around all weekend.
I agree with both sides of the issue. The market definitely dictates what athletes should be paid. Being overpaid or underpaid is relative since owners have to (or should) balance what they spend on players with what they charge fans.