What's the scoop on T.O.?

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

JACKSONVILLE -- Here's to your health, T.O. No, not you, Terrell Owens.

T.O. as in Toronto, Ontario.

It is traditional, at the annual state of the union press conference of NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue for a Canadian media man to ask the Toronto question.

This year it was Global's Don Martin.

"Is a franchise north of the border in our lifetime a starter or non-starter?''

Tagliabue's response filled the room with laughter.

"Depends how long you expect to live,'' he said.

Tagliabue followed with a more detailed answer.

"I said before and I still feel this way that I think it could be very likely the next franchises in the NFL beyond 32 are outside the United States.

"Toronto would certainly be a candidate.

"We're giving consideration right now to see whether we can, in the next year or two, play a regular-season game outside the United States to continue to develop the interest and be responsive to fans.

"I'm going to China in early May to have first-hand discussions with their government about playing two pre-season games over there, leading into the 2008 Olympics.

"So my guess is that it will happen.

"And I'm expecting to live a good many years, so, hopefully, I can be there to kick it off in Toronto.''


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