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View Full Version : American Football in the Winter Olympics: Pros and Cons


SteelersMongol
02-25-2010, 06:48 PM
Found a very good article about going international. But not with the way U think. :thumbsup:

This Mike Florio column at The Sporting News got me thinking about what it would be like if our big, bad beloved game of American football were to bust into the Winter Olympics.

At first, I thought, "I don't really want to see that." The idea even seemed a little perverse. What's to be gained from beating the Jamaican national team 172-0? No good can come from that.

The more thought I gave to it, though, the more that I thought about the upside, the potential benefits and the likelihood that it one day will happen. At the very least, I thought it was worth putting together a list of pros and cons, as I see them. Let's go through it.

Pros:

It benefits the NFL if, down the line, other countries start producing NFL players. You can never have too much talent, right? It would take years and years and years to develop any kind of regular stream of talent to the NFL from outside of North America, but why not try? Why not try for a football version of Dirk Nowitzki? Maybe the payoff is a long way off, but it never happens if you don't take the first step.

There's more football being played internationally than you might think. There's already a World Cup of American Football and an IFAF (International Federation of American Football) out there. The World Cup happens every four years, with Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden and the United States fielding teams. The U.S. only competed in the last one in 2007, which they won by defeating Japan in the title game, 23-20 in overtime.

There are also international 19-and-under competitions, one of which we won last year with beatings of France (78-0), Mexico (55-0) and Canada (41-3). In another 19-and-under game, Team USA just beat a World All-Star team, 17-0.

So there's not a lot of football out there, but there is some. We're not starting totally from scratch.

A televised football game not beholden to commercials would be amazing. Honestly, I can't even picture it. Since high school, I don't think I've ever even seen a game that didn't have regular, lengthy, painful television timeouts. I've enjoyed the Olympic hockey experience, sans timeouts (nice gag job yesterday, Russia), and a football equivalent might blow my mind.

It might make a cool draft evaluation tool. If we're ever going to do it, I say we set it up sort of like the Senior Bowl. There are doubts about how we could get players to play hard and risk injury, but you know what? The Senior Bowl manages it. Invite a bunch of draft prospects and scouts. If the players are being evaluated all week long, based on practices and the game itself, I promise you, they'll go all out. If a gold medal isn't enough motivation, draft stock would be.

If it ever got to the point where we had to use them, it would be great for NFL players. The American hockey team has been widely praised for their scrappy and gritty performance during these games, and rightly so. With that praise, though, it seems like there's an undercurrent of, "NFL players would never play this hard for their country because they only care about money!" I don't think that's fair, and I don't agree, and I think if they ever had the opportunity, they'd be just as patriotic and scrappy as their NHL counterparts.

Cons:

Yes, we will destroy everyone for the next 50 years or so, and that will be no fun. But is that really a good reason not to play a sport? Because one team is really good at it? Everything that's competitive now once was not competitive. If it's ever going to get competitive, it's got to start somewhere. The other countries are just going to have to take their lumps.

Maybe the Olympics are for sports we don't see on a regular basis. I love the Curling. I love the Alpine Skiing. I love the Bobsled. There are spectacular athletes out there who work their whole lives in relative obscurity, and they get their chance at glory once every four years. Maybe we shouldn't do anything that might overshadow that.

Player, spectator and feasibility issues aside, though, I think the most important thing to look at here is just how desperately the NFL wants to extend their global reach. That's what these games in England are all about. Yes, Europe has rejected American football before, but that doesn't mean we're not going to keep trying to stuff it down their throats.

The NFL wants football fans (and their money) from all over the world. Roger Goodell would dance like Chad Ochocinco(notes) if the Olympics helped him to achieve that. Other countries start putting national teams together, and then, maybe a few more kids in China, New Zealand and Russia take up the game. Maybe they get good, one or two get to the NFL, and there's a snowball effect, and all the sudden, Yemen insists that they have the NFL Sunday Ticket package. Win-win.

The IFAF is already on record as saying that they're going to submit an application to the International Olympic Committee sometime in 2011. I don't know if that will work, but eventually -- and we might be talking 20 years or more here -- I think you'll see the NFL get behind the idea, even if they aren't participating directly, and make a real push for football in the Winter Olympics.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/American-Football-in-the-Winter-Olympics-Pros-a?urn=nfl,224072

WH
03-03-2010, 10:48 AM
Germany would LOVE that oppurtunity.

Still, the game is too slow paced for casual watchers in this country.

supa_fly_steeler
03-03-2010, 11:04 AM
I thought the American Football would be in the summer olympics like Soccer and the other sports no?

WH
03-03-2010, 11:08 AM
I thought the American Football would be in the summer olympics like Soccer and the other sports no?

No NFL team would put their player in a competitive game before the beginning of the actual NFL season.

I would still watch it even if it had no pro's in it. Come to think of it.....it might be best to do it that way, then none of the games are played like the Pro-Bowl.

supa_fly_steeler
03-03-2010, 12:17 PM
No NFL team would put their player in a competitive game before the beginning of the actual NFL season.

I would still watch it even if it had no pro's in it. Come to think of it.....it might be best to do it that way, then none of the games are played like the Pro-Bowl.

It wouldn't be up to the NFL, i thought olympic commitee no????

steelreserve
03-03-2010, 12:36 PM
The Olympics are, like ... 2 weeks long. How in the hell are you going to play enough football games to decide a champion? It's not like you can play every two days like you can with other sports.

Plus, even if they somehow did figure out a way to do it, no players would want to, because you'd basically be playing an extra half a season. In football, that's enough to beat you to shit and ruin your next season just from normal wear and tear, to say nothing of additional injuries.

fansince'76
03-03-2010, 01:26 PM
The Olympics are, like ... 2 weeks long. How in the hell are you going to play enough football games to decide a champion? It's not like you can play every two days like you can with other sports.

Plus, even if they somehow did figure out a way to do it, no players would want to, because you'd basically be playing an extra half a season. In football, that's enough to beat you to shit and ruin your next season just from normal wear and tear, to say nothing of additional injuries.

Agreed. Stupid idea.

supa_fly_steeler
03-03-2010, 02:19 PM
Put like 7 a side.

3 olineman, a quarterback (4), 2 wr (5), a running back (6) and a hybird tight end reciever (7) and go up to 9....

WH
03-03-2010, 02:44 PM
Put like 7 a side.

3 olineman, a quarterback (4), 2 wr (5), a running back (6) and a hybird tight end reciever (7) and go up to 9....

Unless it's Bruce Arians' system then you would have no RB and 2 Tight Ends

yeah, I went there :chuckle:

SteelersMongol
03-03-2010, 06:32 PM
All U guys who say NAY, R only thinking from the one side, which looks very selfish & unthoughtful 2 me. Sorry 2 say this. But I keep reading NO because U only want 2 keep it an American game, NO because current system is not set up 4 it, or NO just because U just hate Roger Goodell & anything he says or does won't B accepted. There R so many things that could B gained from this. All U have 2 do is, 2 C if there is any way it could actually work.

P.S. Sooner or later, U guys will B outnumbered by overseas fans. Believe that. :wink02: American football is just an incredible game, that there will B more fans 4 American football than any other sports.

WH
03-03-2010, 07:02 PM
Mongol, if they keep babydolling the league up, you can have it.

supa_fly_steeler
03-03-2010, 08:30 PM
Mongol, if they keep babydolling the league up, you can have it.

Anybody can have the league as long as Rodger Goddell dont get control you see he ruins the league that moron.

WH
03-04-2010, 03:58 AM
Don't put it all on Goodell though, all the babydolling ideas come from subcommittees.

Psyychoward86
03-04-2010, 05:26 PM
Am i the only one wondering WHY would they do this in the winter olympics?

supa_fly_steeler
03-04-2010, 05:51 PM
Am i the only one wondering WHY would they do this in the winter olympics?

I did say summer a post few back

OneForTheToe
03-04-2010, 07:33 PM
It will not happen in the near or foreseeable future. They just got rid of baseball and softball and those sports had at least a handful of countries that were competitive. In addition, girls hockey is under fire because there are only 3 teams (Sweden has beaten the USA) that are very good. I hardly think they are going to add a sport played almost exclusively in North America.

By and large it is the Europeans with the most power in the IOC, and the thought of adding a sport that America would dominate, would probably make the European IOC members choke on their tea and scrumpets.

SteelersMongol
03-04-2010, 09:31 PM
Mongol, if they keep babydolling the league up, you can have it.

I am little confused about your stand, but ... ok. :noidea:

This is not about winter olympics. The article came out in time of winter olympics that's all. But wouldn't U all B excited if American football is in the olympics whether it enters as just touch football or even flag football. I know the olympics basketball is different than the ones they play in the states in NBA. It doesn't really have 2 B like pro-football, U know.