The 2012 London Olympic games have come to a close and it’s time now to focus on the NFL and the upcoming season. Flying under the radar, is a comment made by NFL League Commissioner Roger Goodell a few days ago. The Commish which favors international expansion of the league, thinks that NFL football could become an Olympic sport. Huh?
Goodell loves the idea of placing a team in London, England- an idea I am very much opposed to. American football has failed when it’s been tried overseas in the past. Now, the Commish wants to try to get American football introduced into the Olympics, furthering his legacy. Goodell is all about legacy building.
In a recent interview, Goodell said, “We’re already taking steps to gain that IOC recognition. We, have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that’s one of the requirements.”Goodell wants to further the NFL product, as the sport is off the charts with record television viewership and owners wish to make even more millions. But how will the United States field a team?
The Summer Olympics are just that, Summer games. Around the time that the games commence, the NFL sends players off to training camps. College football practices are getting ready to fire up. Where will the players come from? The NBA sends players to the games in their down time of the offseason. Putting a five-man basketball team together and getting them to gel is a bit easier than assembling a roster for a football team.
How would a potential US team be staffed? Colleges, which offered up scholarships to top high school players won’t be willing to allow them to play against teams from other nations. The NFL clubs which sign mega-million dollar deals with players aren’t going to be keen to the idea of allowing their prize players to compete against amateur players from other countries at the same time that the league’s teams are opening training camps.
So what does that leave Team USA to draw from? A glorified arena league roster or players which wouldn’t make NFL rosters? Is that really the platform the United States wants to trot out while the NFL is claiming world dominance in the sport? I think not.
Mr. Goodell is seriously concerned about his legacy with the game of football, it means everything to him. He wants a greater legacy than Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue. He wants to be regarded as the Commish which expanded the game internationally. That is a failed option.
The NFL will not succeed in London and American football has no place in the Olympic Summer Games. Our version of “football” is unique and the best in the world. There is no possible manner that a “Pro-Bowl” caliber version of the Dream Team of football could ever compete in the Olympics. The idea should be discounted and forgotten. Mr. Goodell should look elsewhere in order to further his legacy.
Filed under: NFL