Despite the International Olympic Committee deciding that American-dominated baseball and softball — sports played in many other nations — don’t get to be Olympic sports anymore, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thinks football has a chance.
“We have already taken steps to gain that IOC recognition,” Goodell said last week in a radio appearance. “We have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that’s one of the requirements.”
Getting a sport into the Olympics isn’t the easiest task, but football is growing internationally. The NFL plays a yearly regular season game in London, soon may play more. NBC News reports that there is still talk of one day placing an NFL franchise in the British capital, even from Goodell himself. Nevertheless, there will be no Olympic football in Rio in 2016, or anytime soon.
“No, again, those decisions are made by the IOC,” Goodell said according to Deadspin, which reported many of Goodell’s quotes from the appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “They look at how the game is being played around the globe, and we’re trying to make sure we continue to broaden the scope of our game, and if they give us the opportunity we certainly would push for it.”
Columnist Bob Molinaro for The Virginian-Pilot points out that Olympic football would have some pitfalls. First, the Olympics are just more than two weeks long (17 days), so there’s a question to be asked about how many games could even be played. Next, who would play? Molinaro suggest pros would have no interest due to increased risk of injury, but then again considering the likely American dominance it shouldn’t be too hard to field a team capable of winning the gold medal.
Last he adds that while we all love football, the Olympics actually give a nice break from the monotony of training camp stories that are usually dominating the headlines this time of year.
So Roger Goodell wants to see American football one day make it as an Olympic sport. Olympic Football? Is that something you’d like to see? Discuss below.