American Football in India?

Joshua Lobdell - Author

Jun. 16 2013, Updated 12:07 a.m. ET

When I first saw this story on I honestly thought I was reading the Onion. I thought it was a total joke. After doing a little research on the topic, I think these guys are brilliant. Sure we have seen a number of upstart leagues come and go here in North America, and in Europe, but now these fine folks are breaking open a huge market for football American style. This new venture is called the Elite Football League of India, and we don’t know much yet, as the league website is just a splash page, but it looks like eight teams are gearing up for a 2012 start.

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The league is the brain child of such notable American football names like Ron Jaworski, Mike Ditka, and Green Bay Packer Brandon Chillar who is of Indian decent. While it still sounds a little out there, this may be marketing genius. We know the NBA is looking to break open the gigantic China market, but opening up India to the American football game could be very business savvy.

With a population of 1.2 billion people India is nearly 18% of the entire world. On top of that Soccer is of course popular there, and so is Rugby which is a sport in the same sort of vein as American Football. In fact this league is already training Rugby players in India to play the American game. As a lot of you know I am a big fan of upstart football leagues, but I have never tried to cover one so far away from the States. I hope this works, and that we have more football to talk about.


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