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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Roger Goodell: American football should ‘absolutely’ be an Olympic sport

Over the past several years, the NFL has been working to grow the sport of American football internationally by holding regular season games in London. For the most part, the games have been a success. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says it won’t be long before the NFL is holding two regular season games a year in London and possibly even more.

“Our point is just to keep growing the game,” Goodell said during an interview with guest host Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show. “We’re having a tremendous reaction in London and the UK for the game of football, our regular season game over there is sold out again this year, we are seriously contemplating as early as 2013 playing two NFL games next season and I think we’ll do that. It’s a response to the tremendous fan reaction and the growth of the game. If we can continue to grow the game there and have the fan reaction that we have, there very well may be a franchise in London.”

But that’s not all. Goodell is hoping the fan reaction to the NFL abroad will be so strong that the game eventually grows to a point where it becomes an Olympic sport. While that may seem unfathomable at the moment, all Olympic sports have to start somewhere.

“Absolutely. We’re already taking steps to gain that IOC recognition,” Goodell said when asked about the potential of American football becoming an Olympic sport. “We have, I think, 64 countries that are playing American football now, and that’s one of the requirements. That’s been growing dramatically — I think it was 40 just five years ago.”

Other countries may play American football, but none take it nearly as seriously as the United States. If American football ever was added as an Olympic sport, the US would completely dominate it for years. After seeing what Team USA did to Nigeria on the basketball court Thursday, it would be silly to say that it is impossible for American football to ever become an Olympic sport. It’s not like lopsided sports don’t exist in international competition.



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