American football in the Olympics? It’ll never happen

As part of the NFL's ongoing attempt to grow the most popular sport in America into the most popular sport in the world, the league has recently endeavored to get American football IOC recognition for Olympic consideration. 

That effort took a blow this week, with's Alex Marvez reporting that "the International Federation of American Football’s initial application for recognition by the International Olympic Committee was declined."

“American football’s burgeoning international athlete participation and appeal continues to propel the game on an exciting upward path,” an IFAF spokesman told FOX Sports in a statement. “IFAF and the world’s American football family have great reason to remain inspired and energized by our ongoing dialogue with IOC leadership.”

But should they? Let's be real here, this would be a locked-in gold medal for the United States, with nobody else really standing a chance. It's a big reason why softball was excluded from the London Games, and even that wasn't close to as one-sided as this would be.

Now, it wouldn't be as lopsided without a Dream Team-style American squad, led by, say Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson. But even with NFL castoffs, and CFL/UFL/AFL players, this would be a joke. 

Marvez points out that the NFL is becoming more international each year, but it's still so far behind hockey, baseball and basketball in that respect. People complain about the United States dominating at basketball at the Olympics, but this would be a whole new extreme.

A sport has to be more worldly before it should be brought to an Olympic-sized table. So without even getting to the logistical nightmare of somehow having countries play multiple football games in one two-week window, this already seems like a silly idea. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.