Sunday, August 10, 2008

NFL in the Olympics??

Friday marked the beginning of what is arguably the greatest combined sporting event in the world, The 2008 Summer Olympics. Every four years we have this unique opportunity to watch the best athletes from around the globe compete in their respective sports for a chance at the Gold. Undoubtedly over the next 21 days hearts will be broken and controversy will ensue. How could it not? The games are in China!

However, I realized this week that some of the most elite athletes in the world will not have the opportunity to participate. Instead they are busting their buts in training camps around the country preparing for what will certainly be a unique and unpredictable season as 32 teams all prepare to compete to be crowned the 2009 NFL Champion of the world. It is truly unfortunate that global expansion by the NFL (NFL Europa) failed miserably and American football will never receive consideration to become an Olympic sport. Honestly, is there no place for American football in the Olympics? I know I would prefer to watch badminton, synchronized swimming and archery….right. Although the Brazilian synchronized swimming twins should do wonders to increase their sports popularity.

If there cannot be a place for the entire sport, there must be a place for its individual athletes, right? I am sure we all remember Hershel Walker’s and Jeremy Bloom’s failed attempts. But to date has there ever been an NFL athlete who has competed and won a medal in the Olympics?

Just think how interesting it would be to see the following NFL athletes compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games:

Jason Taylor: Fencing. Did you see his footwork during Dancing with the Stars? Plus, just think about the wing span advantage he would have over his opponents.
Steve Smith: Boxing. Anthony Bright and Ken Lucas can attest to his boxing skills.
The Manning Brothers: Handball. Come on. You score by throwing a ball just smaller than a football through a goal.
Deangleo Hall: Track & Field. He runs a 4.15 40 yard dash.
Larry Allen: Weightlifting. Just watch him bench press 700 lbs.
Chris Cooley: Greco Roman Wrestling. He was an All-American wrestler in high school and the US undoubtedly needs a new face for wrestling to replace Rulon Gardner. Who better?

My point is that not only are we are missing out on watching some of the most elite athletes in the world compete, but they too are missing out on a great and patriotic opportunity to win a medal for their country. Don’t we need a little more excitement than Dara Torres?

Posted by Jake Stewart

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