The International Federation of American Football submitted their application for consideration in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. The organization announced:
The Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel will now examine each application and a shortlist will be established which will lead to a further phase of review. Phase II will include the submission of further details from the shortlisted IFs and a presentation to the Additional Event Programme Panel will take place in Tokyo. The Additional Event Programme Panel will propose its recommendations to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, which will make a final decision on the successful event(s) to be proposed to the IOC.
If the IFAF submission makes it through the recommendation stage, an announcement would be made in August 2016 at the 129th International Olympic Committee Session. Tug of war, karate and billiards were also submitted for consideration.
America's sport... being dominated by Americans. If you have a :thumbsup: emoji, use it. With their own brand of professional football, Canada could provide some competition. Many of their players are castoffs from players that couldn't make it into the NFL. Are there enough players from qualifying countries? Is there enough time over four years to prepare teams and build players? It could take decades for the competitive balance to even out.
You know who else is excited? The NFL. One of the league's top priorities recently is the expansion into international territories. American football in the Summer games means more international players playing in the NFL, generating more international attention. Money, expansion, gold.
Even if the IFAF passes recommendations, we shouldn't expect much.
The nature of football is of extreme violence. Serious injury, like a torn knee ligament or significant head injury, peers around every corner like a shadow in a Guillermo del Toro horror movie. Go ahead and cross off the names of starters because owners won't want their stars suffering a significant injury in what amounts to an exhibition game. Players understandably would want a shot at the gold medal. Owners want the Super Bowl. Guess who wins?
Let's face it... the United States would be constructed with unwanted free agents who are 1) not very talented or 2) have aged beyond usefulness. If you say, "well they'd still compete and probably win," then you're probably right. We're really just looking at the talent level of an Arena football game anyway.
We could see college players, but not from major conferences. Maybe Division II?
Maybe it's not that big of a deal -- we're talking about a small number of players that would attend. Geno Atkins and A.J. Green wouldn't prevent the Bengals from conducting camp and playing preseason games -- however, Mike Brown and/or Katie Blackburn would be idiotic to let them play. If players are going to get hurt, it'll be for the Bengals.
In addition to the risk of injury, the timing is horrible. The opening ceremony for the 2020 Summer games takes place on July 24 in Tokyo, concluding with closing ceremonies on August 9. This directly impacts training camp in the NFL, as well as college. This isn't baseball or basketball, where most of the work and production comes from individualized roles. Football requires the timing and harmony of 11 players in total synchronization during a beautifully constructed and choreographed dance. Players need to be familiar with teammates.
There's the issue of recovery -- for all of the complaining regarding the quality and risk of injury during Thursday Night games, we're expected to believe that two weeks is enough to crown a champion... with one week of rest between games? How many games are played? This seems artistically unrealistic.
For the expansion of football, this is obviously great. If we're expecting the world to make this a competitive event, then that's something that will take time.