Deep Thoughts

Super Blog—World Wide Wow

I think we as a nation have come to terms with the idea of football as the national pastime, and second place is trailing by miles and miles. The fact that the 20 most watched TV shows EVER are Super Bowls underscores that point. 

But that passion no longer stops at the borders.

I heard Wednesday morning that more than 5,000 media credentials were issued for Tuesday’s media day. At that event and at every event through the week it’s brutally obvious football is now a global game. And many of those 5k media types call a foreign country home.

Hispanic media, whether it’s Telemundo or Univision or TV Azteca, owns the Media Day event. They send beautiful women who dance and joke with players, (even if the players struggle to understand the spanish) and attract ample attention. But beyond the flair you’ll see numerous hispanic reporters who ask football-intensive questions and display a vast knowledge of the sport.. 

I’ve noticed an ample amount of Asian media on hand—I actually chatted with a reporter from Japan Tuesday who asked me about a player I had just finished interviewing (it was Julian Edelman from the Patriots). He asked “what is his job?“ and I replied “he’s a receiver and a defensive back.“ (He plays both offense and defense for the Pats) The man replied, “can you be both?“ 

The point here is that the world is not only learning American football, they’re providing coverage of the sport year-‘round. I read a column this week about the potential of London hosting a future Super Bowl. As ridiculous as that once sounded, it may become reality soon.  London has already hosted NFL games the past few years and the city seems interested in hosting the game. I don’t think it’s likely to happen in the next decade, but I think down the line an NFL franchise could be located overseas, or perhaps in Mexico City or Canada.

Where the sport still lags is in global youth football participation. We’re still seeing a precious small number of foreign-born players even get a shot at making an NFL roster. It’s such a complicated and intricate game that it’s going to be a slow building process in other nations. But that process obviously is well underway.

Futbol remains the world’s game, but football may someday give it the boot.

Posted by Donna Willis on 02/02 at 08:18 AM
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