Guidelines for Football in the Olympics

peter weberContributor IJune 7, 2009

BEIJING - AUGUST 22: The Olympic rings are seen on the head of Kazimir Verkin of Slovakia after his last ever 50km Walk at the National Stadium on Day 14 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 22, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Combining the most loved sport in America with the biggest sporting event in the world (Yes, I am talking about putting the real football in the Olympics) has long been a dream of many, but there were way too many obstacles to clear it through.

First off, the physicality of the game would realistically allow for two or three games during the Olympics, and that is nowhere close to enough games for even the smallest of Olympic tournaments.

Secondly, the now extinct Euro football league, which was a minor league to the NFL, was the only place outside of North America were the American rules were played. 

Here are some solutions to the biggest two obstacles.  First off, shorten the game considerably.  I'm thinking either three 10 minute periods (hockey style) or two fifteen minute half's (college basketball style) would work. 

Then, to keep the clock running, each team would get four time-outs per game, and one challenge per game.  Also, the only way to stop the clock otherwise would be to go out of bounds.

Secondly, seeing as the summer Olympics are running in 2012 and 2016, teams would get three years to prepare a team to get blood all over our uniforms, or seven years to make us short of breath.

So, with those cut-in-half games I proposed, the maximum amount of games you could play in the two week ceremony would be, at most, six—probably more like five.  Five games is enough for 32 teams to enter a one-and-done tournament, and I can't imagine that many teams being able to field a team that could live through a game against an all-pro US team.