Peyton Manning is currently spearheading an effort to have football included in the Olympics, and is encouraging the public to sign a petition to give the gridiron its place in the competition.

But should American football be part of the games? In 2012, baseball and softball will be dropped from the Olympic roster, and it seems the IOC owes America at least one event, football or otherwise, in which the U.S. would be among the gold medal favorites. Let's consider the options ...

American Football
Pro: NFL preseason games sell out in Mexico and Japan, and last year a regular season game in London was the hottest ticket in town. The rest of the world sees in football the qualities that have made it our number one sport, and including it in the Olympics would only widen its appeal (and allow for a few more friendly wagers, of course).

Con: A 160-pound Namibian wide receiver who learned his craft from a Jerry Rice coloring book goes over the middle and is flattened by a 240-pound throat-slash-gesturing strong safety from the University of Miami. If football becomes an Olympic sport, that scene gets repeated for like the next 60 years.

More sports we'd like to see in the Olympics after the jump.

Pro: There are world-class golfers from all corners of the globe, and most Olympic host cities already have top-notch golf facilities. It's a little baffling why golf isn't an Olympic event already.

Anything that furthers the misconception that golf is an athletic endeavor will just encourage the worldwide obesity pandemic.

Pro: If the Olympics awards equestrian riders medals for prancing pleasantly around a track on a horse, why not let stock car racers go for the gold at 180 miles an hour?

Con: High-strung race car drivers often have post-race scuffles, and a medal stand smackdown is against everything the Olympics stands for.


Pro: Lacrosse isn't just a regional sport in the United States, it was also invented by Native Americans and is the national sport of Canada. That's the stuff of the soft news segments that help drive networks' Olympic coverage.

Con: Lacrosse will be ignored by the traditional sporting powers, and soon become the exclusive dominion of small, over-privileged white countries like Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

Ultimate Fighting

Pro: It would be interesting to see how fighters from different countries approach the octagon: the Japanese with karate, Russians with wrestling, Cubans with boxing and the French with their body odor.

Con: Thanks to serious injury and competitors regularly spilling blood, this sport has only recently been legalized in many states, so there might be a little red tape in getting this one instated.