Lions’ St.Brown hoping for an NFL Olympic ‘dream team’

Lions’ St.Brown hoping for an NFL Olympic ‘dream team’

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown hopes Sunday’s Pro Bowl Flag Football game could be the start of a journey to the Olympics as the NFL seeks its own ‘Dream Team’ moment .

The Pro Bowl game turned its traditional AFC vs. NFC showdown into a contest of Flag Football, the short, contactless, helmetless version of American football.

The move is seen as a major boost to the bid for flag football to be included in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.

American football has never featured in the Olympics as a medal event, although it was included as a “demonstration” in 1904 and 1932, when the Olympics were held in St. Louis and St. Louis respectively. in Los Angeles.

The International Federation of American Football (IFAF), the sport’s global governing body, backed by the NFL, has successfully put flag football on the shortlist of nine sports that will present their inclusion case to LA 2028 organizers later this year.

St. Brown, who is among the players in Las Vegas this week for Pro Bowl events, says the prospect of competing for a gold medal, for the United States or his mother’s homeland Germany, would be a thrill.

“It would be amazing, as a kid growing up watching the Olympics, I watched athletics and obviously basketball because those were the only sports I could really relate to.

– An NFL “dream team”? –

“To participate in an Olympic Games, whether for the United States or Germany, playing the sport that I love the most and the sport that I live and grew up with would be a dream come true,” said he declared.

While the National Hockey League (NHL) has had issues releasing players to compete in the Winter Olympics, the NFL is supporting its players’ participation.

“The league would support NFL players participating in LA 2028 games,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL executive vice president, Club Business, Major Events and International.

“The timing is working in July, before training camp starts so that opportunity can exist, it would be fun to see the St. Brown brothers either on an American team or on a German team,” he said. added.

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St. Brown’s brother, Equanimeous, also plays in the NFL for the Chicago Bears.

Flag Football is played five against five, with two 20-minute halves and there is no kicking, blocking or tackling. Downs are completed by removing the flag from the belt worn around the ball carrier’s waist.

O’Reilly said the decision to push for flag football rather than the full tackle version at the Olympics was based on the shorter version’s easier accessibility and popularity with female participants.

IFAF President Pierre Trochet thinks his sport could have an impact similar to how basketball showcased America’s top players when the NBA’s top players first played as “The Dream Team” during the Barcelona Games in 1992.

“I think everyone remembers 1992 and the superstars of the NBA on international soil for the first time…the Dream Team and this weekend we’re going to see the best players in the NFL on a field of Flag Football,” he added. .

“We’re not there yet for Barcelona 92, but it’s another first attempt,” he said.

IFAF has been provisionally recognized by the International Olympic Committee and has 72 national associations. The organization has held world flag football championships every two years since 2002.

In addition to the nationally televised flag game between the Pro Bowlers, this week’s events in Las Vegas will also include youth games between ten flag teams from eight countries.


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