While perusing the inter-webs last week, I stumbled across a blog post by Blythe Brumleve of GuysGirls.com that I thought was very interesting. It referenced a film project by Evan Rosenfeld—he of ESPN’s “30-for-30” documentary series—that chronicles the introduction and implementation of American football in India and Pakistan.
Without rehashing what was in the Brumleve’s post too much, here is a quick summary of what Rosenfeld is trying to do with his project (this comes directly from the ‘KICKSTARTER’ site where money for the film project is being raised).
What is this film about?
What if America’s most popular sport was introduced to the world’s second most populous nation?
Birth of a Sport will be a feature documentary chronicling the Elite Football League of India (EFLI), the first professional American football league in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Founded in late 2011, the EFLI was started to create new opportunities for athletes in the region. The first season began just about a year later and is being broadcast throughout South Asia on one of the leading sports networks, Ten Sports. The league consists of eight teams, five located in various cities across India, two in Sri Lanka, and one from Pakistan. There are some big names behind the league, including NFL Hall of Fame members Kurt Warner, Mike Ditka and Michael Irvin, as well as Hollywood superstar Mark Wahlberg.
Cricket rules in this region and nothing comes close. That means the one billion plus people who populate this vast land only consume one sport. What about other athletes? These other sportsmen have unquestionable skills. But let’s face it, some people are more fit to tackle a running back than bowl to a batsman.
It certainly sounds like it’s going to be a challenging endeavor for those involved to introduce a totally new sport to a country that is so entrenched in the history and honor of another sport, but it would certainly make for a good documentary to see how they actually do it—that is, if the documentary ever gets finished.