- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
My article on the slow growth of American football outside of America last week noted Poland and Brazil as two countries where the sport’s popularity is growing. But I neglected to note the Elite Football League of India, an eight-team league currently playing its first season. The league has some high-profile U.S. backers including NFL vets Ron Jaworski, Michael Irvin, Mike Ditka, and Kurt Warner as well as (why not?) actor Mark Wahlberg. Indian-American linebacker Brandon Chillar is also involved. Interestingly, the league — comprised largely of converted rugby players and wrestlers — also includes a team from Pakistan and two from Sri Lanka.
I imagine the sport will face an uphill battle in these cricket-obsessed countries. And India’s sports authorities are in a bit of disarray at the moment. But the trailer above for a forthcoming documentary on the league shows a bit of the action.