A thing called the Elite Football League of India exists, and their next big game is on Saturday in New Delhi, as you can see in this advertisement. Yes, that’s a right-handed Tim Tebow in a backwards Broncos uniform looking downfield for an open receiver. Why? We have no idea.
The Elite Football League consists of eight teams in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and was conceived in 2011 by Richard Whelan and Sunday Zeller, who wanted to bring American football to South Asia. The players are all Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani — mostly former rugby players — but many of the coaches and administrators are American.
Among major investors in the league are Mike Ditka, Kurt Warner, Michael Irvin and Mark Wahlberg.
Notice that Tebow is not on that list, nor is Bizarro Tim Tebow, who does everything backwards. Not sure any of these investors would be pleased with this ad, which is so clumsily Photoshopped that not only the number is backwards, but so is the “Broncos” name and the Reebok symbol.
One can also see the NFL logo on the football (attorneys scramble toward litigation fighter jets at Roger Goodell headquarters).
And why Tebow? I guess they figured he’d sell tickets, even in India.
Here’s a report on the upcoming game, and the league, from our go-to source on all things India, Shyam Sundararaman, author of the No Sacred Cows blog:
EFLI has been around since 2012 and is making a valiant attempt at evangelizing a country not known for any football culture or fandom into future money-spending NFL consumers. I selfishly hope it works :).
Last year even though there were eight teams representing eight cities, all games were played in one stadium in Sri Lanka and then shown as condensed highlights on a cable provider call Ten Sports. The quality of football, especially quarterbacking and receiving, is extremely low (think lower than high school in the U.S.). The final I think ended 3-0 or 6-3. The television coverage and commentary was mediocre and the viewership must have been in the low thousands. Nobody cared.
This will be the first game that is played in India even though six teams in the league are supposedly representing Indian cities. The
stadium it is being played in was used to host rugby at the
much-criticized 2010 Commonwealth games.
I doubt the stadium will be half-full, unless they gave out a lot of
free tickets. I also think this is an exhibition game and not a
regular-season game even though their website does not tell me
Ad For Mark Wahlberg’s New Football League Includes Horrible Photoshop Of Tim Tebow [Business Insider]