Prior to this latest labor dispute, the NFL had been running pretty much on all cylinders, developing into America's most popular sport. While I contend baseball remains the national past time, the NFL has emerged as the most popular of the four major sports leagues in North America. Aside from this current foolishness, the NFL was practically a year-round institution. Apart from a bit of dead time in May, June, and July, the NFL has basically become a ratings boost all year long.
There is one area though where the battle is a lot more contentious. In the world of international marketing and development, baseball and basketball have done a great job developing their game in other countries. Basketball has long been an international game, and baseball has made huge strides in developing the international aspects of the game. I bring this up now in light of MLB stating that they will expand the field for the 2013 World Baseball Classic to 28 teams. The even will include play-in games for some of the lesser countries, followed by the normal tournament format.
While the WBC hasn't quite reached World Cup levels of popularity (and probably never will), it's been a solid run for the international tournament. My question is whether the NFL will ever be able to develop their game like that? Or do they really need to at this point? The Super Bowl is a hugely-watched program and assuming the league gets its labor house in order, it seems like the gravy train would just keep on rolling. Has the league done enough to develop the game's international impact?