In an aggressive bidding war, Sony has acquired the rights to the New Republic article “The Year of the Pigskin” with Escape Artists attached to produce.

The recently published story and had several studios — including Universal — after it before finally falling to Sony.

The article was written by Christopher Beam and follows one American’s struggle to form an American football league in China. It’s described as a Chinese football version of “The Bad News Bears.”

Todd Black will produce for Escape Artists.

Sony has been one of the more active buyers in 2014, having already acquired the spec “Winter’s Knight” for “Kon-Tiki” helmers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg to direct, as well as the rights to Max Brook’s new graphic novel “The Harlem Hellfights,” with Overbrook Entertainment attached to produce.