Friday, December 3, 2010

World Football Gives Obama the Boot

Up until yesterday, Copenhagen’s rejection of our Chicago bid for the Olympics in favor of Rio de Janeiro was Big Guy’s worst dis ever:

mo's backside Leaving Copenhagen, empty handed (well, not quite)

In order to prevent any possibility of a repeat loss, we sent the A-team to Zurich to seal the deal for our 2011 World Cup Soccer bid.  Ricky Holder took time away from not prosecuting Black Panthers and Wikileakers to lobby for the games. Big Bill Clinton went to woo the babes on FIFA’s executive committee. And Morgan Freeman went to – well, I’m not sure why – but since he flubbed his lines anyway, I don’t think we have to pay him.

And still, we lose to Quatar!?! A sweltering hell-hole smaller than Connecticut with a population of less than a million – and half of them are illegal aliens working as indentured servants.

Wow. Talk about a bad week. First a split lip, and now another black eye. This is like a really bad flash-back:

NO-LYMPICS: Chicago loses to Rio

jesus in rio


Irony is a cruel master, as you can see from the way Qatar’s unexpected win so closely *mirrors* Big Guy’s own ascension:

Jan. 20, 2009
“President-elect Barack Obama was about to walk out to take the oath of office. Backstage at the U.S. Capitol, he took one last look at his appearance in the mirror.”
(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

For starters, the selection of Qatar was historic,  

In selecting Qatar, the tiny emirate in the heart of the Middle East, FIFA chose to bring the World Cup to a Muslim nation for the first time. A desire to make history, and the opportunity to partner with the natural-gas fortune of the Qatari royal family, ultimately proved irresistible to FIFA.

and driven by a sense of guilt:

"When is the right time for the World Cup to come to the Middle East?" asked Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, wife of the emir of Qatar, in a challenge to the executive committee. "After 92 years of waiting, will we finally be a recognized part of this global football family?"

Also, the candidate came out of nowhere, had no credentials that warranted the win,

only 1 stadium, inadequate hotel rooms, highly restrictive alcohol rules, strange ideas about women and blistering  heat – oh, and did I mention scorpions? 

Butt it offered the voting body great HOPE with amazing promises:


Qatar has promised to spend $4 billion to build nine stadiums, renovate three others and equip all of them with a high-tech, outdoor air-conditioning system to combat summer temperatures that can reach 120 degrees. The country has vowed to spend an additional $50 billion on infrastructure ahead of the tournament.

To support their bid, they garnered HUGE, nearly bottomless sources of financial backing that could be used to inform voters:

Qatar also poured money into advertising. In Zurich this week, slick commercials showing thousands of young Arabs rushing a stadium in support of the bid blanketed the airwaves in hopes of catching the eyes of FIFA's leaders. The bid plastered its logo near the field of the Barcelona-Real Madrid match, which was televised in Zurich Monday night.

and – just to seal the deal - they employed Chicago rules:

chicago rules


Even as FIFA's selections were announced, new questions were raised about how Qatar secured its win.

… But Thursday night (Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani, chairman of Qatar's bid) addressed separate allegations that Qatar and Spain had a vote-trading deal. "There was no alliance," he said. "That was a rumor that got started and there was no truth to it."


True, two of FIFA’s 24 executive committee members were suspended for appearing willing to take bribes in a sting by a British newspaper, and also true, FIFA has a deserved reputation for graft and favoritism and opacity.

Butt, in the end, it was simply Qatar’s time.

"Thank you for believing in change, for expanding the game and for giving Qatar a chance," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani, who headed up the nation's bid committee. "You will be proud of us - and you will be proud of the Middle East. I promise you this."

And, for the first time in her adult life, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser was proud to be a Qataran.

So you’d think Big Guy would be 100% behind this win, right?

"I think it was the wrong decision," Obama said at the White House, joining thousands of disappointed Americans who watched the announcement from Zurich, where a video message from him had been part of the US presentation.

The “wrong decision”  - or, as others have put it less delicately,  “One Big Ass Mistake, America.”

Current Score - All evened up at the end of the World Cup Round, USA vs Qatar: