What a complete load of crap!  And I actually like soccer.  I never played as a kid but I sort of participated weekly for a few years when I first moved to LA and it’s a fun, exhausting game.  On the professional level, it’s a crazy, all-out war of stamina and will.  The fact that it often rises to a level of violent fan warfare is nuts, but not half as nuts as the criminal enterprise that orchestrates and regulates international competition.  FIFA has been historically riddled with scandalous corruption and unapologetic mismanagement.  But nothing, in any sport at any time, could ever be compared to the pure evil perpetrated at every level of this year’s FIFA World Cup.  From the choice of the obviously unqualified destination of Qatar, (except for the bottomless pit of Qatari cash), the conscription of thousands of slave laborers, the atrocity of their abuses and unknown numbers of casualties, the stifling heat, the incomplete facilities, the politics, the advertising and the advertising and the advertising.

We’re at about the halfway point as I write this, and although I get the feverish fandom and national pride of the competition, the FIFA, FIFA, FIFA of it all has sucked off much of the thrill of pure sport.  One cannot help but admire the dedication of the athletes and their commitment of time and training and team building, but seeing images of the fat cat execs, sitting in the royal boxes next to dictators, despots and Putin is enough to make you gag on your non-alcoholic beer.