Football, or as we in the enlightened Shining City on the Hill call it, soccer, represents one of the planet's most widespread religions, reaching almost as far as Christianity, and likely displacing much of the Church as it goes.
Attributed to American exceptionalism, we treat this sport as a diversion for children and a quasi-disorganized pickup game for young adults, with the virtues that it involves a lot of footwork, awareness, movement and actual teamwork. This is good developmentally for anyone whose joints still work, and for those joints are a little squeaky, yet still possess high resistance to pain, they can play goalie. Naturally attempts to monetize soccer in our country have yet to match the commercial wonders achieved by accepted national pastimes such as baseball and football. Our televised organized soccer still falls short of the Russo-Canadian phenomenon called hockey.
The National Football League will continuously dominate broadcast television with a solid foothold in the sports cable markets; Major League Baseball rules the radio and is an everpresence in the afternoon on Fox Sports affiliates with a few weekend games on the broadcast stations. National Hockey League is difficult to find, Foreign organized soccer, in the devil's lands called football, is easier to find on television every weeked than the American version. This amuses me.
That said, despite my agreement with Hank Hill on the virtues of soccer, by which I mean there are barely any, it's good for kids. It was good for me as an adult. My beloved country, however, turns its attention to this cursed psuedosport (what kind of sport has ties so often and the clock counts up?) when we qualify for the FIFA World Cup. As soccer is a religion, it is an organized religion, and church is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Now comparing oneself to the corruption that is FIFA is hardly a defense for your sports league. The National Football League and its counterparts for other games should not even try. Still, I love it when shots are taken at a vile secular institution. Yet since I lack any passion for soccer, let alone knowledge to explain how FIFA is an assault on the game, I turn to foreign devil John Oliver.
Naturally when the story progressed, Mr Oliver returned to it a year later.
I lack his knowledge and passion but I love how FIFA's corruption is so well known to John Oliver that it is his base standard for what corruption is, and therefore is the go-to allegory for how corrupt something is.
The wonderful thing is that the United States has the power to oppose these people, take them to task, and hold them accountable. If this enhances our global influence among the savages and Eurotrash, then we should pursue it to the greatest jurisdictional limit. Certainly it's a less expensive method than two long and very bloody wars.
If I was a more extremist right-winger I would ask how this is any of our business. There are two answers to that. The first is that as a game, the rules must be enforced because games have rules. More importantly, as to a question of jurisdiction, we shouldn't enforce the rules of the game necessarily, or whether the competition is fair, as we should not have Congressional hearings about steroid use in Major League Baseball. Yet this is commerce on a global level and unfortunately we are involved in it. We're involved in international commerce.
Certainly taking FIFA accountable is similar to addressing bribery in Major League Baseball. A player being paid to throw a game affects commerce. Mind you, I'm not going to engage or explore the myriad amounts of crony capitalism and corruption in American professional sports today. The reason is I am not going being paid for this and this is my hobby. Suffice to say though that the reasons why bookies don't bribe a professional baseball player in modern times, at least in the Major Leagues, is because no bookie can afford to try, and no baseball player would risk losing his five or six digits a year for a small amount. The corruption and damage done by international soccer is best compared to that done by hosting the Olympic games, so that could be a lot more fun to explore.
Even without corruption, hosting an international sport can destroy your city or your community, simply because the infrastructure is so damned expensive and the resultant income is not reciprocal. While it resembles an honor your city may never recover.