Hey, look, someone's writing on this blog again after several months of absentee ownership (c'mon, man! Baseball was going on...I might love futbol, but I'm American...I've got to prioritize.) But now that distractions are (mostly) gone, we can focus in on the fun stuff like providing soccer commentary for the smart, and the smartasses of the world.
Hey, listen, I'm sure that professional league futbol is great fun, but it's not a passion here in the States. You know what is? The World Cup. So you know what we should do? Talk about the world cup some more!!! Sure the next installment is four years away. Sure qualifiers won't even start until next summer. Sure there's no way to intelligently predict anything based on anything, but since when has lack of intelligence stopped someone from posting things on the internet? (Case in point.)
So here's what's going to happen now, I'm going to spend the next 24 days in a mad dash trying to explain (in my most sassy of voices) what the chances are for each of the bidders involved in trying to get the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Both hosts will be announced at the beginning of December which means I should be posting every three days.
With that, let's get cracking! (Just FYI I'm going to go in reverse World Ranking Order...just because I felt like it!)
MEET THE BID: QATAR 2022
Tagline: Expect Amazing
Real line: Expect Disappointment
Pros: Qatar is the perfect bidder for FIFA's global domination strategy. Since 1994 they have assiduously tried to incorporate unlikely nations as hosts for the contest (the US, Japan/Korea, South Africa) the only two untapped markets are the Middle-East and the Arctic Circle. Since those damned lazy scientists at Ice Station Zebra were late in their paper work, Qatar has the leg up in the "new market" category. It also hits FIFA g-spots by providing allusions to luxurious accommodations, state of the art facilities, oodles of corporate sponsorship and children in need of athletic inspiration. (C'mon FIFA think of the kids!)
Cons: Qatar wants to hold the world's premier sporting event in a country that's a little bit smaller than South Dakota(boohiss!)'s Black Hills. It wants to have a host of elite athletes play a demanding physical game in average 106 degree temperatures (just what we need: more sweaty Slovenians). It wants to establish itself as a global soccer mecca despite a current FIFA ranking of #109...two spots below giant of the game: Barbados. The greatest player in their history is Mansoor Muftah, if you knew that before that video (and aren't Qatari), I will mail you some cookies. If you'd like to learn more about Mansoor Muftah, you might want something other than Wikipedia where the globe's geeks only came up with 4 sentences for him. Oh, and there were rumors about Qatar trying to swap votes with Spain and Portugal...so...their winning could raise some furor.
Summary: Qatar is easily the biggest long shot in the race to host the World Cup, and while part of me thinks it might be cool to see the game played on that stage, I think their best shot would come as part of a Middle Eastern group (maybe with Bahrain and the UAE?).
Chances: About as good as an ice cube on a Doha sidewalk.