“Any time you can hold a World Cup in a hot Middle East country that's smaller than Connecticut + has no soccer tradition, you have to do it.”
- Bill Simmons via Twitter
For those of you who have been living under a rock—or if you belong to sixty percent of Americans who do not care about soccer—yesterday the world found out where the 2018 and 2022 World Cups’ will be held. The United States was hoping to have the Cup held in the states in ’22 until FIFA punk’d us, and went with Qatar.
Mmhmm, I said Qatar.
Where is Qatar? Truth is, nobody really knows. I had to Google Earth it myself. You would have more of an impact if the games were held on Antarctica. Seriously, I am not able to distinguish between the two. Both are ludicrous. My buddy Brett and I were texting about this back and forth yesterday. We agreed a few key points:
(A) Qatar has NEVER even qualified for a World Cup. They have zero soccer tradition.
(B) After the finally game of the tournament those incredibly gigantic and expensive air-conditioned stadiums will not even get used. (I’ve written about stadium costs before)
(C) If FIFA was not going to give the games to the United States, they should have gone to Australia
There has also been a ton of speculation over money. Qatar has dumb amounts of money. According to British columnist, Brian Whitaker, apart from substantial amounts of oil, it's the world's largest supplier of liquefied natural gas and has the world's third-largest natural gas reserves – all for a population of only 1.5 million. Did money play a role in it? Probably, but who cares? There is nothing you or I can do expect whine about it. When I hear a stat like that, I envision the scene with the Sheik in the movie 2012 purchasing admission to the end-of-days arks:
Well-dressed English banker: Has His Highness had an opportunity to study the dossier?
Crazy rich Arab: You must understand, I have a very big family, Mr...?
Arab: One billion dollars is a lot of money.
Banker: I'm afraid the amount is in euros, Your Highness.
A billion dollars for PER spot on one of the arks. Of course later in the movie we see the Sheik board an Ark with all of his wives with him and 30+ kids. As far as I am concerned, in Qatar, guys like that are dime of dozen. Money bought/brought the World Cup to Qatar. I’m over it already. I’d rather win a World Cup than host one. Besides, yesterday marked LeBron’s first trip back to Cleveland.
38 points, 8 assists, 5 boards and zero turnovers in just 30 minutes played. Suck it Cleveland. Yes, I do think that you have right to feel pissed off with the way Lebron left, but I have said it before and I’ll say it again: you owe LeBron James E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Your freaking team was absolutely garbage. Every positive thing you were able to reap as a Cavaliers fan from 2003 to 2010 is owed solely to him. Be thankful. Before the game started I told E, “Hey, I hope Miami goes out there and hangs 120 on them. I want Lebron to drop 40.” And they almost did.
James was two shy from 40 and at one point Miami was up by as many as 38. Final score was 118-90. Cavs fans, instead of wear t-shirts that way ‘VICTIM’ and booing like the haggard woman from The Princess Bride, you should be forming LeBron James tribute bands where you cover one song, and that song is Led Zeppelin’s Thank You. Get over yourselves already. Why didn’t you boo Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Remember, he left you too.
LeBron James, is first or foremost—an NBA basketball player. That is his chosen and God-given profession. Within that profession, one has two main objectives that come about all other. An NBA player’s declaration of intent if you will. In order, they are as follows:
One: Win an NBA Championship(s)
Two: Make money
If I am The Artist Formally Known as 23, why in the hell would I say in Cleveland? Because a there are Cavaliers fans that like me? Yeah. Right! I am bouncing my talented self out of there as quickly as possible. Anybody that tries to tell me LeBron had a better opportunity to accomplish the above mentioned items in Cleveland is a delusional liar. I admit, that given LeBron’s talent, had he stayed in Ohio for the rest of his career, then Cleveland would have landed a title. But not a plethora of them; probably just one. It is his job to wins those. Why jump on the guys back because playing in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh makes it easier to get a title?
I am a businessman, and lets say my chosen business is architecture. I work at a firm that designs skyscrapers. I am a really talented architect and I get paid lots of money for the buildings I design and build, because there is nobody else in my industry that can do the things I do, the way I do. There are also other talented and well-paid architects out there. Some people really like me and the buildings I create; but others like different architects that live and build skyscrapers in different cities. Every year I work my very best at my firm, in hopes we I can win the Architectural Firm of the Year award and build the best skyscraper in the country. I work so hard that I come really, really close a couple of times, but it seems that each year the firms in Los Angeles, Boston and San Antonio win the award and build the best building. My firm has tried to bring guys in to support my efforts but they are that good. Semi-talented or some washed-up name. It does not work. My contract with the firm is approaching the end and I now have a couple of options:
Stay with my current firm and supporting cast and get the biggest contract in the architecture world. Hope for the best that my current situation—which hasn’t worked in helping achieve my goals—will suddenly change.
Leave my current firm and try a different one that is in a better market for building skyscrapers. I get paid less although any income I incur, cannot be taxed. I get to work with some colleagues whose talent levels are leaps and bounds better than anyone in my current firm. Winning the AF of the Year will be way easier.
No businessperson would choose option one over option two. Sorry. Lebron James is not a traitor, a quitter or any other word you can think to degrade him with. He is one word: smart.
I am also sick of the sidekick, little brother comparisons, the trade Bosh scenarios. THE ‘10-11 NBA SEASON IS ONLY 20 GAMES OLD! CHILL OUT! But I must admit, I did have one thought that really made my brow rise.
Could LeBron James turn in to a Karl Malone and the Heat just run two power forwards instead having someone play center? Wade can still the creative shooting guard he has always been and next summer when the Heat draft Jimmer Fredette in the late first-round, then they’ll have crafty-assist-demon-a-la-John-Stockton-I-can-score-when-I-want-to-if-I-need-to point guard. Think about it. Malone and James have the same build. Malone is 6’ 9” and about 260. James is 6’ 8” 250. Of course this would take away from crazy #6 highlight reels but you cannot deny that he would be an absolute beast underneath the hoop like Malone. I’m just saying…
Quick NFL thought before I wrap this up:
Do the St. Louis Rams make an offer for Randy Moss this off-season? There is zero percent chance Moss stays in Tennessee after this season ends. I want someone to tell me why this would not work. I think Bradford might be the next Peyton Manning. You can quote me.
Peyton Manning’s rookie season (16 games):
3700 Passing Yards
71.2 Passer Rating
Sam Bradford’s rookie season (Though 11 games):
2400 Passing yards
82.0 Passer Rating
Bradford is on pace for 3600 yards, 25 TDs, 9 picks. The similarities are there. Moss needs an great QB to be good. Bradford is/going-to-be that guy.
Last but not least, my wife suggested I tell Boise State kicker, Kyle Brotzman, to "hang in there" given the name of my website. Hang in there Kyle. And don't try and hang yourself... you might miss the chair when you try and kick it out from underneath you.