FIFA’s Blatter resigns – good riddance

Just days after winning the presidency of FIFA for another 4 years, Sepp Blatter resigned in front of a near empty press conference. [I wonder if that was done on purpose. Hmmmm.]

With his departure, FIFA will be looking for a hopefully new untarnished president but it may take a couple of months or so to gather the federations back. So he stays on until then.

With Blatter out of the picture at the next vote, will Prince Ali Hussein of Jordan have a good chance [after all, comes from the royal family – I’m sure plenty of money already].

An example of probably corruption by Blatter is threatening to suspend international football games in Iran, Nigeria, Kenya and Greece if their governments continued to have investigations into corruption of those federations.

This is a bit too much power. Does he has the authority to do so on his own – or maybe he thinks he does with the backing of the majority of federations.

The second-in-command for FIFA, secretary general Jerome Valcke, has been implicated in a $10 million payment involving the South African bid for the 2010 World Cup.

Even with the fact that in 2006, Blatter’s personal favorite, Valcke lying on the stand in a trial, he still managed to get to his current position. It shows you there is some type of corruption in FIFA.

As it is, Valcke has decided not to attend the Women’s World Cup in Canada starting this weekend because of some pressing “critical business”. One wonders if it is because the US and Canada have a nice extradition treaty and is nervous that he may be arrested in Canada and sent to the US.

If FIFA wants to clean up its image, it can start by taking a modified play out of the US government playbook. They should hire independent reputable investigators to investigate [vetted] the potential presidents of FIFA. Have the contenders decide very soon so that the investigators can check the contenders for a couple of months or so.

Turmoil hits FIFA

Turmoil hits FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, errr, football, in the world.

Just days after arrests from major officials in the organization, 4 time president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, became a 5-time president. It wasn’t even close, winning in the second round.

The latest battering to FIFA’s credibility came when Swiss and U.S. criminal probes into corruption were disclosed two days before the presidential vote, with several leading officials arrested in Zurich.

Major [US] sponsors have already warned that they want to see corruption and reported near slave labor in Qatar [hosting the 2022 World Cup] cleaned up.

The 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russia and Russian President [and tyrant/dictator] Vladimir Putin was already blaming the US wondering why the US was also probing FIFA – thinking that the US is trying to remove Russia from hosting the world cup, just 3 years away. He has gone bonkers.

[Since the US doesn’t have clout in football and the rest of the world’s votes dwarf the US – even with allies – unsure how the US can get FIFA to remove Russia as host unless it is clear that Russia was heavily involved in corruption. But you know Putin. He comes out with these hypotheticals that are so unlikely.]

One of those officials that were arrested is from Russia.

Sepp Blatter has promised to clean up FIFA. If so, he didn’t notice all this corruption over the past few years as the probes have indicated the length of the investigation?

And what happens if it continues?

Oh both Russia and Qatar backed Blatter as president – which will run for the next four years. Blatter was supposed to leave his post in 2011 in a deal but reneged on the deal. Can he be trusted?

There have been some rumors the UEFA [the European governing body], US, Canada and South America could pull out of FIFA. What would this mean for FIFA?

Well, some of the major powerhouses – let alone most of the sponsors – would abandon the World Cup. The sponsors want to see the best teams play and not a bunch of previously ranked low ranked countries battle for the cup. The UEFA president asked Blatter to stand down but was refused.

I think FIFA needs UEFA more than UEFA needs FIFA.

A European boycott could also cause problems when it comes to having foreign players play in the various leagues across the Europe and elsewhere. Would the best players in Africa be able to play in European leagues?

Blatter has tried to defend himself and has hinted there is some type of political correlation in the investigation.

Meanwhile at least two banks that have dealt with FIFA have opened internal investigations to see if they are involved in the corruption.

[Oh the US can investigate FIFA, just like any other country as they are a member of FIFA. In addition, most of the major sponsors are from the US.]

Windows Updates causes team to lose basketball game

[And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.]

As the home team in a match against Chemnitz in the German league basketball game, the Paderborn Finke Baskets were responsible for the large score display. The laptop that was controlling the screen crashed before the start of the game. As it rebooted, it insisted on installing Windows updates. The game was supposed to start at 7.30 pm on March 13th , but after speaking to the referee, the manager for Paderborn decided to wait for the screen to come back before tip-off.

With the team badly needed to hold on to their spot in the league, it took 17 minutes for the Windows updates to be installed [why so many?] which turn out to be two minutes longer than the Paderborn could work with. In an official statement from the Basketball Bundesliga league officials, they confirmed that Paderborn has been relegated from the ProA because if a game is interrupted for more than 15 minutes, the responsible team is considered to have lost the game. This is part of the league rules.

How not to handle a crisis

Well, we see the NFL seems to continue to have problems. Between owners with racist remarks to the dumb and stupid antics of their players, the NFL needs to do something to clean themselves up.

Consider the latest issue with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. He was caught on camera hitting his then girlfriend [and now wife] back in the spring. In the video, they were shouting obscenities at each other, and she appears to spit at Rice right before he throws a hard punch at a casino.

The NFL claimed they only saw it this past week when it was shown on TMZ but a law enforcement official claimed the full video was sent to a NFL executive back in April. But at one point, the NFL has said it asked for the video from law enforcement, but was denied. Something definitely wrong in the front office.

Rice meanwhile had been charged with felony aggravated assault, but in May he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that will allowed him to avoid jail time [with conditions]. The program could lead to the charge being purged from his record. He was initially suspended for two games but when the video came out and was then cut from the Ravens and right after was suspended by the league indefinitely.

It’s not the only controversies in the past few years. The Miami Dolphins bullying incident in 2013, the New Orleans Saints bounties and the New England Patriots with their spying scandal.

Just within the past 48 hours, Philadelphia Eagles’ LeSean McCoy decided to give a waiter a 20 cent tip [yes, two dimes] on a bill of over $60 at a Philadelphia restaurant. The waiter – who is a Baltimore Ravens fan – claims McCoy and his friends were using rude language and making “derogatory comments” during their time in the restaurant. [The waiter did admit he forgot to deliver an appetizer.] Once the players received their food, one said “We ain’t eating this s**t. We don’t want it.”

As well, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is being sued by an exotic dancer accusing him of sexual assault. The $1 million suit claims that the 2009 incident caused the 27-year-old to fear for her life.

Another team owner, Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts, is currently serving a six-game suspension and had to pay a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

So, will the NFL front office do something?

Fan takes team to court for dozing off during game

Yes. You read it right.

A New York Yankees fan has filed a $10 million lawsuit against two ESPN announcers, ESPN, Major League Baseball and the Yankees contending they mocked him using words like “fatty” and “stupid” when he was caught on national television sleeping in his seat during a game against Boston recently at Yankee Stadium.

In the lawsuit, Andrew ector admits in court documents he “napped” during a game on April 13, but says the ESPN commentators Dan Shulman and John Kruk unleashed an “avalanche of disparaging words” against him.

Rector says he suffered “substantial injury” to his “character and reputation” and “mental anguish, loss of future income and loss of earning capacity.”

The “loss of future income and loss of earning capacity” would not have happened if he didn’t fall asleep and didn’t file a lawsuit. Now that he filed a lawsuit everyone knows his name.

Yes, the announcers did go a bit far but until the lawsuit came out, I think few would of known he was the sleeping target.

The fact that he also blames the Yankees is ridiculous as they have little to do with the issue – other than a boring game [2-1]. Maybe he included them because it was a boring game and if it was 12-10, he would of been awake!

I would suspect Yankee fans won’t be happy with him.

You can see and hear a video of the what happened here. It’s your call. :-0)

Politically correct team names

The NFL’s Washington Redskins may be forced to change the team’s name. It was tried before but unsuccessful. Now there is further pressure to do so.

The name “redskin” is not politically correct.

There are some who are traditionalists and those who want to keep the name argue that [among other reasons] it’s been that name for so long, why change it now?

Others argue that in this politically correct world [well, part of the world at least], it is time to correct the names of various teams that offend others.

But where do we draw the line?

Is the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos not politically correct? I’d say the name is fine.

The NHL’s Chicago Black Hawks? I’d say they’d be nervous if the Redskins are, but mostly because of the team logo. An actual black hawk as a team logo wouldn’t be an issue.

US college football’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish? I never heard any complaints. I think the Irish are happy.

US college football’s North Dakota Fighting Sioux? Well, if Notre Dame is fine, shouldn’t the Fighting Sioux? But some may object.

How about the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs? Surely those birds aren’t happy to be associated with a team that hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967. 🙂

There actually is one financial advantage of changing a team name: merchandising. Think of all the die-hard fans buying the new merchandise. Even the old Redskins merchandise would increase in value on various sites. [The late Baseball’s Montreal Expos merchandise is still selling – maybe even better than the last few years when they were around.]

Here comes the second season

Ok. We are coming close to playoff season for hockey and basketball.

A few have commented on how many teams make the playoffs.

Over the years the National Hockey League had a problem because too many teams made the playoffs. Even with a very sub-par season was good enough for a team to make the playoffs – and in a few cases actually went farther than expected.

At least as the NHL reached 30 teams at least they didn’t increase the number of teams in the playoffs. Already it is too long at possibly 2 months’ worth of playoffs – considering the season is under seven months.

It all comes down to money. NHL players do not get a salary as the playoff season begins. So any sales from tickets [and maybe from other sources] are pure profit [well except for the obvious stuff]. On top of that, playoff tickets are usually quite higher than a regular season game.

The same could be said for some junior hockey leagues. One in particular has 18 teams and 16 make the playoffs.

Baseball could be another example. It used to be 2 teams in each league. Then with three divisions, it was the best three plus the best ream of the rest. Now there is a playoff game between the two top teams [other than the division winners].

Once again, what the owners reap in is almost pure profit as the biggest chunk of playing a game is the players’ salaries.

The National Football League – luckily – doesn’t have a very lengthy season. Well, not really, as there are plenty of teams. But they play a single game and not best of five or seven.