Sports

FIFA, the soccer world’s governing body, has been accused of various corrupt practices, as has its controversial president, Sepp Blatter, who engineered the selection of South Africa for the 2010 edition of the event, which takes place every four years, like the Olympics. Rumors of bribery amongst African nations swirled at the time of Blatter’s election as FIFA president. The upcoming disinformation® documentary World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins? also questions FIFA’s motives and whether the event will really benefit Africa. Now William Watts asks some tough questions of FIFA, at Marketwatch:

It may carry a lower profile than the International Olympic Committee, another controversial, Swiss-based international sports body. And to many Americans, Fifa, which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, means nothing alongside the likes of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

But the overseer of international soccer captained by Joseph “Sepp” Blatter has repeatedly shaken off allegations of corruption and regional in-fighting as well as a global recession to become arguably the most powerful sports organization on the planet.

It’s all down to the World Cup — the quadrennial extravaganza that crowns the world’s soccer champion and is rivaled only by the Olympics as the most watched sporting event around the globe.

Blatter last month was able to brag that Fifa’s annual 2009 revenues passed the $1 billion level for the first time in its history, leaving the organization with a $196 million surplus…




Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe:

Though we definitely can act it, most Americans aren’t stupid, even football proves that. It takes a decent amount of brainpower to remember statistics, history, game strategy and betting strategy. Unfortunately, it’s so much misappropriated focus. We’ll spend countless hours, dollars and energy on this one game, then we’ll spend the same on March Madness, the World Series, the Stanley Cup and varried playoffs. In between, we’ll throw an equal amount of time and talent into Hallmark holidays and celebrity awards shows.



AFP reports that the Super Bowl on Sunday will include commercials from venomous conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family. The spots star Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterback Tim Tebow discussing the amorality of abortion.

CBS is supposed to have a ban on advocacy commercials during the Super Bowl. The below ad, produced by the United Church of Christ, was previously rejected for its message of tolerance of gays…but in tough economic times, you take all the ad money you can get.





In the new New Yorker Malcolm Gladwell takes a look at the strong link between playing organized football and brain damage, and suggests that the sport is comparable to dogfighting in its…


Matthew Futterman reports for the Wall Street Journal: World-class athletes crave routine. Baseball’s Wade Boggs ate chicken before every game. Swimmer Michael Phelps blasts hip-hop in his earbuds before races. Others have…