Thursday, December 2, 2010

The New US Approach

For some reason, many are wringing their hands over FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar instead of the United States.  Couple that with the International Olympic Committee's snub of Chicago for the 2016 Summer Games earlier this year and it is becoming clear that the rest of the world is taking more and more enjoyment in "sticking it" to the US.  (Personally, I think it stems as much from the current Presidential administration's desire to drag down the global standing of our country as it is lingering resentment over the Iraq War.)

I, for one, am glad we missed out on hosting these events.  The Summer Games in Chicago would have been a HUGE taxpayer boondoggle as new venue construction and "infrastructure improvements" would have seen billions of dollars in "cost over-runs" in a city well known for every politician and political machine getting its "fair share" of the taxpayers' money (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).  And speaking of boondoggles, we could have all taken the high speed train to Chicago every day from the Fox Valley to catch the events.

The World Cup?  Just another decade of over-promotion (especially if ESPN gets broadcast rights) and predictions that "this will finally be the event that makes America a 'Soccer Nation'!"  I'm sure Roger Goodell and Bud Selig were quaking in their shoes that World Cup Mania would make their respective sports afterthoughts in the minds of sports fans. 

I think we should just sit out on bidding for these major international events from now on--and wait for the international community to come begging back to us.  Is it any coincidence that the only profitable Olympics and World Cups have been held in the US?  In 2006, Montreal finally retired the debt it incurred hosting the 1976 Summer Games--while London organizers admit their deficit will approach $1 BILLION.  So let Moscow and Qatar and Rio jump into that economic quicksand.

And when FIFA and the IOC are strapped for cash, they can come back to us on their hands and knees--and we can tell them to go pound sand--because here in the United States we have plenty of our own events to enjoy in person:  The Super Bowl, World Series, Final Four, Rose Bowl, Daytona 500, Indy 500--you know, all the stuff people actually care about.