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FIFA officials busted for accepting expensive watches while in Brazil

FIFA is in the news for all the wrong reasons once again.

The international soccer organization that has enabled sexism, racism, slavery, and bribery is back at it again with more corruption charges.

A report released today says that 23 out of 26 of FIFA’s executives violated their ethics policy by accepting watches worth about $25,000 each. These watches were given as soon as the executives arrived in Brazil in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

FIFA responded to the allegation in a very FIFA way:

            …the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) distributed commemorative watches at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil from their own sponsor (as part of the association’s centennial celebrations) to various people, including the members of the FIFA Executive Committee. The Ethics Committee was informed about this accordingly and is dealing with the matter.

If they handle this the way they have handed other corruption/bribery charges, then little to nothing will actually be done to discipline the individuals accused.

This news comes months after allegations that Qatari soccer officials had bought off votes with the help of high-end FIFA executives. The country of Qatar was controversially elected to host the 2022 World Cup despite their inferno-like temperatures during the summer.

But this is just the method of operation for FIFA. They have not been held responsible for the bevy of corruption that surrounds the head of soccer’s international body. 

This is not likely to change if current FIFA president and super villain, Sepp Blatter, remains at the helm. Blatter announced he will be running for a fifth term as FIFA president, with little competition.

While these recent allegations are far from the worst that FIFA has been accused of, it is just another instance of very questionable professional practice by soccer’s international executives.

FIFA continues to do well revenue-wise, which will keep Blatter in charge, but at this point their morally bankrupt practices can even make the NFL appear holy. 


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Boston College Upsets Ninth Ranked USC on Night Honoring 9/11 Hero


(John Quackenbos/Boston College Athletics)

On a night where the stands were filled with students, alumni, and other fans wearing red bandanas, the Boston College Eagles beat the ninth-ranked USC Trojans in one of the biggest upsets in school history.

Even though this was Boston College’s first win over a top 10 team in seven years, and despite that they had a whopping 452 yards rushing in the game, the victory proved to be much more important than that. 

The game was in honor of the “Man in the Red Bandana.”

Welles Crowther was a former Boston College lacrosse player who sacrificed his life to save others in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001. The red bandana he carried on that fateful day became synonymous not only of Crowther, but also of his heroics.

ESPN artfully profiled his story and the events that immediately proceeded the attacks that morning.

Thirteen years after September 11, 2001, his actions still resonate with the country and especially with the Boston College community. Crowther’s parents were in attendance at Chestnut Hill yesterday night to commemorate their son.

They walked on the field to roaring cheers from the crowd in an emotional tribute. The Crowthers’ presence and the overall tone of the night might have provided the spark plug for the Eagles.

After having a flat performance against Pittsburgh last week, BC looked inspired. They were flying towards the ball on defense and running the ball all over the field on offense.

In an interview directly after the game, Coach Steve Addazio stated that he believed that the special occasion of the night had a positive impact on their play and gave them the juice to seal the victory.

They say that sports have the ability to bring people and communities together. Well on this night, the community came together to honor an alumnus who was hero. That proved to be even more important than the favorable final score last night.


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The NFL Continues to Cross the Line of Morality

Just when you thought the NFL executives could not be any less transparent, they demonstrated again why they are America’s most corrupt professional sports league.

Public outrage has essentially reached its boiling point after an Associated Press report claims that back in April, an NFL executive saw the elevator footage showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer.

This contradicts a statement that Roger Goodell made just yesterday that no NFL personnel saw this footage.

In response to this AP report, Goodell and the NFL will have ex-FBI director Robert Mueller III lead an investigation into the Ray Rice case. One can only imagine this investigation will be similar to the “probe" that cleared Chris Christie of any wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge scandal. Of course this will lead to Goodell being completely vindicated despite the blatant failure of leadership.

This latest incident exposes the league’s moral ambiguous practices among the executives. And although there will always be unscrupulous behavior by all professional sports leagues, the NFL has become a cesspool for it.

You can talk about the way they vehemently denied the severity of concussions, despite former players showing lingering effects from on-field collisions.

Or how medical professionals working for the NFL dished out pain killers to players like hot cakes, resulting in addiction and other serious medical conditions later on.

Maybe how they initially issued Rice a two-game suspension for knocking out his then-fiancée, but they issued a year-long suspension for a player who was caught smoking a substance that is completely legal in two states where the NFL has teams. The list goes on and on.

Goodell emphasized recently, after imposing the emergency roll-out of a new domestic violence policy, that the NFL is “held to a higher standard.” This appears to be true considering the league is currently getting more backlash from the general public than the Atlantic City prosecutors.

But if they want to be perceived as maintaining a high standard, the higher ups in football’s executive branch cannot continue doing business while being completely tone-deaf and insensitive to what is going on around them.

After a while people are going to get fed up.

As Andy Glockner so eloquently put it, nothing is permanent. Not even the almighty NFL. 

The initial “punishment” for Ray Rice and the subsequent back-pedaling that has proceeded it, is making an awful impression on fans and especially those who believe in women’s rights. And people’s rights.

The National Organization for Women is even calling for Commissioner Goodell to resign.

While that is still very much in the air, one thing is for sure, the NFL is walking a very, very fine line.

The NFL may not feel the effects this year, or next year, but if they continue their operations this way, that fine line they are walking now will eventually disappear and so will a significant amount of their supporters.


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Little League World Series: Chicago Little Leaguers Can Help Change the Face of Baseball


The Jackie Robinson West little leaguers from Chicago may have a chance to have a larger impact on baseball and their city.

That statement may seem hyperbolic considering that these are only twelve year-old kids playing little league baseball, until you consider the current state of affairs of Chicago and the game.

By even making it to the Little League World Series tournament, these kids had already brought joy to their home city of Chicago. But the city that has become equated with gun violence and crime in the United States is now home to the country’s little league champions.

Whether they win the final against South Korea or not, they have already inspired Chicago, and might ignite future RBI baseball programs around the country.

As the first all black team to make the World Series in 31 years, their impact is historically and culturally significant. Their accomplishments stand out even more because of the current demographical breakdown of Major League Baseball.

Entering the 2014 season, only 8.3 percent of professional baseball players identified themselves as African-American or black. Compare that to less than 30 years ago when almost 20 percent of players were black. 

If you compare the MLB percentage with that of the NBA and NFL, you see that there is comparison. The NBA for decades has drawn many black athletes around the country. Take into account the emergence of football over the past 25 years as well as baseball losing popularity and it provides some explanations.

Despite the RBI programs in major cities, MLB’s outreach to black youth has faltered greatly. The league is losing athletes from one of the country’s demographics, that simple. But having the Jackie Robinson West all-stars in the national spotlight can change things for the better.

These young black men can make baseball relevant again in inner-city neighborhoods around the country. And with a win tomorrow against Seoul, you can call these Chicago sluggers Little League World Champions. 

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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