With the proprietor of the Partisan away while getting in touch with hiking blisters and nature in southern Utah, I had anticipated doing what anyone would do with the boss away: Play, do as little as possible or wrest control of this lavish operation in a coup d’blog.
Having not followed Monterey Peninsula water politics with microscopic attention for the past 40 years, I realized I wouldn’t be adequately prepared to carry on His Royal Blog’s primary mission. That calling is to intelligently moderate unending arguments about water without laying in adequate drinking supplies of whiskey, as per Mark Twain’s oft-quoted rule of “water is for fighting; whiskey is for drinking.” I considered an edict against any future use of that worn-out Twain quote, but instead fell upon my second option of doing as little as possible.
I was handling that duty ably until this week when news broke that a bunch of super-rich overlords of the international governing board of soccer were arrested at a fancy Swiss hotel on criminal indictments obtained by the U.S. Department of Justice.
For critics of soccer — the world’s most popular sport always said to be slowly but surely gaining popularity in the United States — I figure this healthy injection of breath-taking transnational bribery, shakedowns and corruption will be the just the thing to finally whet my country appetite’s for the sport.
After all, the scope of the charges (as reported by the New York Times) against the shadowy emperors of what the rest of the world insists upon calling football makes the Deflategate scandal still rocking the National Football League seem as ridiculously petty as it is.
The football flap boils down to two knuckleheads armed with a ball needle letting the air out of some footballs, allegedly at the behest of quarterbacking diva Tom Brady. I say, “Big Whoop.”
I guarantee you that absolutely none of the 35,000 aspiring screenwriters parking cars and slinging drinks in Los Angeles is working on a film treatment of Deflategate.
But the newly exposed, secretive world of brazen criminality at the helm of world soccer has the makings of a long-running premium channel series. It would be shot in exotic locales with evil despots running an empire populated by supertankers filled with cash, with a cast of the best-looking athletes in the world and their handsome hookup partners facing exploitation, temptation, rampant coupling and physical dangers of overwrought flopping.
This series could be the next “The Sopranos,” “Madmen,” or “Breaking Bad.” Weekly episodes would advance complicated, intertwined story lines at a glacial pace — akin to the drama of a soccer match decided by a 1-0 score on a extra-time goal. And the requisite enigmatic ending, shot on a soccer pitch overlooking the Big Sur coast, would have millions of Americans talking about soccer for years.
Honestly, the soccer mania created by what I’m tentatively calling “In the Net” would probably cause the two guys on Fox and
Friends to give up their xenophobic mornings and seek more appropriate work at an Oil Can Henry’s.
I may have been naive, but until this international web of soccer corruption came to light, I had thought the only folks muscling in on the popular sport were the makers of boxed juices, whose wares are consumed by the millions each weekend by youth soccer players.
Parents are under orders to deliver cartons and cartons of the halftime treats or else suffer social ostracism from coaches, other parents and complete strangers just walking by the field. That is almost a criminally genius marketing plan, but it pales in comparison to the rot at the heart of the international game.
That is all.
I trust the Jefe Grande will soon be back in the saddle of this blog, and we can resume our focus on local water politics, already one of the longest-running series on local public access television but with no enigmatic ending in sight.