Friday, December 31, 2010

Week 17 Fantasy Advice

Did you have a good Week 16? If you’re still in it, then this is truly your last chance to make fantasy noise. This is the most odd week of the entire season, so be careful of who needs their game and who doesn’t.

Who to Start:

QB Matt Schaub (HOU) vs. JAX: Even if Andre Johnson doesn’t play, this is still a wonderful matchup for Schaub. He threw for over 300 yards the first time the 2 teams played, and look for him to do that once again.

RB Shonn Greene (NYJ) vs. BUF: I would look to see LT and other Jets being rested, and Shonn Greene, whose been trending up for the past 3 weeks, to see a lot of carries and turn that into a lot of yards against a bad Bills D.

WR Mario Manningham (NYG) vs. WSH: The Giants won’t have Hakeem Nicks on Sunday, and with the Giants other injuries, look for Manningham to be the feature target for Eli Manning. The Redskins D is still very bad, so look for Manningham to make the most of it.

WR Danario Alexander (STL) vs. SEA: In this win and in matchup, look for Alexander to shine for the who’s who of the Rams receiving corps. The Seahawks don’t defend the pass very well, and look for Sam Bradford to look Alexander’s way often.

TE Owen Daniels (HOU) vs. JAX: The Jags more often than not don’t defend the Tight End, so Daniels, who has seen great games of late, should have a big game for Houston.

DEF Atlanta vs. CAR: The Panthers as we know have a terrible offense, and with Atlanta still having something to play for, look for their D to smother Jimmy Clausen and the hapless Panthers.

Who to Sit:

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. NO: As great as he has played this season, don’t look for him to perform very well against a Saints D that stopped Matt Ryan on Monday, and forces plenty of turnovers.

RB Peyton Hillis (CLE) vs. PIT: Where has he gone in the past weeks? Far down the list of desired starts. The Steelers run D has been great and still will be, so don’t look for Hillis to do very much.

WR Santonio Holmes (NYJ) vs. BUF: As he’s dealing with a bum toe, he may not see full action on Sunday. Even so, the Bills pass D has been a bright spot for that team, only allowing 15 passing TD’s all season, so don’t look for a big stat line for Holmes regardless.

WR Mike Williams (SEA) vs. STL: With Charlie Whitehurst starting, don’t look for him to have a big stat line, as Whitehurst hasn’t looked great in any of his starts this year.

TE Jermaine Gresham (CIN) vs. BAL: The rookie from Oklahoma has great potential to be one of the best Tight Ends in fantasy next season. But don’t expect that to start on Sunday against a Ravens D that is well, the Ravens D.

DEF Chicago vs. GB: The Bears D didn’t look good against the Jets, and with the Packers likely throwing in all their chips for this game, and with the Bears also likely having nothing to play for, the Bears D is not a good start.

3 Super Sleepers for Week 17:

QB Sam Bradford (STL) vs. SEA: Bradford had a good stat line in Week 4 when these 2 teams met, and again look for Bradford to potentially tear it up for the Rams who I think will win the NFC West.

WR Jacoby Jones (HOU) vs. JAX: As I think I’ve mentioned plenty of times, the Jags pass D is very bad. Jones could see more targets if Andre Johnson is out, and if that’s the case look for Jones and his speed to cause problems for the Jags secondary.

TE Rob Gronkowski (NE) vs. MIA: He’s the Tight End to look for due to the injury to Aaron Hernandez and for the fact that the Pats will still go all out, even though they have nothing to play for.

Good Luck in Week 17 and have a happy new year! This column is done for the season, but next week at the same time, look for my analysis of all of the wild card matchups from head to toe, and that will continue all the way until the Super Bowl.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010: A Year in Review

When people who cover sports look back on the year 2010, what will they remember the most? 3 teams ending long championship droughts and lifting their respective cities in the process? Americans gravitating toward sports they never particularly liked before? July 1st becoming the most important day of the year for the NBA? Controversies, with stars falling from grace like stones? The milestones reached, and the greats we lost? All of it was amazing, but this proves a point I've been writing about all year, and will write about for years to come, you just never know what could happen.

The year had so many great things happen, I don't know where to start. We can start with the city of New Orleans, being lifted from the doldrums by one team, and one goal. Super Bowl XLIV will be one we remember for quite some time, not even for the result, but how and why it was important. An onside kick to start the 2nd half; we'll never see that again, never mind a Super Bowl. Even if the Saints don't hoist another Lombardi Trophy for 40 years, that one will always be special, and America was taken along for the ride. How could you not feel uplifted?

In Vancouver, Canadians wanted to "Own the Podium", and they sure did. As much as they love 13 of them, only 1 was of the most importance, the men's hockey gold medal. They were expected to easily take it, but along came the plucky Americans. A young fast group they were, and in their 1st game against the Canadians, in SD, they stunned us all by beating them. Canada was on the brink of missing out on their most important medal. But as with all comeback stories, they persevered, spanking the Russians, a team many thought they'd play for the gold, and it set up a matchup for the gold with the U.S. Canada had won the gold on American soil in 2002, and the Americans so wanted revenge. We all know that the Canadians won in OT, in one of the most tense hockey games you'll ever see. We'll probably never see something like that again. If something can nearly eclipse the 1980 hockey tournament, then it had to be great, and it was.

There were 2 other teams that were lifted from long championship droughts. The Chicago Blackhawks had waited 49 years for a Stanley Cup, and the San Francisco Giants waited 56 total years for a World Series. Both droughts ended with a flourish, and both cities were exiled from the long cold waits. Repeats are of course possible, but nothing will be like the ones that removed the cities from the waits for a title.

In June, eyes turned to South Africa for a World Cup, and many before hadn't the slightest bit of interest in it, except for the cult-like group of devout soccer followers. But this one was different, after the U.S's stunning job in the 2009 Confederations Cup, the country waited with baited breath. Their first opponent was England, and we know what happened in that game. A draw, but that put the U.S in the eyes of the soccer world. And with Landon Donovan's last second goal against Algeria, the U.S again had captured the imagination of the entire country. Controversies aside, and even though the U.S was eliminated in the Round of 16, soccer was back in the mainstream eyes of the country.

The controversies this year were numerous. From Cam Newton to Brett Favre and back to the old venerable Tiger Woods, 2010 wasn't without its share of controversies. The Brett Favre- Jenn Sterger case dragged on until the 29th of December, and between the start and end of the controversy Brett Favre's start streak ended, he was injured twice, and the Vikings played a home game in Detroit, outside for the first time in 30 years and on a Tuesday. Tiger Woods was in the eye of the media for a long time, until he admitted to what he had done, and it seemed like everything was about Tiger, when it probably shouldn't have been. It overshadowed Phil Mickleson winning another Masters, a European winning the U.S Open, and a club grounding that cost Dustin Johnson a chance at a PGA Championship. When those who look back on this year in golf see these events, they will remember Tiger first, and last, and it breaks the stigma that athletes may hold, that they are the best in society, and that they cannot wrong. Cam Newton's brought back the notions of the "death penalty" case to SMU, and again questioned the NCAA and its endeavors.

In between all of these events, we lost the best coach of all time in any sport, John Wooden, and he will be sorely missed, but his teachings still live on with us, as the UCONN women have won 90 in a row, eclipsing Wooden's 88. We've seen some amazing plays that we'll never see again. We've seen surprise teams surprise us, and major ones disappoint us. We saw something that only ever happened once before, a no-hitter in the postseason, and baseball had its own year of the pitcher. This was the year that had it all, and again shows that you never know what you'll see when you buy a ticket. 2011 looks to be a year of uncertainty. All 4 major leagues CBA's are expiring, and grueling talks are forthcoming. I hope none have major lockouts, but it seems as though one will. Which one, I cannot say. Some teams viabilities in their current markets may be put in question. And while next year may not have the Olympics or World Cup that this year had, it will be special in its own right. 2010 will be remembered as a year when amazing things happened, and for all of us, it was amazing to experience it all. Here's to a great 2011, and the amazing things that may come.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week 16 Fantasy Advice

Did you have a good Week 15? It’s Super Bowl Weekend for many this weekend, and therefore you need your best performance of the entire season! For everyone else, there’s still hope, so don’t despair.

This column won’t include the Thursday Night game CAR/PIT.

Who to Start:

QB Matt Schaub (HOU) vs. DEN: The Denver pass D is terrible, and Schaub is looking to get back on track after a subpar 2 weeks. With the Broncos having allowed 25 passing TD’s all year, the Texans QB should have a monster week.

RB Ryan Torain (WSH) vs. JAX: After Donald Brown (yes a Colts running back), torched the Jags rushing D, and with Torain averaging 6 yards a carry since his return from injury, he should see a big game on Sunday.

WR Vincent Jackson (SD) vs. CIN: Last Thursday he had 3 TD’s and has proven to be a big weapon for Philip Rivers. Against a shaky Bengals pass D, V-JAX could have a monster day for a team in chase mode.

WR Lance Moore (NO) vs. ATL MON: Atlanta as good as they are, still has a shaky pass D, and Drew Brees will attack that early and often. Moore had 6 catches for 149 yards and 2 TD’s against Atlanta in September, so there’s no reason why things won’t be different on Sunday.

TE Kevin Boss (NYG) vs. GB: He’s had an on-again, off-again season thus far, but he’s been great against teams who don’t defend the Tight End very well, and the Packers are one of them. Look for Boss to have another big game on Sunday.

DEF Dallas vs. ARZ SAT: Even if they give up yards and points, no doubt will they have plenty of sacks and turnovers of John (Red) Skelton. That should offset the yards and points for you, shouldn’t it?

Who to Sit:

QB Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. NYJ: Even though Cutler has been playing very well this year, start with much caution against the Jets D, who except for Tom Brady has been great this year. And no foot fetishes also, so that’s a good sign.

RB Peyton Hillis (CLE) vs. BAL: I know he’s hard to sit by this point, but he hasn’t been as amazing as he was in the last 3 weeks. America’s RB could struggle against Baltimore, who despite their D struggling, it’s been more through the air than on the ground.

WR Sidney Rice (MIN) vs. PHI: Unless Brett Favre starts, which could happen knowing him, avoid him. Joe Webb is pretty bad, and that should be of bigger importance than Philly’s weakened and injured secondary.

WR Braylon Edwards (NYJ) vs. CHI: He’s been very inconsistent this season, and don’t expect good things from him against a very good Chicago pass D, despite his over 100 yards against Pittsburgh.

TE Brent Celek (PHI) vs. MIN: With Mike Vick at the helm, Celek is oft not even a thought in Vick’s progressions. Since week 11, he’s been targeted (thrown at) only 4 times a game! Not enough times to make a big impact I’m afraid.

DEF Oakland vs. IND: I know the Raiders have a great pass rush, and superb secondary, but against the Colts, who look to be getting Joseph Addai back from the injury report, look for the Raiders D to struggle.

3 Super Sleepers for Week 16:

QB Rex Grossman (WSH) vs. JAX: Sexy Rexy threw for over 300 yards against the Cowboys last week making the Shanahan’s look very smart. That could continue against a Jaguar secondary that is pretty terrible, allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to QB’s.

TE Jimmy Graham (NO) vs. ATL MON: Who? The Saints new preferred go-to Tight End, who made some pretty amazing catches last Sunday in Baltimore. With a favorable matchup against the Falcons, look for Graham to perform well.

QB Tim Tebow (DEN) vs. HOU: Yes, I am suggesting Tim Tebow could have a big day. He looked OK, nothing amazing or awful last Sunday, and he’s facing a terrible Houston secondary. He could perform large if you have no other option.

Good Luck in Week 16 and have a Merry Christmas! 2010 year in review comes next week.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 15 Fantasy Advice

Did you have a good Week 14? You’re either in the playoffs or out by now, and again you need your best performances. I’m here to try to help you out with that.

This won’t include the SF/SD Thursday Night game.

Who to Start:

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. DET: The Lions don’t have a very good D, and don’t let last week fool you. That was Matt Flynn, and Josh Freeman isn’t Matt Flynn, and the Bucs have a playoff chase.

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG) vs. PHI: With the Eagles losing Brandon Graham and Stewart Bradley for the year, the Giants will have a bit of an easier time running against Philly. After Jacobs has had 2 great games in a row, he should continue his pace.

WR Pierre Garcon (IND) vs. JAX: With Garcon now healthy after a 10 day break, he should be in prime condition. The Jags pass D is very bad, and with the Colts not being able to run the ball, Garcon should have a big game.

WR Miles Austin (DAL) vs. WSH: With Dez Bryant out for the year looks to Austin for plenty of targets. It should help that he’s facing the Redskins pass D that is pretty terrible.

TE Zach Miller (OAK) vs. DEN: Denver can’t stop the Tight End, and with so many of them on the shelf due to injury, look for Miller to have a big game.

DEF Arizona vs. CAR: I know the Cardinals D statistically is bad, but when they play Carolina, who has little to no offense, they should have a big game.

Who to Sit:

QB Mark Sanchez (NYJ) vs. PIT: The savior of the Jets? I think not. He’s not thrown a TD since Thanksgiving, and with the Jets facing the Steelers, these troubles will likely continue.

RB Marshawn Lynch (SEA) vs. ATL: He had a big game 2 weeks ago, but he reverted back to Buffalo’s Marshawn Lynch last Sunday. With Atlanta stopping the run very well of late, don’t bet on Lynch to have a good game.

WR Sidney Rice (MIN) vs. CHI MON: Joe Webb will be throwing him passes in the frigid cold. Wait, who is their QB? A rookie who didn’t look too good against the Giants, and with the Bears D looking to restore some dignity, look for Rice to do very little.

WR Greg Jennings (GB) vs. NE: I know he’s hard to bench, but if Matt Flynn starts, I don’t see him doing very much. The Pats D has looked awesome in their last 2 games, and that probably will continue, and look for Jennings to do very little.

TE Aaron Hernandez (NE) vs. GB: Nobody truly knows who the Pats number 1 tight end is, but Hernandez is seeing fewer and fewer snaps. Rob Gronkowski is seeing the bulk of the snaps now, so don’t be surprised if Hernandez does little.

DEF Baltimore vs. NO: Choking away a 21 point lead to Houston? And then they have to play New Orleans on a short week after that? Not a good combination for the Ravens. They will force turnovers, but will allow some serious points though.

3 Super Sleepers for Week 15:

DEF Oakland vs. DEN: After the Broncos terrible performance against the Cardinals, look for Oakland to rebound from a bad game against the Jags. Oakland’s D has had its moments, and look for them to have more of them Sunday.

TE Jacob Tamme (IND) vs. JAX: Even though he’s a bit banged up, look for him to have a huge game against Jacksonville. The Jags don’t defend the Tight End very well, and knowing how much Dallas Clark has torched the Jags, Tamme should have a big game.

RB Rashad Jennings (JAX) vs. IND: After his 109 yards last week, and 3 TD’s in 3 games, look for Jennings to be a nice offset for MJD in a game where the Jags will run the ball plenty often.

Good Luck in Week 15!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 14 Fantasy Advice

Did you have a good Week 13? Now it’s definitely playoff time in some leagues, and for others it will be your last chance to get in. You have to make this week count, and I hope some of the matchups will help you out. Extra guys this week because it’s playoff time.

Who to Start:

QB Joe Flacco (BAL) vs. HOU MON: He had a pretty good game against a much better Steeler D on Sunday Night. On Monday he’ll play the well-rested, yet still pretty terrible Houston pass D which is still dead last in the league.

QB Josh Freeman (TB) vs. WSH: He has not played well against the better teams on Tampa’s schedule, but the Redskins aren’t one of those teams. Statistically, they are very poor on pass D, and that should allow Freeman to tear them up.

RB Knowshon Moreno (DEN) vs. ARZ: Arizona’s run D is horrible, and with former RB coach Eric Studesville now at the helm, expect to see more rushes for Moreno, and he should benefit from those.

RB Felix Jones (DAL) vs. PHI: Even though Tashard Choice saw a good chunk of the action last Sunday, still expect Felix Jones to perform well. The Eagles allow about 17 fantasy points a game to opposing running backs.

WR Michael Crabtree (SF) vs. SEA: Despite the QB situation in San Fran being in flux, Crabtree has caught a TD in 5 of his last 8 games. Look for that success to continue against Seattle, whose pass D has been struggling of late.

WR DeSean Jackson (PHI) vs. DAL: Despite maybe being disgruntled, he should play well against a bad Dallas secondary who despite having 4 INT’s of Peyton Manning gave up tons of yards as well.

TE Zach Miller (OAK) vs. JAX: The Jaguars struggle to defend the Tight End, and with the Raiders pass protection being as bad as it is, Jason Campbell will need a safety blanket. Here he is.

TE Brandon Pettigrew (DET) vs. GB: The safety blanket factor could also be in play here with Drew Stanton to Pettigrew, and that should add to his value considering how much trouble the Pack have had stopping Tight End’s this year.

DEF Atlanta vs. CAR: The Panthers offense is abysmal, and the Falcons should take full advantage of that. Poor Jimmy Clausen.

DEF New York Giants vs. MIN: Whoever is starting at QB for the Vikes will be under siege against a suddenly resurgent Giants D. Since that 1st half against the Jags, they have allowed 10 points, and forced 8 turnovers since then.

Who to Sit:

QB Sam Bradford (STL) vs. NO: The should-be offensive rookie of the year could have some troubles against a Saints defense who despite last week still allow very few fantasy points to opposing QB’s.

QB Carson Palmer (CIN) vs. PIT: Shouldn’t this be a given? Oh well, the Bungals (intentional), have lost 9 in a row and have looked horrible doing so, and the Steelers should take full advantage of a hapless offense.

RB Marshawn Lynch (SEA) vs. SF: Despite his big stat line against Carolina, he should be avoided this week against a ‘9ers D that has allowed a total of 5 rushing TD’s all season.

RB Ronnie Brown (MIA) vs. NYJ: Despite the running game being Miami’s best option to generate offense, the Jets D has to take its frustrations out somewhere, and unfortunately, it will be on Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.

WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. ATL: I know Atlanta’s pass D is shaky, but he had 3 catches against the Seahawks. No offense, but that should be a red flag barrage for all his owners,

WR Deion Branch (NE) vs. CHI: He has found the going easy with the Pats, but off a 6 day break solely and with the Bears D being 3rd in the NFL, I would avoid Branch this week.

TE Owen Daniels (HOU) vs. BAL MON: Such a shame for a great potential Tight End with all of his injuries this season, and facing the Ravens D doesn’t help too much either.

TE Dustin Keller (NYJ) vs. MIA: He’s seen fewer targets since the offense was opened up with Santonio Holmes now in the mix, and I can’t see him doing well on Sunday with all of those factors against him.

DEF Chicago vs. NE: This is more of a risk pick then it is a flat out sit, but with the Pats riding high ever since the bad loss against the Browns, the Bears D may be under siege at Soldier Field.

DEF Dallas vs. PHI: Also a potential given, but considering the points this unit put up last week, you may consider starting them. It’s Mike Vick, on a 10 day break though.

3 Super Sleepers for Week 14:

QB Jon Kitna (DAL) vs. PHI: Again, this is for players who don’t have good options before they look at the waiver wire. With Asante Samuel not at 100% and Kitna on fire, look for him to maybe light up this Eagles D.

RB James Starks (GB) vs. DET: My new trademark for this column is now, “who?” And again, this is true. He is the new “feature” back” in Green Bay, and he should have success against the Lions D who time and again have trouble stopping the run.

WR Jacoby Ford (OAK) vs. JAX: Here’s your true sleeper this week. Ford has been a playmaking machine, catching the ball and returning kicks. Against a Jags secondary who doesn’t defend the pass very well, and is missing their starting strong safety, look for Ford to shine.

Good Luck in Week 14 and in the Playoffs!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week 13 Fantasy Advice

Did you have a good week 12? This may be your last week to get into the playoffs, for others, it may be the penultimate. Either way: you’d best be ready for the toughest fantasy week of the year. I’m here to lend a helping hand of course.

Writer’s Note: This column will not include the Thursday game HOU/PHI.

Who to Start:

QB Matt Cassel (KC) vs. DEN: There are many great QB matchups this Sunday, but this one is the best. Denver’s pass D, and D overall, is horrendous, and Cassel threw for 467 against Denver in Week 10. Granted most of that was in garbage time, but still he remains a must start for anyone with QB issues.

RB Felix Jones (DAL) vs. IND: With Marion Barber sidelined due to a nagging calf injury, Jones will see the bulk of the workload. It helps that he’s facing the Colts and their banged up, porous run-D.

WR Steve Johnson (BUF) vs. MIN: If he can get over last week soon enough, Johnson should be a good start against Minnesota. Minnesota allows tons of yards to wideouts, about 152 yards a game, so Johnson should be started.

WR Mike Williams (TB) vs. ATL: What a nice surprise he’s been for Tampa this year. On pace to finish with over 1000 yards receiving, he has found success against the many a bad D Tampa has faced this year. Atlanta does give up a ton of yards to opposing wideouts, so Williams is a good start this week.

TE Jacob Tamme (IND) vs. DAL: Who? The new Colts starting Tight End, who has seen a good chunk of passes thrown his way since Dallas Clark went on IR. That should continue against a bad Dallas pass D, and Peyton Manning may need a safety blanket because of his O-Line (did I just say that?)

DEF New Orleans vs. CIN: The Saints D has been off and on this year, not nearly as productive as last season. But, that should change against Cincinnati’s pretty poor offense which also turns the ball over plenty.

Who to Sit:

QB Donovan McNabb (WSH) vs. NYG: Even though he’s on pace to break his own single-season pass records, try to avoid him against the Giants. One, the Giants D is revamped and played much better, and 2, McNabb doesn’t have much of an O-Line to help him out.

RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis (NE) vs. NYJ MON: The New England starting RB job is a carousel, one’s in, the next week he’s out. Even though Green-Ellis has been a great pickup off waivers for those who needed him, avoid him against the Jets great rush D.

WR Michael Crabtree (SF) vs. GB: Even though he’s getting TD’s, he isn’t getting many yards. Once the TD’s go away, he may not do much at all. That could start against Green Bay, whose pass D is pretty good, and is playing pretty well right now.

WR Hines Ward (PIT) vs. BAL: Not only is this a bad matchup for Ward and the Steelers, Big Ben has a broken, not a sprained foot as was once believed. That could provide problems for all Steelers offensive players, Ward hurting the most. Avoid if possible.

TE Todd Heap (BAL) vs. PIT: Heap is quietly having a great year for Baltimore, but watch out against Pittsburgh. In his last 5 games against the Steelers, he has 7 catches for 102 yards only.

DEF New England vs. NYJ MON: This defense has been victimized by plenty of great offensive teams this year, and with Mark Sanchez having 10 days to prepare, and the Jets O having success against New England this year, the Pats D should be avoided this week.

3 Super Sleepers for Week 13:

QB Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. DET: As much as he turns the ball over, he should feast on a bad Lions pass D on Sunday. After his great performance against the Eagles, his success should continue.

RB Mike Tolbert (SD) vs. OAK: The Chargers are a lot like the Colts with the amount of injuries and players they’ve affected, yet seem to keep rolling along with success. Tolbert has been a great find off the waiver wire, and he should continue to impress against an Oakland rush D that struggles to defend the run.

DEF St. Louis vs. ARZ: After that Monday Night debacle for the Cards offense, the Rams D should be licking its chops. They had a good game against the Cards in Week 1, and with the Cards fading fast that should hold true once again.

Good Luck in Week 13!

FIFA Brings a Power-Qatar to U.S World Cup Hopes

Qatar is a country many have probably never heard of before. It's about the size of Connecticut, and as many people live there as people live as in Idaho. Yet, it will host the 2022 World Cup. Over the U.S, Australia, South Korea and Japan, 3 of those who have already hosted a World Cup before. Maybe this is homerism, but why did this happen? Why did the safest most accountable bid lose to such a gamble? There are many reasons why this is a risk, but this may show much more of what's going on at Soccer's highest organization.

Compared to the rest of the candidates, Qatar provided the most risk for FIFA. As mentioned, the country is the size of Connecticut and has as many people live there as in Idaho. The FIFA guideline for a good attendance is about 3.5 million people. That's double the amount of people that live in Qatar. The home country's fans provide the majority of the attendance at these World Cups, and the people while willing to go, probably can't, or enough can't go. Another issue is of course, weather. The average high in the capital Doha, in July is 115 degrees Fahrenheit. And soccer is safe to play in that right? Not so much. Qatar's campaign said that they could provide temperatures in the stadiums at around 66 degrees. That's a tall order, for a country that doesn't have those kinds of stadia right now. They lead the world in Carbon Dioxide production, and even though they have very liberal laws regarding Islam rules and culture, religious laws in Arab countries still take precedent. Alcohol sales are banned, but that will be lifted for the World Cup. As much as they want to try, it seems a bit implausible to walk over Islamic law that easily for a month. Where should the many fans from other countries stay? The players? The media? The FIFA officials. All of that would need to be built. The U.S had all of that, easily and readily available today. And all of that is just logistics. That would seem enough to turn voters off. But, it didn't. Which begs the question, how did Qatar win the bid over 4 better countries for this hosting?

Qatar is a wealthy country, yet most of that is held by the royal family in charge. The family, plus the bid committee paid many stars, including Zinedine Zidane, to lobby for them. They were able to convince the already questionable leadership of FIFA, that the futuristic stadia that they could provide and the prospect of an untapped soccer area would be enough to overtake the U.S. FIFA has been rocked by scandals of bribery among the highest members for years, and when you connect the dots, you see what may have happened behind the scenes. These scandals and this selection put a black mark on the already corrupt organization. But, this doesn't even come close to what many in the U.S are calling a major knock against soccer in the States.

Many powerful people in the U.S soccer community have voiced out angrily against this choice. President Obama called this, "the wrong choice". Tweets ravaged twitter expressing discontent for this choice. "Qatar? Time to stop playing along. They can come to us when they want us to care about soccer again. They can bribe us next time," wrote one fan on twitter. "USA Soccer is set back another 20 years" wrote another. Many in the U.S media played up the many problems that Qatar may have, and Alexi Lalas, former U.S great, brought up the idea that the U.S should be a back-up host in case Qatar fails. All of that is fine, but the fact that the U.S wasn't picked outright is still shocking, and humbling. In the 1st round of voting, Qatar was 1 vote away from an absolute majority, meaning they would have won in the 1st round of voting. Something seems odd about that, but the decision is still final (for now).

This is not meant to bash Qatar at all. When the world looks back on the decision in June of 2022, we may see ourselves as naive nay-sayers if the bid proves to be successful. But, the vote was made in December of 2010, and in the 2010 world, this just doesn't make logistical sense. The U.S bid committee put together as squeaky clean of a bid as possible, but evidently it wasn't enough. You can read many articles and watch many videos on FIFA scandals, and you'd be 30 years older by the time you finished. But this still begs the question, why Qatar? Only FIFA voters could tell you that right now, and the answer bring up more questions. Even the IOC controversy in the mid 90's can't upstage the potential corruption behind the scenes. However it happened, Qatar is the host for the 2022 World Cup, and the world's eyes will turn there 12 years from now. U.S fans will be left to wonder what if, and why, for a long time coming.

Writer's Note: Watch this video on youtube to get an idea of FIFA scandals. Great job by the BBC.