Check my math

FIFA, the highest governing body of the game called association football (AKA soccer), is apparently full of crooks. As a thing, soccer is barely on the periphery of my perception because, hello, American, but I know two things about it. One, FIFA is well-known to be full of crooks. And two, it’s “the world’s most popular sport.” According to the Wikipedia, it’s played (played!) by 250 million people worldwide. Crazy.

What struck me about the story linked to above were the financial numbers. FIFA is the world body for soccer. I know just enough to be dangerous here (for example, there’s other big football organizations like the British Premier League), but this most popular sport in the world is surprisingly inefficient as a business when compared to other sports like baseball and American football. 

According the Times story, FIFA reported $5.7 billion in revenue from 2011 to 2014. Business Insider reported the Brazil World Cup in 2014 made up 85% of that, or $4.8 billion. Those numbers more or less agree. So in non-World Cup years, FIFA had, on average, $900 million in revenue annually. The BBC says the Premier League generated $4.6 billion over the 2013-14 season. There’s a crazy number of association football leagues in the world and I don’t have the time to add up all their revenues, though I did find that the United States Soccer Federation raked in a cool $65 million (no “b”) in 2013.

In 2014, Major League Baseball’s revenue was about $9 billion. The National Football League sees about $9.5 billion. And that’s just in the United States (plus Toronto). 

So yeah, world’s most popular sport by far, but the main U.S. sports (I didn’t even look at basketball) generate way, way more revenue per fan. If soccer ever gets a foothold in the U.S., it could easily eclipse the Premier League’s revenues (which, I assume, are the highest of all football leagues). But how many sports can one population of people care about and which of the “big three” in the U.S. (not even counting something like NASCAR) can a game that routinely ends in a tie and doesn’t have logical gaps into which commercials can be fitted knock off?

Wife, no. Kids? Sure.

According to Harris, two-thirds of Americans beat their children. I’m actually shocked the number is that high. I mean, I often feel guilty just yelling at my kids. I can’t imagine doing to them what I recall was done to me when I was a kid.

I recall my dad using his belt on me. One time in particular I recall very specifically. Not what caused him to do it, though. Only that it happened. I also recall being disciplined with a paddle in grade school by the principal. There was a group of three or four of us involved in whatever it was that caused it. Again, I only remember the result, not what precipitated it.

You don’t beat other people. Period. At first, my thinking about Adrian Peterson was that breaking the skin as he apparently did (and admits to) was the line too far, but the more I think about it the more I realize the appropriate thought is that you should never strike your kids for any reason whatsoever. How is it possible that we’re in a place in our societal development where striking one’s spouse just once regardless of injury or consequence is never acceptable but there are those who would actively defend stuffing a bunch of leaves in a kid’s mouth and whipping them until they bleed?

It’s not as though there aren’t consequences for the child. According to Slate:

Spanking can increase a child’s risk of aggression, antisocial behavior, and mental health disorders later in life. It slows cognitive development and decreases language skills. Spanking may not leave outward signs of injury. But the mental scars it inflicts can last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are allowing Peterson to come back and play. Said Zygi:

At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action.

Not good enough. He sounds like he’s saying this is purely a legal matter. That if Peterson isn’t convicted, then everything’s cool. That’s bullshit. Abuse is abuse. Hitting a family member should result in the same treatment regardless of their height, age, or gender.

I don’t know if I can stomach watching the Vikings play. Deactivating him was the right thing to do. Keeping him deactivated is the only appropriate course of action.

Apparently, in the NFL, you’re out if you coldcock your wife but are OK if you make your child bleed. So take it out on your kids.