Blatter: "Quick, Somebody Find Me a Trophy"

You know how FIFA does their level best to make the World Cup draw, which is essentially nothing more than drawing some names out of bowls, into a television extravaganza?

Sepp Blatter loves putting on a show, loves being on TV, loves being the center of attention and loves show biz. I think he sees himself as some kind of latter day Ed Sullivan, and it would not be shocking to see Topo Gigio drawing a piece of paper out of one of those bowls and squeaking "North Korea" at the elderly Swiss guy at the podium.

The problem is that this year Sepp is going to have a tough time following his own act. How to avoid the draw itself seeming anti-climactic is a problem that's likely keeping vast hordes of FIFA underlings, lackeys and boot lickers up all night.

You'll recall of course that Blatter was involved in the "seeding" of the European eliminations which is the real reason Ireland isn't going to South Africa in the first place. It was bungled so badly that even FIFA - in an almost unprecedented statement - acknowledged that they blew it.

Then came the Hand of Henry and Irelands' understandable - though clearly futile - efforts to get FIFA to give them another shot, which efforts culminated in Blatters' utterly embarrassing performance at the Soccerex conference yesterday when he led the room in a hearty round of laughter at Irelands' desperation.

Which of course was followed by Blatters' almost equally embarrassing "apology" for publicly mocking a FIFA member. He should have consulted Tiger Woods' ghost writer for a lesson in abject humility in the face of having royally screwed up.

But of course nobody had come after him with a Nike lob wedge and treated his face like a Pebble Beach sand trap, so perhaps he felt safe in offering the thinnest mea culpa on record.

So with the Irish federation still seething, Sepp figured he needed to do something to make it up to them. Not that he actually cares of course, but he's really taking some heat in the media over all of this and desperately wants to look magnanimous instead of the current pompous ass meme.

His solution:

He's decided to make up an award out of thin air and give it to the Irish.

HE REPORTEDLY CONSIDERED - very briefly - offering them financial restitution to equal the World Cup minimum payout for first round teams, but someone pointed out that the current figure is around $9 million, and Blatter would rather chop off a couple of his toes than cough up that kind of cash.

In any case, says Uncle Seppy, if he gave Ireland money he might have to give other people some too and, well, that will never do. This is known as the "University Registrar" argument:

"If we do it for you, we have to do it for everybody"

Blatter feels that Ireland deserves "Moral Compensation" (a phrase which I intend to work into my daily vocabulary, effective immediately) of some kind and having ruled out money he's seriously considering some kind of "special award".

Hey! I have an idea!

I only hope
that they can come up with a suitably large and gaudy trophy of some kind and have a televised presentation ceremony, so that we can all watch Liam Brady jam the thing straight up Blatters' John Brown hind end.

World football is in the best of hands.