Making FIFA Look Good

Soccer fans love to laugh at the incredibly dumb things that escape Sepp Blatters' mouth on a regular basis.

Frequently cited is his imbecilic "women soccer players should wear tighter shorts" statement, which is used as a prime example of what a tone-deaf dunce the man truly is.

Particularly as fans of the Beautiful Game, we look at the Women's World Cup and WPS as signs that, whatever one's opinion of those endeavors might be, at least the world has eliminated the kind of ignorant reasoning which used to keep women tied to laundry tubs and kitchen stoves.

Then, in pre-Winter Olympic coverage, you come across someone like the President of the International Ski Federation, one Gian-Franco Kasper, who defends the refusal of the IOC to allow Women to ski jump at the Vancouver Olympics by announcing that the sport "seems not to be appropriate for women from a medical point of view."

Maybe we should give Blatter some credit after all; better a doddering, sexist fool than an utterly offensive troglodyte.

The real reasoning behind the decision, however, seems to be firmly rooted in the fact that, unlike virtually every other Olympic sport, women can compete on an even basis with men, as demonstrated when the Vancouver jumping venue opened in 2008 and Lindsey Van of the U.S. out-jumped the men and, in the process, set the record of 105.5 meters on the new 95-meter jump.

Soccer fans are quick to claim that they don't like the womens' version of the game because the bigger, stronger and faster men simply play better. If that's how you feel, fair enough.

But when a sport comes along where women may actually have an advantage, even though they would have a separate event and rankings, the fact that their recorded distances might surpass the mens' has the poobahs of international sport quivering under the beds.

Makes world football look positively enlightened by comparison; at least we're past worrying that the fragile little dears might hurt themselves.

As long as I'm on a social crusade this morning, here's soemthing else to consider:

THESE GUYS are selling a t shirt featuring Eric Frimpong and they claim that all profits from the sale will go to the Eric Frimpong Freedom Fund.

I have no idea whether that's the truth, although one would certainly figure there's not enough money involved to bother lying about so it's probably a good bet.

Either way, this seems to be the era of "raising awareness" as a high priority. I myself am somewhat puzzled when, for example, players in various sports wear pink shoes or pink shirts in an effort to "raise breast cancer awareness", although it seems to me that if you are so entirely disconnected from reality that you're not aware of one of the primary killers of women then seeing somebody wearing a pink glove isn't going to help you much.

(Having lost a close family member to that awful disease, I'd think saving the money those pink shoes cost and writing the ACS a check instead is a better idea. But maybe that's just me.)

On the other hand, wearing this shirt around:

I'd be willing to bet that you couldn't go an entire day without someone asking "Who the hell is Eric Frimpong" unless you were sitting at home.

Might indeed help to "raise awareness" of an unfortunate situation, and that's always a good thing.