The Magic Handshake

If there's one thing Our Man Sepp loves, it's ridiculous, gaudy awards. FIFA's website meticulously maintains a list of the many and varied awards Blatter has received over the years, such as his knighthood (with the title of Dato') from the Sultanate of Pahang, the 'Grand Cordon du Wissam Alaouite'(Morocco) and the highly coveted 'Commandeur de L'Ordre National du 27 Juin 1977' of Djibouti.

One problem with the list - apart, of course, from the a) blatant self-promotional preening and b) the ludicrous nature of awards like 'Prince Yaroslav the Wise' Order V grade in Ukraine (no, I did not make that up) - is the fact that over the years Seppy has been "honored" by many a despicable despot world leader who ends up either a) dead at the hands of his own citizenry who got tired of being abused or b) in the dock at the International War Crimes Tribunal.

Those awards have to be quickly expunged from the list.

Thus, stuff like the lovely "Humane Order of African Redemption" he raced to Liberia to collect from now-convicted war criminal and human rights abuser Charles Taylor, who just began a 50 year prison sentence after having been convicted at The Hague, has to disappear.

You have to wonder whether sometimes, late at night after a rough day of hearing himself described as an idiot, Blatter dons his entire collection of medals, sashes and assorted gewgaws and parades around his office like a latter day Hermann Goering until he regains his sense of who he really is.

However that may be, the one that Sepp really longs for, the Big Kahuna that could make all the degrading, vote-groveling hugs and kisses with degenerates like Grondona and Texiera and Warner all worth it, is of course the Nobel Peace Prize.

Blatter sees it as the final, crowning glory of a career spent single-handedly fighting the good fight against the forces of evil. Like, for example, Swiss prosecutors.

You'll doubtless recall the notorious incident last November when Blatter told a speechless assemblage of lapdog media drones that if, during a match, one player heaped racial abuse on another player, that is was all just part of the game and that afterwards, a handshake between the two made it all better.

The storm of abuse he got for that one had him backpedaling for weeks until, finally, in true Sepp Blatter fashion, he announced that the controversy was over. This kind of thing actually works for Sepp, mostly because it's a signal to the media to not ask him about it again at risk of losing their coveted FIFA press credentials.

Works like a charm. What's heaping a little more abuse on Blatter really worth compared to total venue access to all World Cup games?

(The particularly churlish might call this "selling out". The privileged few call it "maintaining access" so they can "do their jobs". Tomayto, tomahto.)

But it seems that Sepp's faith in the Magic of the Handshake remains unshakeable.

Thus it was that, at the just-concluded FIFA Congress in Budapest, the "Happy President" (as he insists on calling himself) cut a deal with none other than the Nobel Peace Prize Foundation for the purposes of solving that pesky war problem.

"The Handshake for Peace" will be mandatory FIFA game procedure beginning with the FIFA World Club Championships in December. (Apparently there wasn't time to jam it down UEFA's throat in time for Euro 2012).

The team captains will meet on the field AFTER each match and exchange the aforementioned handshake.

But it can't be just any old grip and grimace. No indeed. It has to be what is sometimes referred to as the "Bro" shake.

Here, with profound thanks to BigSoccer Legend "Hardhead" for the video, is our own beloved leader explaining the deal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdePMBn-PwY

This brings up some obvious questions, such as "What happens if the two captains refuse to do this?" and "What happens when the two captains end up rolling around on the ground punching each other in the mouth?" and "What is the penalty if one captain tries to slip the other one the tongue?".

And that leaves aside the suitability of having female captains do a "Bro" shake, and if you think I'm taking that one any farther you're nuts.

Personally, I think he's missing the boat here.

Instead of going with some lameass Homie thing, Blatter ought to mandate a full-blown Dap kind of deal.

Imagine of you will: it's the end of another hard-fought US/Mexico match in Columbus, Ohio that ended in yet another 2-0 score for the USA.

The captains - let's say Maza Rodriguez and Carlos Bocanegra - meet in the center circle amid a deafening roar of U-S-A, U-S-A, and treat the crowd to one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cxq62GwT9o

Sportscenter Top ten, here we come.