Sure. US, Mexico, and Canada, with the US getting three quarters of the games, including the quarterfinals on. Why not?
I don’t mean “Why not?” in the sense of, “List for me the myriad ways this is a ridiculous idea.” I mean, what about this idea won’t fit the 2026 World Cup? 2010 and 2014 World Cups have stadiums now being used as third division homes, if not bus depots. Vladimir Putin is going to host a propaganda exercise that would make Leni Riefenstahl look subtle. Qatar is a bad idea going wrong as we speak. And 2026 will be stuffed with 48 teams. Of course it should be split among three countries, proportionate to the size of their respective nuclear arsenals. What could possibly be more appropriate?
Back before Bill Archer was proven a seer, I mean a freaking fortune telling savant, I was sitting around wondering if the US World Cup in 2022 would have important games in our prime time, rather than European prime time. See, because, Euro prime time for World Cups are midday summer boilers here, often as not. The 1994 and 1999 World Cup finals, seen objectively, were murdered by the weather. Nighttime kickoffs for those games would have created legends.
Now? Why not hold games at Jerry Jones Stadium with the roof closed, or the Alamodome with grass plates, or in Busch Stadium as part of a doubleheader with the Cardinals? Why not have the final kick off at high noon from Sun Devil Stadium? Why not pay tribute to the Aztecs and/or Oneida SC, and play with a solid rubber ball?
No, seriously. A World Cup with a rubber ball? You wouldn’t watch that until your eyes fell out? Don’t lie to me.
Sure, a World Cup that isn’t a farce would be very pleasant. We passed rational a few exits ago. The only thing that would make this bid better is if Bat Country had a national team. This World Cup has the potential to move the Doomsday Clock forward three, maybe four seconds.
The bid competition alone is going to be a dystopian Wonderland. How do I know? My close, personal friend Andrew Das (I follow him on Twitter) told me.
“Gulati said that the bid had the full support of President Trump, whose tough talk about Mexico was a major theme in his campaign. Gulati said Trump was especially encouraged about Mexico taking part.”
That’s right, Mexico is taking part! Is Mexico getting the respect it deserves, with its ten crummy little games in the first two rounds? Your first thought might be to say no. The vast majority of your next twenty thoughts might also be to say no, or variations thereof. But FMF President Decio de Maria has you covered, friends. Close, personal friend Steven Goff (he hasn't blocked me on Twitter yet, although I'm sure that's simply an oversight) quotes De Maria: “Yes, it’s going to be ten games in Mexico, but also games in LA, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix. For us it’s home.”
If there’s anything that sums up this World Cup bid as a bedtime story for Western civilization, it’s putting Donald Trump as the face of a bid where Mexico claims the entire Route 66 swath of the United States as “home.” The New World Order Cup. The Jade Helm World Cup. I wonder how much tickets will cost in ameros. Trump is going to build a wall, and De Maria is going to put a free kick curling over it.
Under the perhaps questionable assumption that there will be a 2030 World Cup, Das tells us that South America plans to focus on a bid that centennial host Uruguay would share with Brazil and Argentina. They should sell the rights to televise the negotiations. And how would you like to be the AFA official who gets to explain why Uruguay gets the opening game and Brazil gets the final? Or however it shakes out – I don’t really see a whole lot of non-murder scenarios here.
After that – well, the possibilities are limitless. Russia/Ukraine, Ethiopia/Eritrea/South Sudan, China/Taiwan. No idea is too crazy anymore. After all those years Sepp Blatter tried to win a Nobel Peace Prize, it is only fitting to make his legacy the World Cup as Horseman of War.
Right now the 2026 Laughter From NAFTA is a heavy favorite, but there are other options. Australia, for example, is poised to build a bid around its natural advantages, such as Not Being Endorsed By Donald Trump. If something does go wrong, spare a thought for Sunil Gulati, the first man to bid on three separate World Cups, and lose them all.