Thanks so much for finding this site, which will keep growing in days to come.
Thanks also for the hundreds of sweet notes on the NYT web site and in the social media in the past 24 hours (my kids keep me posted.)
My ongoing enjoyment of my colleagues and the bond with readers has me glowing since I filed my last regular Sports of the Times column.
In a day or three, as the first entry here, I will file one favorite postcard from 2011.
My plan is to take some good swings in the NYT sports section on occasion, and regularly write about other stuff here – older role models (nonagenarians) who are still working, my love of music and radio and cities and grandkids, and maybe I will write postcards from some exotic new place my wife chooses.
First things first: we’re taking one of the grand-daughters out for Xi’an lamb in Flushing Chinatown.
Talk to you soon.
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.