Brian Fobi 
Member since Jun 12, 2010

n303642_32627371_5970_jpg-magnum.jpg

A former attorney and current Ph.D. student from Yale University, I have been in Cape Town since October. I study African and American history.

Currently

In Johannesburg after a too-long journey from Cape Town

Updated on June 12, 2010 at 5:03 AM

Stats

Friends

  • No friends yet.
Become My Friend Find friends »

Brian Fobi 

Recent Comments

Re: “America's failed World Cup bid: a legal argument for abandoning FIFA

Dr. Said,

My point about the size of Qatar had to do with 1) its capacity to host 350,000 visitors, 2) the sensibleness of building 9 stadiums in a nation this small, 3) its ability to field a passably competitive team, and 4) the overall experience of fans. You are right that there are many nearby nations, but none of the concerns that I raised are addressed by your attempt at a counter-argument. I suppose that one could ask people to stay in Dubai, for example, and fly in for games. But, if a nation cannot even successfully house the fans who want to watch the games, that speaks volumes. (also, for what it's worth, "most" Arabs, as you claims CANNOT fly private jets or take yachts. the overwhelming number of folks there are in fact quite poor. even if that wasn't the case, "let them take yachts" would make for a rather odious travel plan catering to only the super-rich)

Moreover, I would urge you to consult a map. The only nation contiguous to Qatar is Saudi Arabia. Since you mention driving there, I would note that that inconvenient 51% of the population known as females could not in fact drive from the UAE or otherwise through Saudi Arabia because women aren't allowed to drive there. This is, of course, but one of the myriad indignities visited upon women in this part of the world. These problems, as I point out in the article, do not end once they cross the border.

Finally, for what it's worth, I would have preferred that China *not* have hosted the Olympics. And, since you brought it up, I'll make two points. First, pointing out that someone else is much worse than you (from my position, China is not, but that argument can be had another day) is no defense. This "tu quoque" argument fails on its face and is rightly rejected out of hand. Second, if the purpose of sending the game to Qatar is to open up the Middle East, then China offers ample proof that showcase events will do nothing but simply embolden and legitimize a nation on the international scene. As I note in the article, Qatar is not the worst nation in the Middle East when it comes to human rights, but that is an easy test to pass. If you want to send the games to this part of the world, send them to Turkey, an actual nation with a reasonable sized population, a decent soccer team, things that tourists might actually want to see, and a secular democratic government that respects the rights of women and has values more closely in line with those that FIFA should stand for.

~Brian Fobi

Posted by Brian Fobi on 12/10/2010 at 7:43 PM

Re: “America's failed World Cup bid: a legal argument for abandoning FIFA

@ DG Rollins,
I would say that there is a qualitative difference between America's potential improve as a soccer power and Qatar's. There are 400,000 Qatari citizens--- Slovenia, the smallest nation at the 2010 WC, is 5x larger than that. Moreover, Qatar has no real youth system, has never until now shown much interest in producing quality club or national teams. They are utterly inept at soccer. Twelve years is a long time, but not that long. The core of its 2022 national team will be entering their teen years right now, and there is no evidence to suggest that they have done anything to develop talent. The United States had, in the 1980s, an enormous immigrant population, lots of people who played youth soccer, and some sporadic successes in terms of club (NASL) and national team (1930 WC). Qatar has nothing, and it's difficult to imagine that a population the size of Raleigh, North Carolina could field an internationally competitive squad.

Posted by Brian Fobi on 12/10/2010 at 4:37 PM

Re: “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Nick Saban, Lebron James and the language of professionalism

Barry,

I will gladly concede that a coach is immensely important, but really, to suggest that a coach should be paid 210 times more than a team's best athlete is ridiculous. The Lakers without Phil Jackson might not win a championship, but they also wouldn't win without Kobe and Pau. (incidentally, where the Lakers to use this same ratio, Phil Jackson would be paid the lofty sum of $4.2 billion dollars per year)

The ratio -which is my point- is way out of whack. Excellent coaches should be paid well, but 210 times more is an *enormous number.* The reason, of course, is not that Saban is overpaid, per se, but that his athletes (without whom he could not win a single game) are grossly underpaid vis-a-vis what Alabama, the NCAA and the coaches are making.

~Brian

Posted by Brian Fobi on 09/03/2010 at 8:14 PM

Re: “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Nick Saban, Lebron James and the language of professionalism

Barry,

I will gladly concede that a coach is immensely important, but really, to suggest that a coach should be paid 210 times more than a team's best athlete is ridiculous. The Lakers without Phil Jackson might not win a championship, but they also wouldn't win without Kobe and Pau. (incidentally, where the Lakers to use this same ratio, Phil Jackson would be paid the lofty sum of $4.2 billion dollars per year)

The ratio -which is my point- is way out of whack. Excellent coaches should be paid well, but 210 times more is an *enormous number.* The reason, of course, is not that Saban is overpaid, per se, but that his athletes (without whom he could not win a single game) are grossly underpaid vis-a-vis what Alabama, the NCAA and the coaches are making.

~Brian

Posted by Brian Fobi on 09/03/2010 at 8:13 PM

Re: “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Nick Saban, Lebron James and the language of professionalism

Oliver,

First, thank you for your kind comments.

You are too right on point #2. I had a long, long, long series of email exchanges on how Lebron complicates a Marxian examination of the NBA, etc. In the end, I could really only comfortably come to two conclusions: 1) I don't think that Marx's life and times could have equipped him to contemplate a billionaire employee, and 2) this is the continuation of herky-jerky process that began in teh 19th Century and in which the current era in which we operate tends to suggest that labor (that is, the players) are beginning to assert an upper hand. Beyond that, I think that we need to really begin moving beyond and turning over how we think about these things because our current vocabulary and approach is perhaps not suited to understand Lebron as a phenomenon within the Marxian universe.

~Brian

Posted by Brian Fobi on 08/27/2010 at 6:45 PM

Re: “When cynicism succeeds: Deliberate handball lifts Uruguay over Ghana

It is hard to make the claim that what happened marred the match. In sports people make these decisions all the time. You foul at the end of a basketball game to get the ball back, for example. Had he attempted to hide or dispute the handball, that would be different and dishonest. In effect, the player made the smart move by swapping out a near-100% chance of losing for an 80% chance of losing.

If you want to make an argument about what the rules *should* be, that's fine, but it really isn't relevant here. You play intensely and intelligently within the rules of the game and accept the penalties for when you circumvent them.

To be frank, there really isn't a case to be made at all that the game was "marred." What was unsporting was seeing Ghana milk the clock in extra time against the US by feigning injuries. That is dishonest and unsporting; taking a red card in exchange for saving a match is fair.

In the end, the real villain is Gyan. For all his boasting he couldn't hit a PK? Sorry, if you can't hit a PK you in no way deserve to advance to the next round.

Posted by Brian Fobi on 07/09/2010 at 4:19 PM

Re: “Five reasons why you shouldn't join the Brazil bandwagon in this World Cup

No, in fact Cristiano Ronaldo did *not* get a yellow card for diving. Check the game report (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_FIFA_Wor…)

What my stadium seats did let me see, though, was that both Juan (25th minute) and Felipe Melo (43rd minute) picked up yellow cards for persistent fouling of Portuguese players on breaks, mostly Ronaldo.

More broadly, though, after the display against Holland -which I basically predicted- you don't really have a leg to stand on.

To wit: "this team cheats, flops and pulls every dirty trick in the book in order to win. When they start to lose, they display an ugly petulance that is unmatched in international soccer."

Brazil behaved in precisely the way that I said that they would. Fine, I may know nothing about Brazilian soccer, and I may come from a country that Brazil beat in the Confed Cup, but...

I was right, I was right and... I was right. I said that this is how Brazil always goes out, and this was how they went out. Did I mention that I was right?

: )

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Brian

p.s. I was right.

Posted by Brian Fobi on 07/09/2010 at 9:18 AM

All Comments »

Favorite Places

  • None.
Find places »

Saved Events

  • Nada.
Find events »

Saved Stories

  • Nope.
Find stories »

Custom Lists

  • Zip.
 

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation