Sunday, 12 April 2015

Major League of Nations

      "My boy's gonna play in the Big League, my boy's gonna turn some heads
        My boy's gonna play in the Big League, my boy's gonna knock 'em dead
        Ah, the Big League"

     The current state of global geopolitics is not unlike the realm of sport.  You've got bona fide heavyweight champs, team/countries that you shouldn't fuck with, and still others that are punching out of their weight class and a few that appear to be in a rebuilding phase.

     Having a sense of patriotism is also pretty much like cheering for your favourite sports team. Loyalty is cultivated damn near at birth, you proudly wear and display the home teams colours and pride is taken in victories, regardless of the size, and regardless of whether or not you actually contributed.  Even the now old League of Nations logo resembles that of a crappy CFL expansion franchise.  Remember that?  CFL expansion to the US?  Most people don't, because it was a truly awful idea.  I digress.  
     Geopolitics to most is about as interesting as picking pepper out of fly shit, so allow me to give you an update in terms that might help you better understand.   
     The Western Conference/World has long produced some truly great franchises/teams.  The UK dynasty that lasted nearly 200 years spawned today's undisputed front runner, the US of A.  The US completely dominated the entire 20th century, but ever since fall of '01, can't quite seem to get its act together, either on the road (Iraq '03-??), or at home ('08 Great Financial Crisis, or GFC).  The other, newer, expansion franchise built on the UK model, Canada, was consistently playing better than it could on paper, but recently seems to be losing steam and needs to return to its former style of play. Though Team Canada came through the GFC better than most, it looks increasingly clear they need to make some front office changes, or face a long rebuilding period.  They might have to look outside the franchise for a new GM, but that's just this observer's opinion.
     The European conference has been in shambles as of late, ever since they introduced revenue sharing.  A few clubs, Portugal, Italy and Spain are on the verge of relegation, while the Greeks are pretty much toast at this point, barring a trade deadline deal with perennial powerhouse,  zee Germans.  Europe's Northern division has been lead by the ever consistent Norwegians, a cautious but reliable squad that never gets caught playing from behind.  Iceland has really turned things around since '08 and is looking to make a name for themselves.  Pound for pound, they might be the best team in the world, but more on that at a later date.  
     Though they've been slowly rebuilding since suffering a collapse in '91, the Russkie's have steadily and until recently, quietly been re-tooling to the point where they nearly resemble the great Soviet teams of the '80's.  They are in the works for a huge deal with the Ukrainians that the League currently has under review.  Don't be surprised if this well coached and gritty team continues to compete for The Title.  I think they have a legitimate shot.  The Red's Pan-Continental rival, China, has been the Cinderella story of the 21st Century so far, shaking off it's Maoist heritage to become the other serious challenger to the American Hegemony.  Their momentum looks to be fading however, so who knows what tricks they'll pull out of their yellow sleeves.  Their arch-rivals, the Japs, have been re-building for two decades now and it is doubtful any surprises will be coming out of Nippon for awhile.
     Contrary to popular belief, North Korea is not Best Korea, as that title would have to go to the Non-Commie Dictatorship south of the DMZ.  These "Little Tigers" have been a pleasant surprise as of late.  India, as always, just hasn't played up to potential, though they could really turn it around if they can keep the pesky Paki's at bay and borrow a page or three from the Chinese five year playbook.
     The Middle East, the craziest division since the 1948 expansion brought the Jews their very own team, is as chaotic as ever.  Most teams in the division has seen significant front office changes over the past few years.  This Arab spring could also be surprising, with upstart Iran looking to really cement its presence.  Look out for a new division rivalry between the Persians and the Kingdom of Saud, and I also wouldn't rule out a new expansion franchise in Kurdistan once and if the dust ever settles.  Whether that dust contains radioactive fallout, well, that is still up in the air.  
     Africa's been the worst division for a long time and everybody knows it.  New franchise South Sudan still looks like a minor league team, as does anywhere that had a breakout of Ebola.  Nigeria looks like they've peaked and are now on the downslide and South Africa, who has long ruled the division, looks like they've hit a rough patch.    
     South America, quite frankly, might challenge Africa for the weakest division, with Argentina yet again set to fold unless they can find new ownership.  Smaller teams like Ecuador and Colombia can't quite string together enough wins, and Venezuela will likely remain in the cellar so long as their oil revenues remain low.
    The League of Nations is just like any other league.  It has a governing body that usually lacks a clue and is ineffective at actually governing (because of corruption), a few power house franchises that can do whatever they want because they have the money, rivalries that started before we were born and teams that will forever be in the basement.  Welcome to the New World Order, which is really the Old World Order, but with better looking jerseys.  


  1. This is brilliant!

  2. Probably the best one yet. I think I'll wait it out until the League expands to Mars before picking a favourite team.