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Blunt questions for Grant Wahl: speaking with the man hoping to take down Sepp Blatter and clean up FIFA
Interview by Eric Beard, writing from Barcelona. Illustration by Jon Horner.
I often assume the role of a romantic or even an idealist when writing about football. When Grant Wahl announced his intention to oppose Sepp Blatter, it was genuinely invigorating. What would FIFA be like under, more or less, a man of the people? For football fans everywhere it is an intoxicating image. Millions like myself already get enough enjoyment out of taking reign of teams in FIFA 11 or Football Manager, but actually being El Presidente at the governing body of the beautiful game? For many passionate supporters that’s an equivalent to being the god of football. EA Sports, make it happen.
Despite my initial indulgence in the notion that someone with values like myself rather than like those of Gordon Gecko could be in power, reality came and brought me down to my feet. Idealism aside, with the current set up of FIFA elections, displacing Sepp Blatter or even Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam will be so difficult even Arsene Wenger has the word ‘impossible’ on the tip of his tongue. With that in mind, a few logistical and even moral issues arose. Although I became quite a skeptic of Grant’s motivations behind his movement, thankfully he took time out of his busy schedule to answer everything I had on my mind, from the basic to the blunt…
2011- A Year in Review
Another long and drawn out writing post. I know a lot of you don’t like these and that is fine, but I like to do them….so get over it.
Last year around this time I made a post about m goals for 2011. Basically the only real goal I gave myself was to push myself out of my comfort zone….I’m not going to lie I really did struggle with this one quite a lot. I wasn’t really sure I would be able to do this the way I wanted to, but in the end I definitely think I accomplished it.
I went away to Argentina by myself for 3 months. Then while I was in Argentina I traveled to the end of the world ALONE. I worked in a field I wasn’t use to, in a country where language barriers made my ability to communicate less than perfect.
I actually asked for different opportunities and went for them despite my own reservations. I ended up as the student on Northeastern’s board of appeals in the OSCCR office, I got a job working on a mobile health van, and I had a community service experience that truly opened my eyes to what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I actually started going out at night with friends, in Boston and in Buenos Aires. I wasn’t afraid to let myself have a good time and I always survived. I lived with new people that I didn’t know and it all turned out fine.
In terms of 2011 I would say it was a pretty good year for me. I tried really hard to not be comfortable. To not be okay or complacent with how my life was going and to really step outside of my comfort zone. I really don’t know how else I could have pushed myself. So in reviewing 2011 I’m going to give myself a check for destroying whatever semblance of a comfort zone that I had.