Wednesday welcomes the year's second global sports extravaganza, as the World Cup begins. Just a few months ago, we worried that terrorists would invade the Russian Olympics. Now we wait to see if riots will tarnish the Brazilian World Cup.
The organizations that run the two events are similar, in that they manage to get cities and countries the earth over to do their bidding at exorbitant costs. Both the International Olympic Committee and FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, are arrogant and pretty much operate above sensible guidelines that governments otherwise demand of organizations.
Without soccer as its calling card, the IOC must take the high road –– as in high and mighty. It self-righteously sells sport as spiritual. It's dumping its big tent on Rio in two years, so if the World Cup doesn't bring the nation to economic despair, the Olympics will.
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.