Sepp Blatter at Thursday's opening of the FIFA Congress // Getty Images

Sepp Blatter at Thursday's opening of the FIFA Congress // Getty Images

Soccer

The consequences of the FIFA indictments

EUGENE, Oregon — You know who looks like geniuses right about now? Vin Lananna here at so-called TrackTown USA and Max Siegel, chief executive of USA Track & Field. They were two of the keys to bringing track and field’s world championships to Eugene in 2021. That might be the last hurrah.

In the aftermath of the FIFA indictments, it likely may be a generation or more before the United States sees a World Cup played here, women’s or men’s. And the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2024 bid, now centered on Boston? The International Olympic Committee won’t vote on 2024 until 2017 but this Boston bid can now be presumed to be DOA.

John Fish, the driving force behind the Boston 2024 bid // Getty Images

John Fish, the driving force behind the Boston 2024 bid // Getty Images

Boston 2024

What we have here is a bait-and-switch

Rule No. 1 of politics is look after yourself. Thus the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts have to be ever-so-quietly tripping over themselves in a race to bring the execution hammer down, and hard, on Boston 2024.

What we have here, friends, is a situation that is not good and is not going to get better. This space said so nearly two months ago in urging the relevant authorities to pull the bid. It’s actually worse now than then, and here’s why: Boston 2024 has devolved into a bait-and-switch, and if all involved would just step back and see it for what it is, and has become, they would be well-advised — for their own self-preservation — to kill it now.

Ben Blankenship of the United States winning the distance medley relay // photo Getty Images and IAAF

Ben Blankenship of the United States winning the distance medley relay // photo Getty Images and IAAF

Track and field

Hey, maybe USATF is building something big!

NASSAU, Bahamas — At a team meeting Friday night, before this second edition of the IAAF World Relays got underway, Dennis Mitchell, one of the American team coaches, urged the U.S. runners to consider that each of them was a hammer and this, these Relays, was a construction project. Use your hammer, he said. Build something big.

That they did.

Tyson Gay, left, with Mike Rodgers and Ryan Bailey after winning the men's 4x100 relay // photo Getty Images

Tyson Gay, left, with Mike Rodgers and Ryan Bailey after winning the men's 4x100 relay // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Tyson Gay and the power of forgiveness

NASSAU, Bahamas — What to make of Tyson Gay? Do you think that a mistake — an error that clearly is weighing on the man — ought to follow him around forever, ought to mark him as a cheater until the end of time, ought to drag him down and cast him out as an exile from among the others in track and field, a sport in which time has proven sanctimoniousness is altogether risky business?

Or do you believe in second chances? In the power and spirit of forgiveness? Isn’t the glory and grace of the story of the United States of America this very thing — that we all make mistakes and yet each and every one of us gets a second chance?

Usain Bolt running Saturday in the World Relays // photo Getty Images

Usain Bolt running Saturday in the World Relays // photo Getty Images

Track and field

Bolt gets crowd love, a dose of U.S. “respect”

NASSAU, Bahamas — It’s better, as the saying goes, in the Bahamas. They held the first edition of the IAAF World Relays here last year, to resounding success, such success that they resolved to do it all over again.

They needed just one more thing, really, to make the show even bigger and better, the biggest star of them all, the guy who is, more or less track and field in these first years of the 21st century, and when Usain Bolt took the baton and kicked it into gear on the blue Mondo track, you would have thought Thomas A. Robinson Stadium was going to lift off into the moonlit sky.