Some press this afternoon expressed their belief that if HBO’s late-night show host John Oliver is a man of his word — and they have no reason to think otherwise — he will drink a Bud Light Lime on his show this weekend.
On Sunday’s show, Oliver made promises that included drinking a Bud Light Lime — even though he has described that adult beverage as tasting like standing water under a trash receptacle — if FIFA sponsors forced its chief Sepp Blatter to resign. Blatter announced today he will step down, just days after he was re-elected to a fifth term heading the scandal-ridden organization Oliver says is ruining the sport he loves.
On the other hand, it’s far from clear it was the corporate sponsors that brought Blatter down. In fact, it seems more likely, according to a report in the New York Times, that Blatter was the focus of an ongoing corruption investigation and that U.S. officials involved in the probe hope to win cooperation of some of the FIFA officials indicted last week to work their way up the food chain.
Even so, Oliver seems resigned to his fate, tweeting this afternoon:
During Sunday’s edition of his Last Week Tonight, Oliver had said he hoped U.S. officials leading the charge could collect enough dirt on Blatter to bring him down — a move he said would restore the United States’ stature in world public opinion in much the same way as if “the Dutch somehow found a reason to extradite and lock up Donald Trump. You would think, ‘Holy sh*t – the Dutch are awesome! What a country!’ “
Failing that, Oliver’s strategy was to beg sponsors to demand Blatter step down or lose their financial support:
“Please, make Sepp Blatter go away. I will do anything. Adidas, I will wear one of your ugly shoes that make me look like the Greek god of aspiring DJs. McDonald’s, I will take a bite out of every item on your dollar menu, which tastes like normal food that was cursed by a vindictive wizard. And I will even make the ultimate sacrifice: Budweiser, if you pull your support and help get rid of Blatter, I will … personally drink one of your disgusting items. … It can be a Bud Light. I will even drink a Bud Light Lime, despite the fact that all the lime in the world cannot disguise the fact that this tastes like a puddle beneath a Long John Silver’s dumpster.”
It appears no news outlet today was reporting Budweiser, or any of the other sponsors, caused Blatter to make today’s announcement. The sponsors had, however, issued sternly worded statements in which they stopped short of demanding Blatter’s head on a platter but did urge FIFA to “rebuild a culture with strong ethical practices in order to restore the reputation of the games for fans everywhere,” and that failure to do so would result in “reassessing our sponsorship.” That from Visa, which was said to have issued the most serious expression of concern, which is about all you can expect from a sponsor these days – unless someone has been accused of molesting underage girls.
The sponsors today issued fresh statements with news of Blatter’s promise to resign, including this from Budweiser:
“We expect today’s announcement to accelerate Fifa’s efforts to resolve internal issues, install positive change and adhere to the highest ethical standards and transparency.”
Adding to Budweiser’s happiness over today’s news is the near-certain knowledge HBO on Sunday will show Oliver following through on his promise of drinking a Bud Light Lime. “Making eye contact with the camera, and I will say it was delicious,” he vowed two night ago. “Because if you get rid of the Swiss demon who has ruined the sport I love, this stuff will taste like f*cking champagne.”