Bob Franken

Chicago is NOT Their Kind of Town

Let’s face it, Oak Street Beach in Chicago is no Impanema. Where Rio De Janiero has its Bossa Nova tradition, Chicago is better known for its “Boss of Bosses” history. Whatever the reason, the International Olympic Committee has chosen Rio to host the 2016 games, handing the United States’ Celebrity-in-Chief a bit of embarrassment.

That’s Oprah Winfrey, of course, who had also brought Barack and Michelle Obama to play like Chamber of Commerce boosters. But it wasn’t enough. The members of the IOC, who are not that keen on the U-S anyway, finally succumbed to the samba song of Rio, after tossing Chicago out in the first round of its final deliberations. It wasn’t the Second City, it was Fourth.

The rap against Rio is security. The place is dangerous as hell. But Chicago is no great shakes in the crime department either. Besides, South America has never had an Olympics before. The last two in North America were in Salt Lake City, where the Winter Olympics struggled with a bribery scandal and Atlanta, which struggled with someone who tried to blow up the place.

At least the President had the good sense to be in his plane, flying back from Copenhagen to DC when the vote was taken. And it’s a real good thing he wasn’t in Chicago’s Daley Plaza where the locals had gathered to celebrate the city’s selection. Instead, they got to watch the rejection on the giant TV. Most in the crowd were described as “stunned”. Except for that one guy who raised his middle finger at the screen. Had the President witnessed that, he might have had a flashback and thought he was addressing Congress.

So the people of Chicagoland will have to do without the championship competition of the Olympics. But at least they have the Cubs and we all know how many baseball championships they’ve won.

But the the 50 million dollar campaign to get the Olympics to the Windy City has been blown away. Now the blame-placing can begin. Starting with President Obama who has probably already asked “Whose stupid idea for me to go was this, anyway?” Unless it was Michelle’s idea.

If that was the case, maybe next time, he can just say to her “I’d love to, but I’m too busy with (Health Care, Afghanistan, Iran, the Economy, TV appearances, whatever).”

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