Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We're Gonna Have a Rio... Good Time

Regardless of the outcome, I was fully intent on dedicating this week's entry to the 2016 Summer Olympics. As a Chicagoan, I wasn't particularly shocked that we lost out to Rio de Janiero; all the hype and hoopla you've heard in the past few weeks steered clear of the gaping flaws that ultimately killed our Olympian dreams: our city's history of corrupt politicians, a recent uptick in racially motivated violence, the lack of independent funding for such an event, and most crucially, horrifically poor planning by a steering committee that didn't understand what it took to make it all happen. (Outsourcing certain events to Minneapolis and South Bend? Seriously?) The committee's presentation to the IOC was heavy on glitz and glammer, with endorsements from American sports legends and Chicago-bred celebrities up the ying-yang, and the powers that be saw right through it.

Conservatives will pin the blame on President Obama but the real goat is Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who spent gobs of money that the city doesn't have to foolhardily pursue a lifelong pipe dream. Though Chicago has no intent of trying again for 2020 or 2024, the money lost by Hizzoner's marketing blitz will prevent my hometown from making another serious bid for at least another 20 years. I'm not saying any of this to be anti-Chicagoan or out of spite; it's just the wrong time for an American city to host such a grandiose event.

Other notes:

+ I won my fantasy baseball league! Well, one of them, anyway. I finished 5th out of 8 in the Yahoo/TV.com league, but in my other group I hammered my opponent 9-1 for the title.

+ I don't condone what David Letterman did, but at least he 'fessed up before the blackmail attempt spiraled further out of control. He apologized to his wife, he begged forgiveness to Stephanie Birkett (and God knows who else), and he expressed remorse to anyone that ever worked for him. Some public figures screw up and spend years trying to avoid admitting fault, but Letterman's mea culpa felt honest, punctual, and legitimate. In his defense, Dave won't change the subject because the media won't stop hounding him and his staff about the extortion, and as far as I'm concerned, the most controversial aspect of all this is the defendent is a producer for "48 Hours." On the other hand, I haven't a clue as to what the future holds for him, but if the public can forgive Johnny Carson for his various failed marriages --and assumed infidelities-- why not Dave?

+ An excellent, well-researched article about last weekend's "Obama's Checklist" sketch on SNL.

+ Finally, I just thought I'd mention that last weekend I finished Improv Level B at Second City. I start Level C --the first level to culminate with actual stage performances-- on October 18th.


  1. Like I said on Facebook, I would rather see the Super Bowl in Chicago than the Olympics. If I was there I would be celebrating.

    I'm also doing well in a Pick-em leauge I'm in with the NFL. I was in second place last week with 19 out of 24 that I got right [although we only do half of the games, stuff like the Giants/Chiefs game isn't in there], and after this week I'm 24-8 and I have the second highest score out of everyone that has picked all four weeks.

  2. Chicago dodged a huge bullet. A truly corrupt, incompetent city that can't even run its own parking meters or plow the streets when it snows. There was just too much work to be done, not enough resources, too much arrogance, the absolute worst thing that Mayor Daley lied to the public since June that the city was on the hook for cost overruns, and when it comes down to it... Rio is a more sexy city. And the first round of voting was the result of voter country pride & IOC politics of a heavily European sided comittee, and those bitter American pro-gamers say there was some anti-Americanism going on as well. But realistically, Chicago had no real chance at all. Everyone from Jack Conaty to Rick Morrissey were talking like this was a sure-thing, trying to dupe Chicagoans into believing it. Public support was like less than 50%. There was no way Chicago was going to turn a profit, impossible given their track record, and the Olympic games cost money, and would have only brought temporary jobs and buildings, and it's pretty pathetic Daley used the Olympics as a crutch to handle the city debts.

    As reported, NBC owns the Olympics television rights to the 2010 & 2012 games, worth $2.2 billion. The IOC gets more than half its revenue from broadcasting deals, and its rumored that the 2016 games won't be [pending] worth as much now. You know what I say? 2016 United States boycott! lol.

    Two things I learned: Denver actually won the games in 1976, then voters voted against it & got rid of the games, and in 1984 Los Angeles was the only city to bid on the games at all. That apparently was a very crucial moment for the Olympics, which of course mean nothing to me.

    As for Dave, he's always put off a creepy Uncle vibe. Some smartass woman on the radio said "We learned that Dave is a guy after all," like he was some woman-hating prude or something. I guess if people can forgive Jay Leno for not being funny for 17 years, they can forgive Dave. And what the fuck, Fallon & Leno taking shots at Dave, even tho they're not even in direct competition??

    And I'd like to close by saying: "Guess what, Daley, Obamas & Oprah - YOU AIN'T ALL THAT!!!"

  3. Joe, Chicago will never host the Super Bowl. The one reason: Soldier Field doesn't have a dome. Only cities in warm climates or with domes will host the Super Bowl. And the NFL is really reluctant on nothern domes hosting, due to that there was almost a snowstorm in Detroit in '06 right before that Super Bowl. And even if you want to attend the game, it'll cost you hundreds of dollars. Quite frankly, my interest in the Super Bowl has waned over the years and I can't take all the commercials and parties anymore.

  4. Actually, snowstorms have nearly wrecked two Super Bowls in Detroit. There was a five-minute delay of game in Super Bowl XVI because Vice President Bush was stuck in traffic, which held up the coin toss.

    Before I forget, here are my predictions for the LDS:

    New York over Minnesota in 3. Baker pitched tonight, so he'll only play one game in the series (likely Game 3). The Yankees have the most loaded rotation and are well-rested. This is a total mismatch.

    Boston over LA-Anaheim in 5. The most balanced series of the bunch. It's hard to find too many glaring flaws on either roster. Then again, Fox would kill for another Yankees-Bosox ALCS.

    St. Louis over Los Angeles in 5. The Cards were the hottest team in the NL after the All-Star break, though their post-clinch slump raises questions about durability. The Dodgers are loaded with talent, though they've also played pretty sloppy as of late.

    Philadelphia over Colorado in 4. Don't expect a repeat of 2007. The Rockies' inexperience is being pitted against Philly's bullpen woes. De La Rosa's injury tips the series in favor of Manuel's Maulers.

  5. I'm not making any post-season predictions, because when the playoffs start, throw out the regular season records. Anything can happen. If there's anything I've learned about this Bud Selig bullshit era, is that wild cards prosper and the team with the best record usually gets oust first.

    I did a research project of the MLB playoff system since 1995, and if they did playoff seeding via the top 4 league records & scraping divisions. Not only would this be the 9th year out of 15 that a better-record team stays home in the playoffs solely because of division placement, if divisions didn't exist, every single year it would have meant different playoff matchups (1 vs 4, 2 vs 3) as opposed to best record vs worst only if not wild card team in division. The biggest offender? The Yankees & Red Sox of course, meeting 3 times in ALCS and none in the ALDS.

    If you'd like to see this research, let me know. Ironically, this would have oust 2 Chicago playoff baseball teams while allowing a Montreal team. Tho 13th ranked '06 Cardinals would had never sniffed the playoffs either.

  6. I know about the problems with snow, but it would be nice to see somewhere besides Florida getting the Super Bowl every damn year.

    At least there is a nice Dome stadium here that hosted the 2007 Giants/Patriot game, and we should probably get another one soon.

  7. Joe, from what I've read, there's going to be Super Bowls in Miami, Arlington TX, Indianapolis & New Orleans. Apparently Kansas City's bid failed. I bet future bowls will be in at Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta not mentioned here. Jacksonville probably won't have a team in 5 years. Phoenix probably won't get it for another 5 to 10 years.

  8. I could totally see the Jaguars moving to LA...

  9. Ever since the Cowboys opened their TV screen stadium, now the heat is being turned on Minnesota & others to get a football stadium done. You know for a league that's #1 in the country in fans & popularity, they sure have a lot of teams that want to relocate, 7 at last count: OAK, SF, SD, STL, MIN, JAX, BUF. So many teams could be moving. I think the Rams have a dome clause that the city must pay for improvements if the dome doesn't rank high on a criteria list. The Bills could end up in Toronto. Any number of teams could end up in L.A.

    I don't know if you've heard what's trying to happen in Industry, CA. A small town where some rich dude is trying to build a 75,000 football stadium. It is being slowed down by lawsuits but is expected to be completed by 2012, tho no ground has been broken, as far as I know. I'll let you know any important info.