Chicago 2016? Nah, I'll Pass


OBAMA-OLYMPICS

Chicago brought out the heavy lumber in order to secure an Olympic bid that I totally do not want.

Unless we're talking about a Cubs-White Sox World Series, I don't want to hear anything about Chicago 2016.

Now, I'll be fair and say that I like the idea of money flowing into the city like a club when Pacman Jones walks in.  Or the increase of jobs and job opportunities the Olympics could provide the area.  That's fine and dandy.  I like that.  Who doesn't like that?

But if you look closely, the bad outweighs the good.  As a life-long Chicagoan, this city's commitment to the Summer Games really shows how out of line our priorities really are.

Many Chicagoans think hosting the Olympic games would cement its spot as a world-class city.  News flash: Chicago is already the best city in the world.  As always, I'm up for a debate if you think to the contrary.

Sure, Chicago would get a boatload of money that would help restore the the rough-and-tumble image of the South Side, while even more would go toward rehabbing a public transit system that has more problems than post-redhead Lindsay Lohan.

But I say screw it.  You want to make the South Side better?  Let's start with throwing money at the schools that rank among the worst public schools in the United States of America.  Let's get specific.  Chicago "boasts" four of the 25 worst public schools in America.  Stat Boy says that's 16 percent of the worst schools in America are in one city.  That's bad.  Is there anyone out there besides me that wants to invest some money in better books, better buildings and better teachers for these kids?

The city is rife with violence and undereducated people.  And I'm just talking about fans at White Sox games.  We don't need the Olympics.

How can the city expect kids to make rational decisions in their lives when the people they look up to can't.  Throwing money at the Olympics is like watching your brother throw money at an Escalade he can't afford while skipping out on his student loan payments.  His argument is that it will help his image.  Your counter argument is that his hard-earned degree should be all the image he needs at this stage of the game.

As for the public trans system, look, enough of my money has been sucked into that trap.  The CTA recently took some of the loot that was supposed to go to the alma mater's library refurnishing project.  Instead, it went to bailing out the CTA -- pushing back the project I thought would never get done before I graduated.  Besides, traffic in the city already sucks.  How much would you really look forward to rush hour traffic with a million other strangers?  If you thought finding a crowded train was easy before, wait 'til the Olympics come -- if they do.

I took an un-official tally and it turns out that more Chicago suburbanites are pro-Olympics than people that actually reside in the city.  Not much of a shocker to me.  They're not planning to build in your neck of the woods, are they now?

And to those of you who think you're getting seats to any of these events, good luck.  You'll be paying exuberant amounts of money you don't have and probably won't have even if you started saving today.  Personally, all I watch is the basketball -- and that's only if Team U.S.A. is playing.  The United Center would have that covered, while Soldier Field would host the outdoor events.  But where are we hosting the swim events -- in Lake Michigan or the Chicago River.

And since we're talking Summer 2016, the Olympics will also be fighting for local air time with the Cubs and White Sox runs for a pennant and preseason Bears football.  And we all know nothing comes between Chicagoans and their football team.

So in regard to the 2016 Chicago Olympics, you can count me out.

Unless, of course, someone needs a beat writer...

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