There was quite a bit of disappointment last week with the announcement that Chicago would not receive the 2016 Summer Olympics, and for valid reasons. The Olympics would have potentially brought a bump for that local economy, a global stage for Chicago to highlight the positives of the city and would have helped the infrastructure of the city itself as roads and lodging needs would have had to have been improved due to the sheer numbers of increased tourism.
I was a little saddened with the news, as well. I’ve always liked Chicago and would have loved an excuse to make a trip there for the Olympics. My godfather lives there, and I would have had a place to stay, and the times of the events make it a little easier to follow the games on television when they’re held in the United States.
However, it’s hard to find fault with Brazil being the host nation. Assuming crime is handled and prevented well in Rio — which it usually is in a host city during the Olympics — the Brazilians will be a fun host and offer plenty of nightlife for those who make the trip. I lived in Los Gatos, Calif., when the Brazil soccer team made that town its camp during the 1994 World Cup. The normally quiet little suburb outside San Jose was filled with Brazilian fans for the duration of the tournament, and I will never forget how much fun they had — and, in turn, the rest of us had while they were there.
The entire town became fans of the Brazil team, and I’ve always made a mental note that I wanted to get to their country sometime and see how much fun they have on a daily basis.
But that’s not where I’m heading today — neither literally, nor in the context of this column.
Instead, I’m ready for a new challenge after my failed attempt to win the U.S. Presidency in a write-in campaign last November. I’m pushing for our own Roxana to be the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Granted, there are a few logistical problems to consider, such as traffic, lodging, facilities, international recognition, airports, lack of McDonald’s, local interest and the occasional chicken actually crossing the road. However, as chair of the Roxana Olympics committee, I would hire people to worry about those small details.
I’m a big-picture guy.
Roxana has shown it can play host on an international level. The Senior League Softball World Series has been a rousing hit since it’s been held in Roxana, largely due to the efforts and hard work of former Lower Sussex Little League President Bruce Layton, their dedicated board of directors and a group of volunteers who pour their collective heart and soul into making it the best event they can, each and every year.
But I’m no Bruce Layton. I have no dedicated board of directors offering me direction. And the only volunteer I could think of who would come to my aid is Sam Harvey, and I might have destroyed that possibility when I blew the aforementioned presidential election when Sam was my running mate.
Man, politics is a tough business. A few little skeletons from my past creep up, and everyone goes crazy. Like I’m the first guy to get drunk, steal an antelope and ...
But I digress.
We can do this, people. We now have a Delaware guy very prominent in the national political scene (though, admittedly, that didn’t work out so well for Chicago), we have water access nearby for people from all around the globe to arrive by boat (think Ellis Island, but with saltwater taffy and steamed crabs as goodie-bag favors) and, well, tax-free shopping!
You say people want nightlife when they go to an Olympics? Well, have you been to a fried chicken dinner at a fire hall? Our own Bob Bertram swears by them, and Bob is the best ...
Yeah, I can’t even finish that sentence.
All is not lost because Chicago missed out on the 2016 Summer Olympics. Yes, the city could have used a boost, particularly after the senseless death of an honors student a few weeks ago and a slumping economy, but it would have been just that — a temporary boost. Think Atlanta isn’t struggling now, even after hosting the Olympics in 1996? Or Los Angeles?
Besides, there are other things for us to think about now. Roxana 2020!