April 7, 2009
The Olympics, Chicago-styleBy Ralph Alter
The City that takes the Fifth arrayed itself somewhat prematurely in its springtime finest to dazzle visiting dignitaries from the International Olympic Committee. The IOC was expected to arrive April 2 to inspect Chicago's potential to become the 2016 Summer Olympics site. If the city that gave us Rod Blagojevitch, Tony Rezco and Arnold Rothstein can't win this traditional payola sweepstakes that consistently goes to the highest bidder, what city can?
Putting in the fix is a Chicago tradition dating back before the 1919 Black Sox scandal where Arnold Rothstein helped make certain the World Series came out right for Lake Michigan area bookies. Back at the turn of the 19th century, while little boys all across the fruited plain were playing the game of Cowboys and Native Americans, boys in Chicago were playing Aldermen and Contractors.
The International Olympic Committee is the crooked doppelganger to the City with Hungry Pockets, matching the Illinois machine politicians in avarice and arrogance while elevating institutional pickpocketry onto the international scale. Between masterminding boxing scandals, bribery scandals (ibid), and judging scandals, visiting Olympic officials are so overwhelmed that they are probably forced to request extra hookers to help them open the gifts showered upon them by wheedling municipalities. Work, work, work.
Between Olympic Games every 4 years, countries lobby the IOC with requests to incorporate sports or events important to them into the pantheon of games contested at the next Olympiad. In the 2008 Beijing Games, for instance, BMX Biking, both Men's & Women's 10k Marathon Swim and the Women's Saber & Foil competition were added.
I suspect that Chicago will offer a few new events to take advantage of native traditions and talents. These new Olympic Sports would certainly give the games that special Chicago flavor:
1.) Synchronized Banking - Somewhat akin to synchronized swimming, in this event lobbyists and politicians mirror each other's moves while subtracting funds from the string-puller's account and gracefully depositing them into the politician's account. Barack Obama and Tony Rezko mastered a variation of these maneuvers known as synchronized realty .
2.) Bagman's Carry - Those familiar with Strongman Contests have seen the Farmer's Carry where contestants lumber with a 200 pound weight in each hand over a 100 foot course, then turn and struggle back to the starting line. This daunting test of both strength and endurance will be slightly modified in the Chicago Olympics, pitting low-level bureaucratic functionaries lugging satchels stuffed with influence peddler cash and gifts over a similar course.
3.) Fencing - No, not that effeminate Francophile imitation of real sword-fighting. In this event contestants seek to market burgled goods, each seeking the highest possible return. En garde!
4.) Ethical Hurdles - Here contestants contrive artful justifications for their engagement in activities that obviously contradict generally accepted principles of faith, honor and human decency. It's a shame Rod Blagojevich will be otherwise occupied during the 2016 gamed as he would be a serious candidate for the gold medal. Fortunately there is no shortage of skilled Daley-trained athletes practiced and ready to compete in this event.
5.) Gymnastic Accounting - In this new event, teams of forensic accountants in visors decorated with the Obama "Yes We Can!" Rainbow globe contort themselves into ethnic pretzels while obfuscating the actual amount of cash flowing into, and limiting the amount of cash actually escaping from, their respective departments. It has been reported that the Obama administration has been unable to fill many positions in the U.S. Treasury Department due to potential contestants who remain in training for this event and don't want to lose their amateur status.
6.) Chicago-Style Relay - This four man event requires a Lobbyist paired with a minor functionary and an Alderman and his faithful assistant. An 18 inch hollow tube is filled with cash and over the 440 yard course, the Lobbyist hands off to his underling who hands off to the Alderman's boy who hands off the to Alderman. First Alderman to get his money deposited into his personal account at the end of the course wins.
7.) Shooting - When one thinks of Olympic shooting, the eyes glaze over while images of trap shooters and target pistols with neat clusters of bulls-eyes gathered neatly en centre. Look for Chicagoans to liven up this competition. From drive-by snuff attempts to school shootings and percussionistic displays of gun-play, the term "Fighting Illini" was clearly not an idle selection. Nothing says Chicago like smoking vehicles decorated with the rhythmic tapping of automatic weapons fire.
Of course the Chicagoland pool of participants has been decimated by the migration of scores of its best contestants leaving to serve in the Obama administration in Washington, D.C. You just can't replace players like Rahm Emmanuel and Barack Obama overnight. Mayor Daley will assure the visiting IOC representatives and the USOC that every bureau across the fair city of Chicago is continuing to train new athletes to fill the positions vacated by those that have moved into the professional ranks.
Don't underestimate the persuasive powers of the Daley machine. Teamed up with the international string-pullers and booty-chasers from the IOC, these guys make the Oil-For-Food beak-dippers look like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
Come August 2016 we can all gather on the Lake Michigan waterfront, swilling $15.00 Coney-dogs and $20 slices of Chicago style pizza (plus 8% sales tax) while watching homo Chicagulus do what comes naturally
Ralph Alter blogs at Right on Target.