Friday, August 26, 2005

Philadelphia 2016

I just started reading the September issue of Philadelphia Magazine and there's a piece at the beginning called "Why Philadelphia Needs the Olympics". If you aren't aware, there is an effort underway to actually try and bid for the 2016 Olympics. The magazine has joined the effort fully.
The article talks about how the Olympics can bring prosperity to the region and how we shouldn't be "Can't-Doers" when thinking about this lofty goal. Well, I'm not a "Can't-Doer" at all. I'm a "fix the city first" type person. And I'm actually mentioned in the article, although I'm mis-named:

The Can't-Doers will say, "How are you going to spend money to bring the Olympics here when our schools are failing?" We reject such shortsightedness. Fact is, the Olympics can help save the schools by lifting all boats...When managed in an intelligent way the Olympics can provide the economic impact that turns host cities around.

And there's the rub, they even admit it "When managed in an intelligent way". When was the last time an event in Philadelphia was managed in an intelligent way? When was the last time our city government did something correctly?

What a nightmare it would be to have the Olympics here. First off, we taxpayers would have to foot the bill for something that is a pure luxury when we have needs that are fundamental. It's tantamount to buying Phillies tickets instead of the food or school supplies your children need. God knows we need another overpriced stadium. Secondly, think of the 'security issues' we'd have to overcome. Need I even get into that mess?

The Olympics are a dead event and if not dead, they are dying quickly. We, the human race have no need for the Olympics. When I was a kid, the Olympics was the pinnacle of sport. The games were every 4 years and were all featured purely amateur events. The Olympics featured cool events that we didn't get to see all that often. They were a spectacle that was not unlike the old World’s Fair events.

But, as you know, they were tainted by government intervention. Governments believed that having athletes winning events reflected on their nations strength so we had the east block nations entering super athletes. When I started to become aware of this, I started to loose interest in the games. When the games moved to a two year format, I lost even more interest. When the tv networks stopped covering the different events and focused on the more common and popular events, I finally gave up entirely.

Philadelphia has no need to host the Olympics. If I could vote with my tax dollars I would. But you all know that how our taxes are spent is beyond our control. So I will simply complain here and hope that collectively we can oppose this waste of our money. Have a good weekend.

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