Let us get this out up front: Most of us know by now that the Olympics—as with most any government expenditure on sporting events—aren't a particularly good use of taxpayer dollars. They're good for autocrats who want to charm Western journalists; they're good for mayors, governors, and businessmen who want to advance in the political world; and they're good for weird European hangers-on with loose mob ties who want to enrich themselves. They are not so good for you and me. OK? We all clear on that?
So all that said, we are rooting so hard for Tulsa, Okla. to get picked for the 2024 Summer Olympics, mostly because it's Tulsa, Okla. Never mind that it doesn't have the population base, public transit, or hotel space. It'd be amazing. Mary Pilon wrote up the city's bid in today's New York Times, and it includes passages like this one:
Mr. Mavis bought copies of Atlanta’s 1996 bid on eBay to use as a model for Tulsa’s bid. He has given a series of PowerPoint presentations to City Council members and local business owners, drumming up support slide by slide. He argues that revenue from ticket sales and television rights will offset the costs. In some ways, Tulsa has become a sports town. It has embraced the W.N.B.A.’s Shock, even though they are in last place in the Western Conference. Tulsa has hosted several major golf tournaments and the Bassmaster Classic, an elite fishing competition.
And this one:
As for signature landmarks, he pointed to the Golden Driller, a 76-foot-tall oil worker with cheese-color skin and a giant belt buckle that proudly declares, “TULSA.” The main media center would sit at its feet and Olympic medals would hang from its neck.
I'm just spitballing here, but think of what the outsiders would have to put up with! An original Olympic theme song composed by Leon Russell and Charlie Wilson. Gary Busey and Kristin Chenoweth as the city's official ambassadors. USA Basketball would name John Starks coach out of respect for Tulsa's proud basketball history. Wait, that thing would be bad. But the rest of the things would be great. Go Tulsa.
Pictured: Downtown Tulsa, I think? Image via Associated Press.
London. Tokyo. Athens. Tulsa? [NYT]