Only Cleveland can save the 2012 Olympics
July, 24, 2012
By Steve Etheridge | Special to ESPN.com
AP Photo/Mark DuncanDon't call Cleveland the Mistake by the Lake. It might be the perfect place for Olympic relocation.Folks, I think it’s about time we called an emergency meeting regarding the Olympics. I know London has spent a lot of farthings, or whatever, trying to make the Games a success, but I’m starting to think we should’ve trusted them with something smaller first, like a charity golf tournament. Looking at the past few weeks in Olympic news, there’s not too much cause for optimism:
- Due to insufficient staffing and training, the security situation for the Games can be generously described as incompetent, with one source estimating that a bomb would have a 50-50 chance of making it into a venue.
- The weather forecast is looking “sickly.”
- Ticket sales have been slow, even for soccer (that is, if the website works), and Londoners more or less feel like prisoners in their own homes.
- Only one in five Britons say they believe the Olympics will be good for them.
- A small army of brand enforcers has been enlisted to intimidate folks from using words such as “summer” and “bronze.”
- The opening ceremony will feature 10 chickens, a giant bell, the theme song from “Doctor Who” and two mosh pits.
- Transportation is becoming a bit of a nightmare.
- Half of U.K. teens say they’re uninterested in the Games, undermining one of the primary pillars of the country’s original bid to the IOC, which was to inspire a new generation of athletes.
- The people driving around the athletes don’t know how to use maps.
In other words, no one is happy, nothing is sufficiently organized and the sky will be weeping sadness onto everything. And that’s not the Olympic experience we deserve.
So with mere days remaining until the final torchbearer is scheduled to ignite the cauldron, Playbook proposes we change the location of the Olympics to ensure the Games have all the magic, breathtaking spectacle and logistical coordination required to make them an unforgettable experience.
Let's move the Olympics to Cleveland.
Yup, that’s right. If there’s one city in the world that’s looking to prove itself as a beacon of athletic excellence, it’s Cleveland. Tortured by a 48-year title drought, the city has been yearning for the chance to showcase champions, and with enough stadiums to accommodate any variety of large-scale sporting events, the Olympics could give them the glory they so fervently covet.
Really, other than the unrelenting rule of a lady in a yellow hat, what does London have that Cleveland doesn’t? A big river? Cleveland’s got that, along with Lake Erie to boot. An efficient public transportation system? Not only does Cleveland have one, but it’s the BEST in North America.
Then there are so many things Cleveland has that London doesn’t. Such as the world’s most positively reviewed cemetery, the birthplace of Dennis Kucinich and dozens of locations made famous by the movie “Howard the Duck.”
While London has had problems rounding up enough workers to staff the events, think of all the millions of unemployed Americans who would drop whatever they’re not doing to contribute to the Olympic effort. Three days is a tight window for getting things ready, but we could pull it off. This is America, after all.
At this point, you’re probably thinking that this is pretty stupid, that this whole article has been an irredeemable waste of time. But people probably thought the same things about the first Olympics when some guy was like, “Hey, let’s get naked and wrestle for Zeus and maybe he won’t strike down our children with lightning.” And now look at what the Olympics have become.
Just saying, amazing things can come from seemingly dumb ideas. And we think the Olympics in Cleveland could prove that.
Of course, if it seems things just aren’t working out, the Games can always pick up and move to South Beach.