Pele Says He’ll Rep Brazil ‘Til Death; Where’s MJ?

The IOC’s highly anticipated 2016 Summer Olympics vote is tomorrow, and what initially appeared to be a slam dunk for the USA has turned into a legitimate two-horse race.

Pele
(Pele, representing his country by holding up a Brazilian flag. Please disregard the flag in his other hand.)

Try as President Obama might, Chicago is facing stiff competition from Rio de Janeiro for hosting rights, and it might have something to do with the fact that the Brazilian athletic community is pulling out all the stops. And by that, of course, we mean bringing Pele to Copenhagen on Friday to represent Brazil’s bid. When one thinks of Chicago’s most famous athletes, of course, the list starts and ends with Brad Sellers Michael Jordan. He’s not going to Copenhagen, though, and that means it’s time for Pele to somehow overstate his importance. Mission accomplished.

Read more…

2020 Olympics In Tulsa? Oh, That’s Just Adorable

Beijing, then Vancouver, then London: we’re in the middle of this three-Olympiad stretch right now (show of hands: who was actively aware of the fact that the Winter Olympics are but six months away? Liars, all of you). Those are some pretty high-profile cities, arguably the most urbane in their country and certainly the type of city where you want to send people from all different nations.

Tulsa skyline
(”Tulsa is for lovers.”)

Less desirable as a destination, however, would be Tulsa. The metropolitan area, which is A) the 55th biggest in the United States and B) right smack dab in the middle of the Southern Plains, where animals go to die, is putting forth a proposal to host the Olympics in 2020. Because why settle for Buenos Aires when you can have Tulsa?

Read more…

Speed Read: Cubs Riding Hard Liquor Bandwagon

It wasn’t enough for Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff vodka, to invite the good folks of Phoenix out to see their hockey team free with the purchase of a bottle of booze.  Now they’re plastering their name across The World’s Largest Beer Garden in an attempt to make further inroads into the sports scene. That’s one way to pay for stadium upgrades if you won’t pony up to the governor.

Drunk Boozer Wrigley Field Cubs fans

Wrigley Field will now host the Captain Morgan Club (a restaurant) and the Smirnoff Patio and provide lovely mixed drinks to the fans that like to do a little drinking around 10 am at home and then ride the El to Addison and start downing car bombs around 11:30 am for a 1:20 pm start.

If Cubs fans aren’t careful, they might even put Toronto Blue Jays fans to shame.  That’s not easy to do, either; they can’t be stopped even if Daddy takes the alcohol away for a game.  (Not to mention the gratuitous nudity.)

Also gratuitous: the entire 2008-2009 NCAA women’s basketball season. The University of Connecticut Huskies won their 39th straight game by double-digits to complete their undefeated season and claim the nation’s crown.

Connecticut Huskies

Stanford University of Louisville kept this game competitive for about as long as you’ve been reading this article thus far, which still might be the best effort of the year for a UConn opponent.  This could be the point for a snide joke about going pro in a little something we call life, but these young women are already professional assassins.  Yikes.

We know the short-lived hole in the media filter (and the filter on media members themselves) caused by Twitter will soon close and leave us with more canned responses and layers of personal marketing protection.  As we speak, there are businesses springing up around the management of social spaces and new media integration and other phrases that dampen the soul.

For now, though, we live in truly awesome times.  Example: Bill Stewart (West Virginia’s head football coach and the antithesis of R-Rod) has been carrying on like a blessed fool on Twitter, including how he threw all the kickers out of a meeting or how he gets so fired up by Chubby Checker that he sprints into practice at 4:15 am.

West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart

Go like this, Coach Stewart.  Go like this all morning long.

And now the twisting hail of bullets that Carl Landry could heal up from in only three weeks

Francis Buxton

  • Stan Kasten, president of the Washington Nationals, went on Philly radio and told Phillies fans just how much they were welcome to fill those increasingly empty seats at Nationals Park, having apparently forgotten that D.C. sports fans survive the surprisingly harsh winters by burning compressed carbon logs of their own hate for other teams.  You’d think Stan Kasten had bigger fish to fry, frankly.  For example, Dmitri Young just called Stan Kasten’s house because he heard Kasten’s hosting a fish fry.
  • Your NBA Draft early departure update: Blake Griffin (as mentioned late yesterday), Jodie Meeks, and everyone in the city of Tucson.  They’re gonna need a bigger green room.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Opening Day.  Senator Bill Frist saw this video and declared Kennedy alive and well, raising his batting average to .500.
  • The San Diego Padres have one chance at a title: Miss California Carrie Prejean (a former “Deal or No Deal” model) will be competing for the Miss USA title in Vegas on April 19th and she’s a former member of the Padres’ “Pad Squad”.  It’s good that she’s no longer with the organization or Becky Moores might demand weekend visitation rights.

Carrie Prejean, Miss California 2009

How many majors for Tiger Woods this year?

View Results

USOC Aims Gun at Foot & Hits Chicago 2016 Bid

When USOC CEO Jim Scherr was ousted in a palace coup earlier this month (we mean, resigned at an incredibly sensitive time to spend time with someone’s family or some such), there were concerns the new CEO (Stephanie Streeter) would not have enough experience or influence on the international stage to close the deal on the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid.

USOC gunning for Chicago 2016 bid

No worries, though; she’s proven more than competent to cause schisms, drama, and infighting just like other Olympic committees.  For example, she still reports to herself because she never quit her place as a USOC board member.

Also, she’s not sure if she’ll move from Wisconsin to Colorado to run the USOC because this is an organization that should totally be run by video conferencing at the moment. And that’s not to mention the growing weakness of the Chicago bid itself…

Read more…

Ronald McDonald Flexes His Sponsorship Muscle

As you know, Chicago is on the short-list of cities vying for the 2016 Olympics, where Usain Bolt will become the first man to break the sound barrier powered on his legs alone. Coincidentally enough, the City of Wind is also the near-home of a certain Golden Arched corporation, who are one of the top sponsors of the Olympics. And while they’re not officially coming out and saying it, apparently McDonald’s is heavily hinting that they’d “prefer” if the International Olympic Committee chose Chi-town for the Olympics. And hey, if they don’t, maybe they’ll just take their business elsewhere.

Ronald McDonald

(Don’t be fooled. Behind his smiling exterior lies a ferocious beast.)

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE is reporting that John Lewicki, the company’s senior director of alliance marketing, is a bit of a bad ass. Specifically for this quote: “The international market is very important to us, but some of the cities they are picking are not. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that if it’s not Chicago, we won’t renew, but if it is Chicago, we probably will.”

That’s stone cold gangsta.

Read more…