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Michael Jordan Declares Support for Chicago Olympics
April 3, 2009 12:49 PM   Subscribe

The push for Chicago as the 2016 Olympic-host city is gearing up, and even the usually reclusive Michael Jordan has publicly declared his support. Jordan also appears in this recently released ad that features testimonials from other former Chicago Olympians such as Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Greg Louganis, and many more.
posted by jon_hansen (48 comments total)

 
the usually reclusive Michael Jordan

Yes, Michael Jordan has a long history of not appearing in commercials.
posted by dersins at 1:06 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's a nice video, but the USA just hosted in 1996. I know it seems so long ago, but 20 years difference, only 4 games in between? I'd think there are other countries that want a shot to host, that deserve that chance to be host to the world.

I guess it never hurts to throw up one's hand and volunteer, but it does seem a bit too soon.
posted by explosion at 1:09 PM on April 3, 2009


The Jordan brand is always airing commercials, but not him in person. This is the first one in a while he's spoken in.
posted by jon_hansen at 1:11 PM on April 3, 2009


explosion- Because NBC basically bankrolls the Olympics, there's an informal rule that it has to be hosted in a friendly time zone for American viewing rather often. The corporate-centrism is what breeds the America-centrism here.
posted by aswego at 1:23 PM on April 3, 2009


I love Chicago; I think it could be an awesome place for an Olympics to be hosted...

But here's a prime exmaple of why I'd be happy to see a 2016 bid fail. Although, then is all the hassle for naught?

After a slightly more extreme winter than usual, the city's streets are ravaged by potholes. Witnessing major thoroughfares being completely overlooked in favor of impressing a pipe dream is all it should take to realize that for all it's best intentions, this thing is not as advretised. The people who live and work in (i.e. support, define) the city are quickly becoming second-class citizens.

There's plenty more evidence (that Chicagoist post highlights a few), but this is one that most people can't avoid--because it's swallowed a third of the intersection in front of them.
posted by pokermonk at 1:30 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


A bit of background on the timing of Jordan's support: the Selection Committee for the games is in the city this week on the last leg of a tour of the 2016 candidate towns - Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Tokyo, and Chicago. Mayor Daley's trying his damnedest to present a united front to the visitors (you can see images of poised athletes on every bus flank and street lamp in the Loop) but the average Chicagoan isn't entirely behind him.

People like the general idea of the games, but not the inevitable costs (and cost overruns, and mass displacements of South Side poor) that would accompany it. As this Chicago Reader article puts it, "we can’t afford the games. We’re broke—and I mean damn near destitute..."
posted by Iridic at 1:35 PM on April 3, 2009


Jordan has been appearing in Hanes underwear commercials for years... here's a relatively recent one with Cuba Gooding Jr.
posted by Poolio at 1:38 PM on April 3, 2009


I've only lived here for a year and a half, so I wouldn't dream of speaking for Chicago residents on the whole, but good lord do I not what the Olympics here. Public Transportation is already pretty flaky, and driving completely sucks. I can't even imagine what a glut of athletes, coaches, trainers, media, and spectators would do.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:54 PM on April 3, 2009




I'm sure that city hall is very pleased with the idea of lots of contracts to hand out with little oversight.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:06 PM on April 3, 2009


I'm in Chicago; the Olympic Committee is here right now. Just yesterday, going home from work, I saw a huge ol' protest at Federal Plaza which I expect to see again today.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:13 PM on April 3, 2009


I wonder how much money Jordan has wagered that Chicago gets the bid.
posted by Zambrano at 2:28 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every city has a love-hate relationship with hosting the Olympics. It's really time just to put them into a central location for good. Except that would cut down on the kickbacks for IOC selection committee members I guess.
posted by GuyZero at 2:28 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Traffic sucks here as it is, I can't imagine what it'd be like with the olympics fucking up the scene.

Can't we take a pass?

Tokyo? Now THERE'S a place that should have some olympics.
posted by Max Power at 2:29 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tokyo? Now THERE'S a place that should have some Olympics.

I'm rooting for Rio. There's never been an Olympics in South America before. I bet it would be a hell of a show.
posted by Iridic at 2:36 PM on April 3, 2009


Jordan? You mean Salieri?
posted by jcruelty at 2:40 PM on April 3, 2009


Please, please, please don't let this happen. We have vastly more important things to do with the limited resources we have than the Olympics. Supposedly, the Chicago Olympic Committee says they can do this for only five billion.

We have far more important things to do with five billion dollars. We don't need more condo housing -- downtown is drowning it in. We don't need a new sports stadium -- we have many, including a huge and ugly one downtown. We don't need to tear up acres of one of our greatest assets -- our extensive parklands.

We need transit. We need school funding. We need public health support. We need infrastructure. We need to fix so many things.

Chicago is an amazing city -- but it has real problems, they're getting worse, and they can -- and will -- destroy everything good about this city unless we get to work and fix them. And the Olympics will do nothing to do so.
posted by eriko at 2:58 PM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yesterday on my way to work I ran into a few dozen International Olympic Committee people taking a tour of the el train. Just waiting for them to all navigate through the turnstiles was a small taste of the transport hell that's in store for us.
posted by hydrophonic at 3:06 PM on April 3, 2009


Of course he supports it. Like The Ultimate Champ® would say, "Chicago? Fuck that shit. Anywhere but Chicago! "
posted by chillmost at 3:20 PM on April 3, 2009


I live outside Chicago and am in the city at least twice a week. Fuck, no, we don't need the Olympics, unless they want to double or triple the public transportation. Just trying to get home on the Metra on a weeknight can be a nightmare. Forget about driving. The crime rate is getting out of control and the police force looks like it's about to explode due to lack of competent leadership. The schools are either totally excellent (like Whitney Young, the public high school Michelle Obama attended and where Michael Jordan's son goes now) or, more common, totally abysmal. There's a need for hospitals.

I love it here, but the Olympics would be a long-term disaster.

I personally would like to see the Olympics in Rio. If the games are truly global, they need to be held on every inhabited continent.
posted by sugarfish at 3:32 PM on April 3, 2009


I remember way back when we first threw our hat into the ring, I sent an email to the Olympic committee asking them to reject our bid because of the piss poor state of our public transit. Hope they got the picture first hand, though I wouldn't put it past Daley to tailor the experience.
posted by adamdschneider at 3:36 PM on April 3, 2009


I'd only support this if they throw in the 50-pound-boy-Beard-Lift.
posted by not_on_display at 3:47 PM on April 3, 2009


The evidence from recent years is that the Olympics is something you wish on a city that you hate and want to curse.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:53 PM on April 3, 2009


Why do they have to be so typically American with the "Chicago is the greatest city in the world"? On what POSSIBLE fucking basis can anybody say Chicago is "the greatest city in the world"?

The crime rate is getting out of control

Is "getting" out of control? Until the early 2000s the CITY of Chicago (never mind alluring suburbs like Harvey or East Chicago or Gary) had, every year since crime stats have been recorded, more murders than the entire NATION of Canada.

I grew up in NW Indiana and could never stand Chicago's unwarranted bluster, and still can't.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:58 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, there were at least two guys named Adolph at the 1936 Olympics.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:18 PM on April 3, 2009


The evidence from recent years is that the Olympics is something you wish on a city that you hate and want to curse.

That's my line of thought too. It seems like the Olympics Selection Committee has gotten to demand so much from a city that it's caused a major case of NIMBY NIMTD*.

*Not In My Tax District.
posted by Ufez Jones at 4:43 PM on April 3, 2009


Chicago isn't a second city. It is a insecure maybe 8th. It boggles my mind that the IOC even considered Chicago. A mayor that should be in prison, the schools, CTA, etc., and most importantly, no culture. What is NBC gonna do for two weeks. The same old schtick about deep dish pizza, Capone, da Bears! da Blues How about Rockford for a road trip! Galena maybe! Aside from the view from Lake Michigan, Chicago doesn't deserve the Olympics. 'Greatest City in the World', my ass. It's just one giant Omaha. I'd be happier if St. Louis got it. Thanks, I feel better now.
posted by repoman at 4:45 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Another vote for Rio. At least if everything went to shit, it'd be one hell of a party.
posted by mannequito at 4:55 PM on April 3, 2009


I live in Chicago and I completely agree with previous posts about preventing the Olympics in Chicago. Chicago is in a deficit and does not have enough funding for schools nor the CTA, so why bring the Olympics? It is ridiculous. Here comes another tax hike -.-
posted by Irena12345 at 6:23 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's some powerful haterade you've been drinking. Does it have Jordan tripping and falling on the bottle?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:29 PM on April 3, 2009


So, there were at least two guys named Adolph at the 1936 Olympics.

Who's the other? Hitler was an "Adolf." Close, but in the way, say, "Stefan" and "Stephen" are.
posted by explosion at 6:56 PM on April 3, 2009


repoman: I'd be happier if St. Louis got it.

They did.
posted by hangashore at 7:34 PM on April 3, 2009


It's just one giant Omaha.

I'd be much more happy if Omaha did get the Olympics. Really, what will the Olympics do to a place like Chicago? Piss of the locals, add a bunch of tertiary landmarks and put a lot of money into contractors hands. Give it to a city like Omaha, St. Louis or the multitude of more interesting cities that aren't "world" cities. You'd absolutely have an impact on these cities way beyond the Olympics. I realize there's a whole slew of reasons why a city like Omaha won't get the Olympics, but it would be a lot more cool if the city actually wanted the Olympics.

Oh and as an American, I hate local Olympic games. The bs cultural stuff is almost enjoyable when the culture is exotic. The Beijing Olympics launched a cottage industry on China as a world power documentaries and interviews. What are we going to do with Chicago? Talk about Randolph St. Cosmo and the Chums of Chance?
posted by geoff. at 7:45 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Michael Jordan can pay for it.
posted by cogneuro at 7:54 PM on April 3, 2009


Personally, I hope it does end up in Chicago. It'll probably be the only time the games would be a 2 hour train ride from me. I also imagine Milwaukee would get some economic benefit (full hotel rooms and maybe a good excuse to get cheaper rail between the two cities) without taking on the cost burdens Chicago would have.

If Chicago does win, I'll get the cheapest available tickets to some random olympic event and take my 8 year old son.
posted by drezdn at 8:20 PM on April 3, 2009


Repoman: Chicago isn't a second city. It is a insecure maybe 8th. [...] and most importantly, no culture.

What, things didn't work out in that world-class, cultural Metropolis of Raleigh/Durham?
posted by applemeat at 9:07 PM on April 3, 2009


Give it to Houston, already.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:10 PM on April 3, 2009


I live outside Chicago and am in the city at least twice a week. Fuck, no, we don't need the Olympics, unless they want to double or triple the public transportation. Just trying to get home on the Metra on a weeknight can be a nightmare. Forget about driving. The crime rate is getting out of control and the police force looks like it's about to explode due to lack of competent leadership.

I think you pretty much sound like every cranky old person that lives in my parents' suburb. The world revolves around your commute to and from work, doesn't it?
posted by hal_c_on at 9:21 PM on April 3, 2009


applemeat, that was for my sister and it was five years ago. Please don't get me started. Thanks...
posted by repoman at 9:26 PM on April 3, 2009


Not that I don't prefer Rio to Chicago, but if people think Chicago can't afford the Games, what makes anyone think Rio can?
posted by stargell at 9:32 PM on April 3, 2009


Detroit.
posted by pracowity at 10:01 PM on April 3, 2009


No, hal_c_on, I'm a student who lives in the suburbs because I couldn't afford anything in the city who rides the train for more than an hour each way so I can finish my education at night. But thanks for jumping to conclusions!
posted by sugarfish at 10:05 PM on April 3, 2009


Chicago doesn't deserve the Olympics. 'Greatest City in the World', my ass.

No, no, the Games don't deserve Chicago. The IOC has got to be the most corrupt, authoritarian, greedy, cynical organization there is. What a bunch of thieves. Nobody deserves to have the Games inflicted on them.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:05 PM on April 3, 2009


Why do they have to be so typically American with the "Chicago is the greatest city in the world"? On what POSSIBLE fucking basis can anybody say Chicago is "the greatest city in the world"?


Obama.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:50 PM on April 3, 2009


My mom was an admin assistant for a partner at a major international accounting company that was offered the opportunity to participate in a city's bid for the Olympics. They turned it down flat. They didn't want to be associated with the corruption that inevitably accompanies the bids. This is a firm that is quite comfortable with normal corporate shenanigans.

When someone who is willing to expense $150 for a lunch of burger and fries turns something down for fear of being caught in a web of corruption that tells you something.
posted by srboisvert at 4:12 AM on April 4, 2009


Can we, um, tone down the Chicago hate here (and on a couple of other recent posts). wtf? There are good and thoughtful reasons not to have the games in Chicago. None of them involve it's supposed lack of "culture" (?), the boosterism of people of who love the city, or the statement that [my favorite location] is GREAT Chicago SUCKS. I live in Chicago and I'm not crazy about the idea of having the Games here (corrupt Mayor, resource starved schools-cops-transpo-infrastructure). But we share those attributes with many cities everywhere. The issue is bread-and-circuses, (except we never seem to get the bread) not Chicago SUCKS.
posted by nax at 4:40 AM on April 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can we, um, tone down the Chicago hate

That's no fun. Look, Chicago is all right, it's just not an Olympic city. Chicago is the capital of the midwest and that's just kind of vanilla for me. As much as the IOC is corrupt and all, I like the Olympics. I just don't think Chicago can pull it off without looking like Atlanta in '96 or worse. Also, it's really not Chicago hate as much as Daley hate. I would hate to see the Olympics as part of his awful legacy. Sorry, it must be the weather :)
posted by repoman at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2009


Franly, I'd like to see the bid. I just lived through the Beijing Olympics, and the city IS noticeably better after the fact. People hork on the sidewalk less, we got three subway lines out of the deal, and a lot of buses and new roads, I get a lot less people shouting random English at me on the street, and the real estate bubble got handily popped once expected Olympic rents proved unrealistic. It won't balloon like that again for a long time, whicj is a dose of reality this city sorely needed.

If Chicago can be realistic about what its own problems are and do something to fix them rather than just building some pretty landmarks, I'm all for it. If not, keep them out of my backyard.
posted by saysthis at 7:27 PM on April 5, 2009


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