LA has signed up but rapacious jersey IOC is running out of conquests

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here’s a scene in When Harry Met Sally where the two principals run into each other Brice McCain Authentic Jersey on a plane, some years after their first abrasive encounter. The previously relentlessly cynical Harry tells Sally he’s getting married. She lets out an involuntary peal of laughter. “What’s so funny about that?” he demands. “Well,” titters Sally, “it’s just … it’s just so OPTIMISTIC of you, Harry.”I confess a similar reaction to the news that Los Angeles have come to a deal with the IOC, to host the 2028 Olympics. For this guarantee – and a cash advance and youth sports investment sweetener – they will stand aside to let Paris run unopposed for the 2024 Games. Congratulations and everything … but it’s just so optimistic of them.On the one hand, my levels of nuclear anxiety are becoming such that I fall gratefully upon all market indicators suggesting any given west coast US city might still exist in 2024. On the other, surely by now we already know how this ends? Boston knows how it ends, and duly pulled out of consideration in 2015 after public outcry. Budapest knows how it ends, and dropped their bid for 2024 back in February after similar protests. Yet LA apparently regards the concessions it has won as sufficient risk mitigation for signing a deal a full 11 years in advance.As far as the IOC goes, of course, the deal confirms the levels of panic within the organisation over finding host cities. Cutting a deal to lock in both Paris and Los Angeles indicates how rattled they are by cities’ waning interest in being screwed over by them (do forgive the technicalese). Amazing to think that the IOC was once in a position to reject suitors multiple times. Paris has had the knockback on three occasions since 1992. Now, well … pickings for the Lausanne lotharios are slimmer. Or as Sally puts it in a later row with Harry: “You’re gonna have to move back to New Jersey because you’ve slept with everyone in New York.”Legacy, what legacy? Five years on the London Olympic park battle still rageAnd so with the IOC, whose lack of options is entirely down to its own obscenely rapacious behaviour down the years, its absurd and immoral demands of the various host cities, and its absolute refusal to learn from any of the criticism of it all. It appears to be running out of conquests, with the obvious exception being the various non-democracies and quasi-dictatorships who will still be drawn to a Games’ reputation-laundering capabilities and dick-waving opportunities.Given that level of competition, then, one has to wonder whether LA has landed quite the deal it thinks it has. Some special clauses look good. Youth Daryl Worley Womens Jersey programme funding traditionally happens after a Games has taken place, but LA’s mayor is predicting that investment could be seen as soon as next year. Again, it’s a measure of IOC vulnerability that it is now paying out “legacy” funds a decade before the event has even taken place. If LA has truly opened up a tear in the IOC’s bait-switch continuum, it is to be congratulated.AdvertisementEven so, there is no escaping the usual suspicion that this is a deal that has been cut for the politicians rather than the people. As Rio’s mayor joked of the Games’ questionable regeneration economics in 2012: “The Olympics pretext is awesome; I need to use it as an excuse for everything.”It remains stunning that cities’ vainglorious, multibillion bids for a Games are often grudgingly tolerated by their populace on the basis that at least the event will force officials to sort out the public transport system or whatever it is. The obvious question is why the politicians couldn’t have done that without the multibillion dollar mega event. In Rio, one favela demanded water and sanitation. They didn’t get that but let’s have a look at what they did win: a $22m cable car. Ah well. You can’t have it all.LA currently thinks it can, and whilst it has various infrastructure advantages in the form of existing venues, I can’t help but wonder after the wisdom of signing such a broadcast-dependent deal 11 years in advance, when the media landscape is changing so rapidly. It just feels so optimistic.That the summer Games should be permanently relocated to Greece is a column I used to fear I would be writing till retirement. But with IOC options seemingly drying up at the rate they are, perhaps there is a cause for genuine optimism on that front after all.Can Wenger stay ahead of the pack?Staying in the realm of cinematic classics, news that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is to launch a subscription hunting channel put me in mind of the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, Hard Target. If you haven’t seen this JCVD classic (though aren’t they all?), its tagline on my DVD copy runs: “Businessmen hunt the ultimate prey … man!”The plot sees Van Damme play Chance Boudreaux (!), a drifter who discovers that a hugely rich mogul and big game hunter is hunting homeless men for sport in New Orleans. Woo directs. Action ensues.As far as the Kroenke news goes, meanwhile, there has been general outrage among Arsenal fans that their owner should encourage anything so monstrously inhumane. Even so, as anyone with even momentary acquaintance with social media could confirm, there will be a small but significant subset of these very complainants who by January could be cheerfully clamouring for Wenger to get his own show on Kroenke’s channel.The premise? Starting at the Emirates, noble beast Arsène Wenger is given a five minute head start on the various tweeters of death threats and wavers of bedsheets/bits of A4 paper. He is then hunted mercilessly through the streets of Islington. If he reaches King’s Cross, he is permitted to continue his season untroubled by further protest. If he doesn’t … well, that’s bigtime sport, isn’t it? It’s not for losers.


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