Bring the Olympics to Philly!
I’m at the Olympics in London this week with my family. And you know what? I think we definitely need to bring this kind of event to Philadelphia. Why not us? Don’t give me that baloney about Philadelphia not being able to host a major event like the Olympics or the World Cup. Of course we can. Atlanta did it, and they’re a much more boring city. And for God’s sake, the British seem to be pulling it off even though they eat Marmite and have towns called Dorking.
Holding a major event in our hometown would bring us plenty of attention and generate a lot of pride for our wonderful city. And, as a business owner, I would love how holding the Olympics in Philadelphia would help the economy and generate a few more bucks for me. Philadelphia needs an event like this. Here’s why.
1. We’d see some winning on the athletic fields. And winners like to celebrate by spending money. With the exception of the Phillies’ 2008 World Championship, this city has had very few champions over the last 20 years. Even our beloved state universities have had their victories stripped away. A world-class athletic event would mean some actual, bona fide competent athletes coming to town. Imagine the celebrations, the good feelings, the cash!
2. The Games would cheer Philadelphians up. The past few years haven’t been easy for Philadelphians. There’s been high unemployment, rising taxes and Parking Wars. We’ve endured flash mobs, corrupt school officials and cover-ups by our own Archdiocese. So we could use a little pick-me-up. Like the Roman emperors of yore, the people of Philadelphia need games to lift their spirits and get them in the mood to spend money. And if we can’t watch lions eat a few gladiators then we’ll gladly settle for a dozen beach volley-ballers in bikinis.
3. Bringing the Olympics to Philadelphia would attract a much better breed of celebrities. In London this week I saw David Beckham, Michelle Obama and Lebron. In Philly, all we have is John Bolaris and an occasional appearance from a chubby Charles Barkley. Big-time celebrities bring entourages, media attention and faithful onlookers. These people don’t think twice about spending money on stupid, nonsensical things.
4. My employees and I would get a much-needed break. That’s because, like London, the fear of congestion and crowds would drive away the typical tourists clogging up our streets during the day and send many of my most annoying customers packing for the Shore or the mountains. It’s never been easier to navigate through London. Those lucky business people who stayed can enjoy over-charging the remaining dimwitted visitors (like me) without having to endure traffic jams and over-crowded busses and trains.
5. Regular Philadelphians could make an extra buck. Residents can turn entrepreneurial by acting like a typical Philly real estate agent and duping some foreign visitor into renting their studio apartment at 20th and Passyunk at an inflated price by saying it’s “near the Rittenhouse Square area.”
6. The Olympics would provide a much-needed employment boost. An added bonus: My visiting customers would no longer have to worry about packs of kids harassing them on the street, and shopkeepers would be less concerned with flash mobs destroying their showrooms and stealing their goods. And just by securing a few hourly jobs for students, our local colleges could further justify their $60,000-a-year tuitions.