Toledo could reach for glory of Olympic ringsWritten by Michael Miller | Editor in Chief Emeritus | email@example.com
Sometimes, the universe drops its cloak of mystery and reveals answers so glaringly obvious, one would have to be dumb as a bag of Paris Hilton’s hammers to miss them. As Toledo and Lucas County struggle with a leadership malaise, an opportunity for change has presented itself: The 2016 Summer Olympics.
Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco are candidates, but the U.S. Olympic Committee board of directors has until the end of the year to choose, so we have plenty of time to make an impression on USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth.
That big ol’ brownfield-looking site by the Sports Arena could host an athletic stadium, right by the river. The nearly completed Steam Plant could house athletes, coaches, media and drug testers. Muddy the Mud Hen could do it the Greek way and be the official mascot. Jamie Farr could light the torch. Katie Holmes could watch the games on television from her room at Scientology Headquarters.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner could lead the campaign, arranging a helicopter tour for Ueberroth, constructing “I (heart) Peter” billboards and devising ways to keep WSPD talker Fred LeFebvre out of press conference updates.
I can even imagine the newspaper headlines:
Toledo Free Press: “Toledo to host 2016 Olympic Games”
The Blade: “Traffic, foreigner population to worsen in 2016; Noe suspected”
To get the ball rolling on Toledo’s bid, here are a few Glass City-specific events we could pitch to the USOC.
• 40-Kilometer Mayoral Bike Path: For this event, competitors would raise funds to pay for a bike path as they race on it. As they hurtle down the path, they would have to dodge citizens wielding “Not in my backyard” signs, drug dealers and cars being towed from neighborhoods that protested the bike path.
• Shopping Center Sprawl-Off: The developers of Southwyck Mall, Northtowne Mall and Woodville Mall race each other and the clock to attract anchor tenants and customers. Judges award points for style, dollars invested and quality of retail stores. The race starts at the beginning of the Olympic Games and extends until the first mall completes its project, or a meteor wipes out humanity, whichever comes first.
• 100 Meter Tom Noe Duck ‘n Dodge: Former political allies of the rare coin dealer twist and jump through hoops to avoid being connected to, associated with or indicted alongside him. Intricate acrobatics and legal maneuverings are expected.
• Maumee River Synchronized Corpse Recovery: Swimmers jump into the muddy Maumee, dive until they find a body, then haul the mortal coil to shore. Whoever recovers the most bodies in 30 minutes wins the gold; a bonus medal will be awarded if a contestant finds Jimmy Hoffa.
• Brain Drain Sprint: Medals awarded to the fastest UT graduates who bolt from Lucas County within minutes of graduation.
• TPS Greco-Roman Wrestling: Three for Change takes on Three for Children in a cage match to determine future TPS education philosophies. The triumphant team takes on the winner of the Maggie Thurber vs. Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak throwdown.
• 100 Meter Bulldog Dash: Athletes race 100 meters while city council members throw unmarked envelopes in their path. The racers are allowed to stop and pick up the envelopes to see if they contain cash, but are not required to report their findings to the proper authorities.
Imagine the cooperation of our county and city officials to pull this off. They’d learn to work together, plan together, make the best decisions for our citizens, and, yeah, sure, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Am I?
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press. He may be contacted at (419) 241-1700 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael S. Miller will guest host the "Brian Wilson Show" from 3 to 6 p.m. July 3 on WSPD 1370 AM.