Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

So the San Francisco 2024 Olympics Bid is Based on London 2012, Which Ended with a “Surplus?” – Here’s Why That’s Wrong

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Well, here’s your set-up, from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“…San Francisco is trying to apply the model used in London in 2012. The games there were concentrated primarily in existing, temporary or shrinkable facilities and ended with a surplus…”

But that’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Let’s travel back to 2007, via BBC News:

“The overall budget for the London Olympics submitted in the bid to the International Olympic Committee was £2.4bn.” [In Yankee Dollars, that’s $4 billion-something.]

Now let’s look at the official total of the actual cost, via BBC News:

£9.29bn  [In Yankee Dollars, that’s in the area of $14 billion-something.]

So, how can the boosters of London 2012 claim to have come in “under-budget?” Well, it’s because they simply boosted the budget almost 300% to get it above what they ended up spending, you know, Hollywood accounting* style:

“The budget was revised upwards after taking into account previously overlooked costs such as VAT, increased security… Addressing the original bid budget of £2.4bn, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said there was a “recognition right from the word go that figure would have to change dramatically on the basis of delivering the Games”

Now let’s hear from San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, to explain things for us:

“News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it. In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.”

Also, how is building temporary stadia (stadiums?) cheaper than building permanent structures? Oh, it’s not, but at least the IOC won’t have to deal with crumbling infrastructure as an icon of the 2024 Summer Games? So, you build a white elephant, then tear it down, and then it’s like it wasn’t even there? OK fine.

I’ll tell you, there’s no way the IOC will agree to an Olympics in the Bay Area without taxpayers being on the hook for overruns. No way. The last time something like that occurred was 1984, when Los Angeles didn’t really have to compete with a host of other potential host cities around the world. Just look at what the Mayor of Chicago had to agree to in order to just be considered for the 2016 Games. (Yes, he talked about insurance policies, actual policies from insurance companies, but those wouldn’t have worked out either, for various reasons, the taxpayers of Illinois would have been on the hook for billions, had Chicago “won” the right to host.)

Do you know what SFGov considers leadership to be? Something like this, something like what Chris Columbus showed on his First Voyage:

“Columbus kept two logs of the distance traveled. The one he showed to the crew showed they had not gone as far as Columbus believed. He did not want them to think that they were too far from home.

See how that works? If you’re honest with people, then you’ll never get anywhere So that’s why lying is necessary, the SFGov people feel. The problem is the question of whether The Journey is a good idea in the first place. IMO, they should say, sure, this will cost us an extra $10 billion or so in cost overruns, but here’s why it’ll be worth it.

Oh, and this is just in, here’s Mike Sugerman:

Vegas Odds Makers: Los Angeles, Boston Have Better Shot Than San Francisco To Host 2024 Olympics

If you do the math, our odds of “winning” the title of sole potential U.S. host of the 2024 Olympics are about 17%. (These Vegas odds certainly square with my understanding. IRL, the IOC hates, just hates, the idea of having Washington DC host, and IRL, the USOC is frightened, is horrified, of fractious Bay Area politics, and, frankly, Larry Baer is the last person you want herding cats, if said cats include any city in the South Bay, where, frankly, his name is mud.)

That’s your 2024 Olympics Update.

*In Hollywood, the goal is to make a profitable venture appear to be unprofitable, the better to lower costs for the studio. OTOH, in the world of the Olympics, the goal is to show a “profit” even though expenses exceeded income. 

The Last America’s Cup Column Ever from CW Nevius: Larry Ellison’s Former #1 Booster Becomes a Critic

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

I don’t see how CW Nevius could possibly write another America’s Cup column after this one, so enjoy:

Remember the America’s Cup?”

Sure, it was the event you cheerleaded for when you moved to town about four years ago. It cost us a lot of money and you, CW Nevius, never apologized.

Monumental hype, epic races and crashes on San Francisco Bay, and controversy on top of controversy.

Well, let’s see here, wasn’t it you, CW Nevius, who was Grand Marshall of the America’s Cup “hype” team? Yes, it was. And speaking of remembering, what about this quote: “Holding the America’s Cup race in San Francisco is a wonderful opportunity without a downside. It is a win-win that will bring cargo bags of cash to the Bay Area.” Again, it was you, CW Nevius. Except this fiasco wasn’t a wonderful opportunity, and it wasn’t a win-win, and actually, we lost money on the deal. And actually, somebody was killed in one of those “epic” crashes on San Francisco Bay, you remember? It was just last year, actually, that this occurred.

In San Francisco, he changed the boats from stodgy, slow monohulls to 72-foot catamarans that could jet over the waves at nearly 60 mph.

The prior Cup didn’t use stodgy, slow monohulls, as you seem to imply. The change away from monohulls didn’t happen in SF. You want to make some point, so you change the facts to fit?

Ellison apparently wanted to be praised and admired. We were more like, “Uh, Larry, you promised us a fleet of eight to 12 boats and you only delivered three. And by the way, the 72-footers are so big and unwieldy that they are scary and dangerous.”

The problem with this is that CW Nevius was a great proponent of “NASCAR on the water. But then when he actually gets NASCAR on the water, he claims he doesn’t like it. OK fine.

Ellison is on the case this time. The boats will be smaller, 60 feet, will “only” reach speeds of 50 mph, and there will be a lot more of them. Five challengers have already committed, with five more “expressing interest.”

Oh, so CW Nevius now “knows” that everything will be fine with the boats next time, the same way he thought everything was going to be fine with the boats last time. Also, he now “knows” there’ll be more competitors?

San Francisco spent, and after sponsorships were included the city’s contribution was just $24 million. (The final event shortfall was $5 million after sales and endorsement money came in.)

“Just” $24 million, huh? Well, that number is understated, and I wouldn’t put a “just” in front of it. And the loss for SFGov  was far greater than $5 million.

So maybe we misunderstood Ellison. Maybe instead of bringing sailing to the masses, what he really meant was he was bringing masses of money to sailing. But the press coverage in Bermuda is expected to be very flattering.

So why does CW Nevius expect press coverage in Bermuda to be “very flattering?” What’s the connection between the stinger and all that came before it?

(CW Nevius sometimes seems to think that he himself is the San Francisco Chronicle, but I strongly disagree with that concept. Hey, what if the Chron were a catamaran, then what The Nevius be? A bunch of barnacles on the hulls? Something like that.)

Here’s Why SF’s Effort to Host the 2024 Olympics Will (Probably) Fail: “Public opposition is expected to be substantial”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

I’ll tell you, I’m less optimistic about the San Francisco Bay Area’s odds of landing the 2024 Olympics than, say, Messrs Matier und Ross:

“What’s going to matter most is who can play best at the global level against the likes of Paris and Berlin — and on that point, the Bay Area has the lead.”

(Oh, and Rome, don’t forget about Rome, Italy and all those other Euro megacities which also are in the running for the 2024 Summer Olympics and which have a tiny bit more “European flair” than the fourth largest city in California.)

(And you know, sometimes I think our local Olympic “Movement” is a mechanism to separate Larry Baer from some of his money, is a way to allow Lare Bear to dream a little Dream.)

In any event, per Phil Matier [whoo boy, I think Phil's been spun on this one, big-time, by the usual suspects] we have “the lead” in “what’s going to matter most” at today’s big USOC meeting down in San Mateo County?

I think not.

Let’s now read the news and turn the pages of the Chicago Tribune to get the real handicapping, direct from the source:

USOC chairman says odds good for 2024 Olympic bid, with single city

Let me read between the lines, if necessary.

BOSTON: A viable choice, but there’s lots of citizen opposition already.

DC: They’ll never get picked by the IOC so there’s no chance they’ll get picked by the USOC. They’re drawing dead. (Will it be a good experience sending a delegation across the country on behalf of DC? Sure, for the people that go on the junket. They’ll talk about it for years.)

SF Bay Area: Here you go:

San Francisco likely is the candidate the USOC would prefer under ideal circumstances, but the city’s fractious political atmosphere, venue questions and the number of other large Bay Area municipalities that would probably need to be involved diminishes the chance for that to happen.”It is a city that resonates with the IOC membership,” Probst said.  “There is this magical appeal about San Francisco people find compelling.” Public opposition in San Francisco is expected to be substantial.

These are problems that simply can’t be fixed in a few weeks. Hey, you know what the USOC spends a lot of its time doing over in Colorado Springs? It scans the Web looking for opposition to the Bay Area bid, it ponders how big the opposition will be, ’cause the USOC surely knows it’s coming. Now, one of the reasons we haven’t heard much opposition is that the Olympic Movement is squatting on URLs it thinks the opposition might use. Is that kosher? I think not. SF2024 talks a big game about “dreaming big,” but when the rubber meets the road, it plays hardball. Isn’t that a tad inconsistent? Similarly, Larry Baer says fuck you to the South Bay by blocking any attempt to have the A’s move down there and, all of a sudden, he’s all let’s do this thing, San Jose? Larry’s name is mud in SJ, so why should SJ sign up for its pro-rated share of the cost overruns, like a billion dollars – how’s that going to work?

LA: Front runner, babe.

(Of course, the Chairman, the Dear Leader, is also signaling to the potential US Host Cities what their weaknesses are, the better for them to offer reassurances at the big beauty contest down south this AM. It’s a dynamic situation, of course.)

Hey, how’s that $50 billion Sochi Olympics working out for Russia these days? Oh, the whole country just lost $80 billion but the Russian People are so so happy to have funded a big party for Vladimir Putin? Really?

(And that’s what the IOC did to Russia this year, the year of the IOC’s “Great” Reform.)

All right, here’s hoping that we’ll be out of the Olympic race tout de suite. Let’s hope we don’t send a bill to The Future of $10,000,000,000 in cost overruns.

That’s my Olympic Dream.

Just a Man and His Board Confronting the Angry Waves – The Endless Summer of Ocean Beach, SF, 2014

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Surf’s up:

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Click to expand

Writer C.W. Nevius Makes Amends for “This Isn’t Oakland” with His Gay Games Bit? – SFAA v. USOC IRL

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Poor CW Nevius is still smarting over the drubbing he took over “This isn’t Oakland.” Check it:

 Dec 9  Hey Jessica. If you are going to write something like that, you might want to check in with me. I’m pretty reasonable.
Here’s what he’s so mad about:

SF CHRONICLE COLUMNIST BASHES OAKLAND

See how that works? You all need to check in with CW himself before you criticize him – that’s the rule. It’s a kind of YOU DON’T KNOW ME! defense, one supposes.

So that’s the context.

Now look! San Francisco Chronicle’s right-of-center Everyman has lurched across the aisle with this recent effort about the local history of the Gay Olympics / Gay Games:

S.F. backstory to Olympics’ new policy on gays, by C.W. Nevius

Now here’s your real back story. First, bone up on this:

Amateur Sports Act of 1978

And then see the court case that explains why the term Gay Games is kosher but Gay Olympics isn’t. A 7-2 decision, more or less:

San Francisco Arts & Athletics, Inc. v. United States Olympic Committee

Here’s my point – what Nevius is saying is that the USOC’s effort to defend its “brand” back in the 1970′s was “pointless.” Except the USOC won and now the Gay Olympics is known as the Gay Games and life goes on.

Do you want to get into why the IOC / USOC and all the other OC’s of the world tolerate people using a term like “Redneck Olympics,” at least until it grows into a big event? Be my guest.

(Oh, but wait, the official name of that event in Georgia is now the Redneck Games. Is the USOC against rednecks? IDK.)

Speaking of points, here’s one:

Mess with the Olympic brand long enough and you just might end up with a lien on your house.

Which is fair enough, I suppose.

(And actually, the USOC lifted the lien anyway.)

Hey remember what CW Nevius had to say before the disastrous 34th America’s Cup came to town? He called it:

a wonderful opportunity without a downside.”

Except we ended up with a lot of downsides.

And now he’s cheerleading for the 2024 Olympics to come to town. And while he’s doing that, he criticizes the USOC for stuff from a third of a decade ago.

Of course, he could criticize the current USOC, but no, Nevius doesn’t want to do that.

Hey look, it’s gay rights champion Vladimir Putin chilling with CW Nevius hero Larry “The Good” Probst:

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And when was this shot taken, was it a third of a century ago?

Oh no, it was this year.

Oh well.

United States Olympic Committee to Meet in Redwood City on December 16th to Consider 2024 Olympics City Choice

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Well, here we go: The United States Olympic Committee is going to meet in Redwood City, CA on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 to:

1. Announce it will* submit the name of a single* American city/region to the famously corrupt International Olympic Committee. This was supposed to happen in 2015 but things are getting pushed up.*

2. Hear the pleas from all the boosters from Boston MA, Washington DC, LA CA, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Like here’s why we’re going to have the best Olympics ever kind of thing.

The invite for low-level media should look something like this*

WHEN: X:XX PM PST, Wednesday, December 16th, 2016. The specific time may change on the day of the teleconference. Please check your e-mails to be sure you don’t miss the start of the call.
WHERE: Electronic Arts, 207 Redwood Shores Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94059
NUMBER: 1-800-XXX-XXXX
PASSCODE: XXXXXXX
WHO: Larry Probst, USOC Chairman, Scott Blackmun, USOC CEO
TOPICS: USOC Board meeting

Speaking of corruption, here’s Larry Probst toasting “Pooty,” aka Vladimir Putin:

chi-20141209-001 copy

Yish.

Suspiciously, the boosters from these very different cities/regions are saying the 2024 Olympics will cost pretty much the same amount of money: $4.5 billion or so.

Suspiciously, the boosters from all the bid cities/regions are saying that this whole process is at “its earliest stages” or “in the first inning,” but actually, whichever American city/region that the USOC picks over the next month or so will instantly become the front-runner for getting picked by the IOC to host the 2024 Games. The problem with that is that any area that gets picked will be on the hook for the inevitable overruns. And those should be around $10,000,000,000* or so.

So that’s where we’re at, that’s your 2024 Olympics Update.

*Probably

Surf’s Up: “Storm of the Decade” Coming Soon – 11 to 18 Foot Waves at Ocean Beach?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Here’s Rivera during last week’s Storm of the Month, which, Ocean Beach surfing-wise, was much better than average – hundreds of surfers were on the wet side of the Great Highway on this day:

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Well, forget all that:

Seas from the developing system will combine with the distant swell and build to 15-18 feet. Mavericks at Half Moon Bay is likely to see some of the largest waves reaching as high as 27 feet during high tide. Stinson Beach and Ocean Beach could see 11 to 18-foot waves. High tide on Wednesday will be at 2 a.m. and 12:38 a.m., Thursday at 2:40 a.m. and 1:12 p.m., and Friday at 3:19 a.m. and 2:02 p.m.

Stay safe.

UPI Reports That SF Has Already Submitted Its Secret 2024 Olympics Proposal? – Also, a Big USOC Meeting in SF on Dec 16th

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Oh, the San Francisco 2024 Olympics bid committee has already submitted its technical proposal to the United States Olympic Committee? Well, that’s news to me. Check it:

Boston, Los Angeles, other US cities vie for 2024 Olympics

So what was the proposal? Oh, it’s a secret? OK fine.

You know, there’s no way that the IOC will agree to have the 2024 Summer Olympics come to the Bay Area without the Bay Area being on the hook for all the inevitable cost overruns, right? That could be ten or twenty billion dollars, right? What’s that, we shouldn’t worry about these matters – we should “rest assured” until the inevitable bill comes? Isn’t that bassackwards? I think so.

And what’s this, the United State Olympic Committee is coming to town for a big meeting on December 16th, 2014? This is news to me as well:

The four cities will make their final presentations to the committee in San Francisco on Dec. 16.

Isn’t this kind of thing kind of newsworthy to the people of the Bay Area?

Anyway, all this seems like a big deal – you’d think Bay Area media people would be covering this issue more…

 

So, Who’s Making Money Off of the 2024 Olympics Bid So Far? Google, PJ Jonhston, Nate Ballard, Webmasters…

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

So, instead of an honest attempt at getting us to pay billions ($10 billion, tens of billions?) for the 2024 Olympics in the Bay Area, area boosters are registering URLs what could be used to oppose them and also lying about financing.

Anyway, who’s making money so far, who’s taking money from the somewhat-delusional Larry Baer?

Well, Google for one. Do any kind of a search these days, and you’ll get an ad for the official 2024 bid website as your first hit. This can’t amount to too much money – I mean how many people are searching on this topic these days? Not too many.

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And the PR flacks like Nate Ballard and loser PJ Johnston, they’re making money, maybe a few thousands per month.

And webmasters, the techies who register URLs like NoSFOlympics.Org so citizens can’t organize the way they do in Boston. Those web kind of people are getting a few bucks.

And who else is on the payroll?

IDK.

Brave, Brave Dallas Cowboys Fan, 94122

Monday, November 24th, 2014

This is a rare sight, in Frisco:

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