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The New York City Olympic Mascot Dilemma
By Ken Wohlrob

Recently, New York City was selected as the US nominee for host of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. While we still face stiff competition from Madrid, Rio De Janeiro, Rome and several others for the honor of actually hosting the games, that doesn't mean we can't start planning right away in case we should actually win.

Like all Olympic cities, it will be our task to select a proper mascot to serve as our "official" ambassador. This a very important decision as the right mascot can bring a good competitive spirit and overall good will to the games, whereas a poorly chosen mascot can put a bad mojo on the whole affair.

No further proof is needed than the excellent choices of Roni the Raccon for the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY and tri-mascots Powder, Coal, and Copper for the 2000 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Both were splendid mascots indicative of the city hosting the games and the time of year. Both produced splendid performances by American athletes. Who can forgot the Miracle on Ice in 1980?

However the dismal choice of the culturally ambiguous and non-relational Izzy for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta did not bode well. C'mon, what the hell is that thing supposed to be? It is not as if the State of Georgia didn't have an abundance of wildlife to choose from. Why select this disturbing looking alien thing that is designed to be non-threatening to anyone? Not that I'm going to blame the mascot, but all I will say is that everyone remembers bombs exploding in Atlanta.

Therefore, we feel it is an important to select the right mascot should New York City be selected as the host for the for the 2012 Summer Games.

Below are a list of possible options we think would most effectively represent New York City's Olympics.

Unemployed Internet Mike - The booming economy of the 1990s that helped New York City reinvent itself was built on the backs of Internet firms who foolishly wasted venture capital cash on everything from video games to lavish parties that cost more than most companies monthly payroll. What better symbol of this bygone era then Unemployed Internet Mike. He's got a cellphone, he's got a laptop, he's got a cup of Starbucks coffee, but he'll selling his body for sex by next week if he can't scrape together the rent for his overpriced apartment in the Gramercy area. He's hip, he's well dressed, and he's just looking to scrape together some extra cash by cleaning up after the games.

Chaim the Hasidim - Let's face it, Hasidic Jewish culture has played a major role in New York City for quite a few years. So why not honor this contribution by selecting a Hasidic mascot. He's a non-threatening, lovable guy with a big beard who can console the losers by saying, "What did you want to run in this heat for anyway, oi vey?!"

Sunshine the Williamsburg Hipster - Sure she looks like she crawled out of Heroin den, but don't let that "dirty" look fool you. Her parents come from old money and have stocked her with an apartment in Williamsburg and a trust fund to blow cash on clothing, CDs, and Chinese food. What better symbol to represent New York City than a rich kid from Connecticut slumming it?

Greta the Grumbling Polish Woman - You know her, you love her, she's that adorable little polish woman who curses you under her breath and venomously spits out the only English phrase she's learned, "You ball bag motherfucker!"

Randy the Cockroach - I know what you're thinking, he's a lawyer. No you silly fool, we mean the indigenous New York City monster cockroach or periplaneta americana. That hairy legged wonder of reproduction that has been as much a part of New York City as drugs, murder, and odd sex crimes. Most people associate New York City with dirt and filth, why not give them a symbol that says we may be dirty, but we're proud.

Village Voice Gossip Columnist Michael Musto - Sure, you wonder why in the living hell they pay him to write that obnoxious dribble. But hey, even straight America loves having gay mascots to make them chuckle - look at Jack on Will and Grace. So why not our own Jack for the 2012 Olympics? He'll be sprightly and funny and make fun of the other countries' uniforms.

Urinating Phil - What is New York City if not an endless series of belligerent men pissing in alleys, subway stations, and even on right on 8th Avenue just outside of Penn Station

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[email protected] | December 2002 | Issue 33
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