(USA TODAY) -- Within the next two years, countries will have to start bids for the 2024
Summer Olympics. The
USOC sent a letter to the mayors of 35 U.S. cities on Tuesday to gauge
interest in hosting the Games. We ranked all 35 cities in order of Olympic host
Note: A low ranking on this list is by no means a denigration of a
specific city. Except for Jacksonville.
35. Chicago -- How a city of shady elections could lose a shady
election to host the 2016 Olympics continues to amaze.
34. Phoenix -- It's not the heat that'll get you, it's the
sportswriters whining interminably about the heat that will.
33. Nashville & Davidson County -- When you think about how the
Olympics have gone to most major world cities -- London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin,
Moscow, Beijing -- but not Davidson County, it's almost criminal.
32. Orlando -- Not a favored choice of Bob Costas, both because Disney
owns a competing television network and because he's not tall enough to ride
31. Jacksonville -- Except for signing Tim Tebow, it's the only way
they'll be able to get that tarp off the seats.
30. Sacramento -- The Games would probably stay for a while, then grow
restless and move to Seattle.
29. Charlotte -- Me, to a friend who lives in Charlotte: "Could you
guys host an Olympics?" Friend who lives in Charlotte: "I don't know. They do
film Homeland here though."
28. Pittsburgh -- Me, to a friend who lives in Pittsburgh: "Could you
guys host an Olympics?" Friend who lives in Pittsburgh: "No."
27. Rochester -- Official bid motto: "Hey, don't laugh, Lake Placid
26. Columbus -- Free
tattoos for all athletes!
25. Las Vegas -- Downside: Desert. Upside: Inevitable Ryan Lochte
24. Baltimore -- Intriguing, if only for Grantland's inevitable
45,000-word piece about why Avon and Stringer would have made the greatest
badminton team ever.
23. Detroit -- Marathon shortened to 8 miles due to budget shortfalls.
22/21/20. San Antonio/Houston/Dallas -- We know all these Texas cities
are different, but it really infuriates Texans when you say they're not.
19. Minneapolis -- Having a city name with a Greek word is the closest
Minneapolis is going to get to the Olympic spirit.
18. Boston -- Within 10 seconds of an announcement about Boston's
potential bid, someone with a shamrock tattoo will suggest they put the Olympic
cauldron on top of the Green Monster seats.
17. San Diego -- Modern pentathlon: Who's still standing after five
nights in Tijuana.
16. Miami -- You'll be sick of medalists saying they're going to take
their talent to South Beach by the end of the first day of competition.
15. Portland -- BUT WHICH PORTLAND?
14. San Jose -- Why is San Jose so high on these rankings? I missed it
on my initial perusal of the list then was too lazy to go back and change all
13. Indianapolis -- Bid presentation: Play the last five minutes of
Hoosiers. Drop the mic.
12. Los Angeles -- Will be moot when the Dodgers continue their free
agency binge and sign the Olympics to play right field.
11. Tulsa -- Scoff if you want. We did.
10. Memphis -- Who will light the torch: Young Elvis or Fat Elvis?
9. Austin -- The hipsters would love it, mainly because they'd
appreciate the irony of un-ironically supporting an Olympics.
8. San Francisco -- Proposal: Country that does worst at 2020 Games
has to house its athletes at Alcatraz.
7. Denver -- Front page editors at the New York Post are
already preparing "MILE HIGH CITY" headlines for a potential 2024 Olympic drug
6. Seattle -- Needs a civic pick-me-up after this subpar season of
5. New York -- "We couldn't have it here, it'd be a logistical
nightmare," says New Yorker who just spent 45 minutes telling you how great New
York is because it can handle anything.
4. Washington D.C. -- What better way to close out President Clinton's
second term than by giving 77-year-old First Husband Bill a chance to ogle some
beach volleyball players?
3. Philadelphia -- You know what the Olympics needs more of? Booing
during medal ceremonies.
2. St. Louis -- The last time St. Louis hosted an Olympics, the ice
cream cone was invented.
1. Atlanta -- As anyone who's not named Lolo Jones will tell you, the
second time is even better.
Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports