Daniel Zainulbhai, from Chicago, waits in Daley Square for the announcement from the 121st International Olympic Committee on the host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Chicago, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Hopes dashed. Dreams snuffed. Games off.
The Bears, still lovable. The 7-Elevens, still smelling of stale icing and tepid coffee. The cabbies, still hating credit cards.
But surely some things have changed. Well ... yes.
First, as crews are dispatched to remove the curio-worthy "Let Friendship Shine" posters, we'll hear the regionally indistinct accented voices of news anchors wonder "what's this mean for Daley?"
Some reporters might even point to his dismal performance at the Copenhagen press conference as the withering blow that diminished an otherwise remarkable campaign.
And then you'll hear questions about Obama. Did he injure the U.S. reputation by backing a losing bid? Did he walk away from the health care debate and neglect to engage on the Afghanistan problem?
Don't forget the entire Chicago 2016 organization.
As noted by Chicago Tribune columnist Dennis Byrne (an accomplished scribe not related to the aforementioned Talking Head), that's a mighty persuasive fundraising organization -- Daley could rededicate the group to improving the city.
But, as Universal Sport's Alan Abrahmson observed, the U.S.'s chances of winning the games in 2020 -- after being rejected in 2012 and 2016 -- are very slim. And if the 2010 World Cup in South Africa goes well, the country starts looking like a natural for the 2024 games.