Chicago's Olympic bid ain't dead yet. But the rest of the country seems to think its already six feet under.
Folks from Tulsa to Pittsburgh, Minneapolis to Birmingham, even in Detroit, are lining up for to attract the 2020 Games as if America already lost out on 2016.
The murmurs - and news stories - got so loud that the chief of the United States Olympic Committee issued a statement this week reaffirming its commitment to Chicago's bid.
"Chicago is not only our current bid city," USOC CEO Stephanie Streeter said, "It is our only bid city, and it is the sole focus of our efforts.''
Tell it to Tulsa, which is not only betting on Chicago's failure but invoking one of our best-known home boys and his timeworn cliche to make its case:
"Noted architect and city planner Daniel Burnham, whose work helped rebuild Chicago after its devastating 1871 fire and brought a world’s fair there later in the decade, advised clients to 'make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood,'" the Oklahoman said in an editorial. "Some in Tulsa are taking a page from Burnham with their suggestion that the city bid on the 2020 Summer Olympics."
What's next, a pledge to finance an Olympic Village with a TIF district?
In fact, Tulsa - Tulsa, Oklahoma! - already has a 2020 Committee.
Detroit is deep in discussion. "Pittsburgh 2020" has a Facebook page and a Twitter feed.
Can't they at least wait until the body is cold?
No wonder Chicago 2016 spokesman Patrick Sandusky noted on Monday that "The USOC has affirmed on several occasions that we are the only bid city."
Because we're not so sure anymore.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.