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(REUTERS) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) pledged yesterday to make changes to the bidding process following the withdrawal of Budapest from the race to host the 2024 Games, leaving just two candidates.The Hungarian capital pulled the plug on its project following a collection of more than 200 000 signatures against the bid, with Paris and Los Angeles the only cities left in contention for the IOC vote in September.“It is disappointing that this (Budapest) decision had to be taken – the candidature committee had presented an excellent project, which has built on the reforms contained in Olympic Agenda 2020,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.“It also demonstrated that smaller cities and smaller countries can stage the Olympic Games in a feasible and sustainable way.”Agenda 2020 is a set of 40 reforms voted in back in 2014 to make the Games more appealing to potential host cities, reducing size and cost as well as its complexity.Critics have said that Agenda 2020 had so far failed to deliver given that eight cities have pulled out of the 2022 and 2024 campaigns.Rome, Hamburg, Boston and Budapest have all withdrawn from bidding for the 2024 summer Games while Oslo, Stockholm, Krakow and Ukraine’s Lviv pulled out during the race for the 2022 winter Games two years ago.The IOC said if it were not for the changes of Agenda 2020 no city would now be bidding for the Games.“With regard to the candidature procedure as such, the political situation in our fragile world requires us to make adjustments in this respect as the current procedure produces too many losers,” Adams said.Among the suggested changes are to confirm Paris and Los Angeles as the hosts of the next two Olympics, awarding two Games at the vote in September to give the IOC stability over a longer period of time.Some IOC members have expressed their opposition to such a move that carries increased financial and political risk given that the 2028 Games would be awarded 11 years in advance.“These adjustments will be discussed with all the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement. In the meantime, the candidature procedure for the Olympic Games 2024 will continue with the two excellent candidatures of Los Angeles and Paris,” Adams said.
(And even though he left the team to the stewardship of Guggenheim Baseball, remember that McCourt still takes a healthy cut of the Dodger Stadium parking revenue. That’s fitting for the guy that former columnist T.J. Simers liked to call the “Parking Lot Attendant.”)We did celebrate along with New England the year the Patriots won their first Lombardi Trophy by beating the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, but that requires explanation. Those were the days when the Rams called St. Louis home and were essentially dead to us. They were also the days before Belichick became Belichick, Brady became Brady and the Pats became insufferable.You may know a Red Sox fan. You may live next door to one, or occupy an adjacent cubicle, or date or even be married to one. Generally, that person is either a front-runner, someone whose fandom dates back to 2004 (see: Roberts, stolen base, et.al.), or he or she is a New England native. And there is a good reason why New Englanders with their funny accents move here, and an equally good reason why people from here don’t tend to move there. No further explanation beyond the January weather report should be necessary.Some other comparisons:Weather: They discuss Nor’easters. We talk about El Niño.Tourist traps: They have Duck Boat tours. We sell maps of the stars’ homes. Sometimes they’re even accurate.Ballpark food: They have Fenway Franks. We have Dodger Dogs. Yeah, it’s a matter of taste, but I’ll go with our footlongs, mustard and relish, please.Non-ballpark food: They have chowdah (the particular pronunciation is important), and New England white almost always beats Manhattan red. We have In-N-Out. The edge is ours: You can get chowdah here, but you can’t get In-N-Out there.Noted college neighborhood: They have Cambridge, and a reasonably efficient public transportation system to get you there. We have Westwood, and westside gridlock. Not even the proximity to the beach can make up for that on a weekday afternoon.President with local ties: They have JFK. We have Ronald Reagan. (But remember, Kennedy was nominated in L.A.)Football icon: They have Tom Brady. We’re working on it.Hockey icon: They have Bobby Orr. We have, or at least share, Wayne Gretzky. (L.A. also has two Cups since Boston’s last one, though you couldn’t tell the way the Kings have been playing lately.)Baseball icon: They have Ted Williams. We have Sandy Koufax. Sandy won more rings and his 1962-1966 output will rank with anybody’s in this sport. But Ted (may he rest in peace) will always be associated with .406.Basketball icons: They have Bill Russell and Larry Bird. We have … oh, let’s see: West, Baylor, Wilt, Magic, Kareem, Shaq, Kobe, LeBron. Shall we continue?Basketball coaching icons: Phil Jackson won only five championships as a coach here — only? — but his 11 top Red Auerbach’s nine. Deal with it, New England.(Yes, Doc Rivers has history in both cities. And no, for purposes of this comparison, he doesn’t count.)Transportation project: They had the Big Dig, which was completed in 2007 and won’t be paid off until 2038. We have the Purple Line extension, aka the Subway To The Sea, or we would if folks in Beverly Hills would just cooperate. (See: gridlock, above.)TV show set locally: They will always have Cheers. The Bull and Finch Pub, used for the exterior shots for that sitcom, sold Cheers merchandise for years and eventually made it official by changing its name to Cheers Beacon Hill. We could offer Ray Donovan, though the main characters in that show all were originally from Southie. A better idea: The Big Bang Theory, which shows that Caltech and comedy can indeed mix.Related Articles PreviousWilt Chamberlain, right, of the Los Angeles Lakers, is determined to get the ball down the court, and Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics is just as determined to stop Wilt right on the spot. It was part of the action in Los Angeles at night on April 24, 1969, as the Lakers took a one-game lead in the best-of-seven series for the National Basketball Association Championship. The Lakers won the game 120-118. (AP Photo/HPM)Los Angeles Angels left fielder Justin Upton walks back to his position after the Boston Red Sox scored six runs on three home runs during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Workers prepare the field the day before game three of the National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, October 14, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume inseconds This is a 1987 photo showing Red Auerbach.. (AP Photo/File)Phil Jackson won five championships with the Lakers and 11 total. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)Larry Bird, pictured in 2014 as president of the Indianapolis Pacers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)In anticipation of their 28th pick in the NBA draft on June 22, the Lakers will be holding another pre-draft workout. Magic Johnson. Photo by Brad Graverson/SCNG/The Daily Breeze/06-02-17Hockey hall of famer Bobby Orr poses for a photograph in Toronto on Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)Kings center Wayne Gretzky waves a record book listing his career gaols, presented to him at center ice after he set an NHL career-goal record with his 802nd goal.Rowers paddle down the Charles River near the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)The Los Angeles River. (Photo by Chris Crewell/Sacramento Bee/ZUMA24.com)Fenway Franks.A Los Angeles Dodgers fan eats a Dodger dog prior to a Major League Baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, May 10, 2018 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)President John F. Kennedy, who will celebrate his first year in office this month, goes over some notes at his desk in the White House, January 18, 1962. (File photo by the Associated Press)Ronald ReaganManny Ramirez with the Red Sox (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)Manny Ramirez with the Dodgers.. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)Frank McCourt, has ties to both Boston and Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)Playing for the Red Sox, Dave Roberts sliding home to score the tying run against New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning of game 4 of the 2004 ALCS in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola,File)Managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dave Roberts has led the team to two consecutive World Series. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Bill Russell arrives at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)Wilt Chamberlain, right, of the Los Angeles Lakers, is determined to get the ball down the court, and Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics is just as determined to stop Wilt right on the spot. It was part of the action in Los Angeles at night on April 24, 1969, as the Lakers took a one-game lead in the best-of-seven series for the National Basketball Association Championship. The Lakers won the game 120-118. (AP Photo/HPM)Los Angeles Angels left fielder Justin Upton walks back to his position after the Boston Red Sox scored six runs on three home runs during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)NextShow Caption1 of 21Los Angeles Angels left fielder Justin Upton walks back to his position after the Boston Red Sox scored six runs on three home runs during the second inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)ExpandLos Angeles vs. Boston.True, Dodgers and Red Sox fans have had little reason to snipe at each other … but these cities’ sports fans have a history. Lakers vs. Celtics, remember?This column, by the way, continues a postseason tradition. Columnists are expected to produce snarky comments about the opponent’s city before a big series begins. (We’ve been known to take shots at our own, too, so be prepared.)There are commonalities between the cities, but there are radically different ways of looking at things. Bostonians considered Manny Ramirez toxic. We looked at him as quirky when the Dodgers traded for him. (But then the drug tests came back and, well …) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies More recently, New Englanders still consider Adrián González soft and unable to handle their, um, unusually obsessive approach. In L.A. he was an important contributor and a conduit to the Latino community. (Until he became the vehicle to get Matt Kemp back to L.A., which turned out to be more important than it seemed at the time.)VOTE: Who has it better? L.A. or BostonThen again, Bostonians consider everything in L.A. soft. We simply consider them crazy.They still revere Dave Roberts in Boston over something that happened 14 years ago. (Pun unintended, for those of you who actually studied American History in school). In L.A., at least half of the fan base grouses over his lineups and bullpen usage, but he got the Dodgers here for a second straight year.Both regions share a contempt for Frank McCourt. Bostonians, who unfortunately have to count him as one of their own, suspected he was a film-flam man. Dodger fans had their suspicions confirmed the hard way. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Local river: They have the Charles River, which actually flows when it doesn’t rain. We have the L.A. River, and someday we’ll figure out what to do with it.Finally, ballparks: They have venerable Fenway, and while the Red Sox have tried to upgrade they’re pretty well hemmed in by their location. We have Dodger Stadium, a modernization challenge in its own way. But each perfectly captures the character of its city and its fan base.They’re classic parks. May we have a classic Series to go with [email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twitter