Image by Brittany Grabowski
The Boston Olympics started 10 years early today with a new event pitting journalists against organizers of the 2024 Summer Games in a hybrid grudge match at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
It was a hotly anticipated showdown, with the Fourth Estate wanting revenge for sneak attacks by Boston 2024 in recent scrimmages. The enthusiasm marked a change in tone for a Hub media that typically gets lazy in the cold months, as the clandestine planning of Olympic operatives spurred hacks back into fighting shape.
Starting the game for Boston 2024 was actual athlete Cheri Blauwet, who made a solid entrance under a projection of her crossing the Boston Marathon finish line. Organizers followed up with a lethal barrage of facilities renderings; their backs against the ropes, media rookies sat stunned, fantasies of a dazzling Olympic waterfront circling their heads like cartoon stars.
Caught with their guards down, members of the press waited for their moment. Eventually WBZ heavyweight Jon Keller threw a punch about a ballot measure that could hobble the Olympic bid, then landed two more blows against the 2024 Goliath before Janet Wu of WCVB split two offensive cameramen, piled on the referendum question, and kicked one in the net.
With cameras clicking and the gladiators in their fiercest fencing stances, Garrett Quinn of MassLive trampled Boston 2024 President Dan O’Connell’s dressage horse in mid-gallop, using words O’Connell said in a recent radio interview against him. Appearing out of breath, O’Connell reached in his quiver as his blockers kept the growling hacks behind the line, then put one right between the eyes of the referendum: “It’s a rigorous process. I’m not sure we’ll ever see anything on the ballot.”
The media bench looked unhealthy and starved, possibly for a lack of fruit salad or pastries on the sidelines. Nevertheless, with minutes left the Fourth Estaters ran like Romney, still confident in the face of inevitable doom. Even with big Peter Howe from NECN off the bench and in his grill though, O’Connell impressively paddled past the Globies and crushed another writer twice his size.
Despite laptops and other devices firing at close range, toward the end the media was no match for the bravery and vagueness of Boston 2024, or for the promise of archery—now extremely popular due to the Hunger Games, according to O’Connell—coming to MIT’s front lawn. No moves could shake the home team. Reporters tried a Newton offense, and O’Connell noted the support of Mayor Setti Warren; when journalists stuck Cambridge in his spokes, he pedaled on with cosigns from the city manager and mayor.
As writers stumbled over their departing questions about funding, Boston 2024 crossed the finish line in a chauffeured town car. Reporters walked to the Silver Line, where they waited nearly 10 minutes for a standing room-only train on wheels.
[Media Farm is wrangled by DigBoston News+Features Editor Chris Faraone]