MORE than 100 Boston businesses have joined forces to explore the possibility of hosting the Olympics sometime in the 21st century.
Boston has many selling points, including its reputation as a sports-minded metropolis, its cosmopolitan atmosphere, and its geographic compactness. And according to one business community insider writing in the Boston Globe, preliminary studies "suggest" that Boston has better infrastructure and facilities "now or under way" than any other possible American candidate city.
The down side? It may lack the civic hunger needed to successfully stage such an event. Do Bostonians care as passionately about getting the Games as, say, people in Atlanta, Barcelona, and Seoul? And what of the city's notorious politics, which for years have tied up efforts to replace the aging Boston Garden with a modern arena, a project only recently put in motion? Olympic representatives might be wary of a community unable to break ground during Larry Bird's 13 years with the Boston Celtics. Jordan's successful souvenir quest
The June 28 issue of Sports Illustrated carries a telling lead photo with its article on the dramatic finish to the National Basketball Association Finals. It shows Most Valuable Player Michael Jordan ducking under his exultant Chicago Bull teammates, chasing after the game ball. In one of the best heads-up plays of the six-game series with the Phoenix Suns, he retrieved the prized memento. The act was a telling example of Jordan's presence of mind on the court. For his sake, it was probably a good thing
the Bulls clinched the title on the road, where a championship team is less likely to be mobbed. In fact, the stunned Phoenix fans were mostly frozen in disbelief. Expansion teams worthy of attention
For an expansion team, the Florida Marlins are impressive. They've already swept a series from the defending National League champion Atlanta Braves and are well ahead of the last-place New York Mets in the National League East. If they maintain their winning clip, the Marlins could win 73 of 162 games, a slight improvement on the previous best first-year effort of the 1961 Los Angeles (now California) Angels, who won 70.
The Colorado Rockies, the NL West cellar dwellers, have looked more the bumbling newcomers, but even they enjoy one surprising beacon of success, cleanup hitter Andres Galarraga, who is batting .414, or almost 170 points better than his recent norm and better than anyone else in baseball. If the Marlins and Rockies appear to have better talent than their expansion predecessors, the reason may lie in a draft that allowed them to pick players from both leagues, not just the National. Touching other bases
* Pitcher Anthony Young seems the perfect symbol of the New York Mets' frustration. Manager Dallas Green says some of the other players may be trying too hard to win for Young, whose personal losing streak has now reached a record 24 games. With Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-3, he broke Cliff Curtis's 82-year-old major-league record. But Young has shown he can pitch, having recorded 15 saves last year in relief.
* The big question in Wednesday's NBA draft is who will select Brigham Young University's 7-ft., 6-in. Shawn Bradley. The Orlando Magic, as the result of a lottery, have the first pick, but they can afford to pass on Bradley and take Michigan's 6-ft., 9-in. Chris Webber, since they already have 7-foot Rookie-of-the-Year Shaquille O'Neal.
On the other hand, Orlando may want to pursue the "Twin Tower" concept. Bradley's game may be rusty, since he has spent the last two seasons completing a two-year church mission in Australia. Still, many scouts see far greater potential for him, especially if he gains weight, than has been realized by 7-ft., 7-in. Manute Bol, the Sudanese native who has not made much of an impact in the NBA.