Can North Lawndale win the Obama library when the other team won’t play by the rules?

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This vacant lot in North Lawndale could become the site of the Obama Presidential Library. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times Media

I think the best way to illuminate the latest twists and turns in the Obama Presidential Library fiasco is with an analogy to my beloved game of basketball.

Imagine, if you will, a ragtag team of kids from an underfunded public school on the west side traveling south to Hyde Park to do battle with the mighty Maroons of the University of Chicago Lab School.

Generally, they have a pretty good team—for a private school.

And, let’s say, our dogged bunch of scrappy west-side overachievers ekes out an improbable victory on the unfriendly confines of the Maroons’ home court.

But as they’re heading home in triumph they hear that the powers that be—like Mayor Rahm—have put more time on the clock.

So while they’re on that bus for the west side, the Maroons are back on the court scoring uncontested layups.

As everyone bends over backward to make sure the home team wins.

That, my friends, is sort of what’s going on as the University of Illinois at Chicago (backed by residents from North Lawndale) takes on the University of Chicago (backed by the mayor) for the rights to win the presidential library.


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