Congratulations, Mayor Daley, the International Olympics Committee yesterday named Chicago as one of three four finalists to host the 2016 games.

Now I have some advice if you want to win the nod: lie.

Keep saying the games will cost no more than $500 million in public money, even though they’re going to cost much more than that.

Keep saying that construction in Jackson, Lincoln, and Douglas parks will last no more than ten months, even though it will probably start years in advance of 2016.

Keep saying the games will benefit south-siders, even though it will force residents out of their neighborhoods by jacking up land costs and property taxes.

Keep saying the Olympics will bring recreational opportunities for inner-city kids, though it there are no current plans to leave poor neighborhoods with much in the way of public facilities.

Keep saying it’s all about putting Chicago in the international spotlight, even though it’s really about doling out contracts, sparking real estate deals, and feeding your ego.

Keeping saying it will be governed by an open and transparent process, even though major deals will continue to be made behind closed doors and budgets and building plans will be kept out of public view.

Keep saying whatever you have to say to stall the opposition. ‘Cause once you win the games, it won’t matter what the opposition says. You can plow them over like a bunch of trees in Jackson Park.

In other words, stick with the game plan. It’s got you this far, after all.