Sunday, February 26, 2006

Caution....Falling Idols ahead!

It’s a sad commentary on our pop-culture when someone like Bode Miller can command the attention of the nation, (and the world via electronic communications), while actually accomplishing nothing in the process. After going 0 for 5 in qualifying for medals in his Olympic events, Bode Miller is officially the Paris Hilton of Turin, (“Looks great walking into the party, but totally without substance”).


Entering the Turin winter Olympics, Bode created a buzz and outrage as he admitted to (basically) skiing “buzzed” and/or hung-over and that many other skiers did likewise. We were all glued to the morning papers to read how he inferred that both Lance Armstrong, (the most tested athlete on the planet over the last 7 years) and Barry Bonds, (duh?), used performance enhancing drugs. And finally, we shuttered as he blasted the prohibition against drug use by the international ski federation. Why would we, (the American people), stand for this type of behavior by someone who is supposedly representing the best “we” have to offer on the world stage? The answer is simple…because we thought he was “that good”!

It’s no surprise that we cut our biggest stars, (be that movie, TV or sports celebrities), a lot of slack for their public behavior, or where their propensity for saying something either totally stupid or at least not well thought out, is concerned. And that is only because, when they are at the starting gate, or the tip-off, or when the whistle blows, (insert the appropriate metaphor here _____), they bring the goods! It’s put up or shut up time for these people we choose to idolize, and if they prove that are worthy, we allow them to share whatever nonsense is in their heads, ‘cause after all….they’ve earned the right to speak their mind through their ability entertain and compete! But those who cannot deliver on their boasting are not given that opportunity, or soon lose it when the shine wears off their star. If you doubt this concept, I offer up as an example the latest Nike commercial featuring the accused rapist, Kobe Bryant. Can you imagine…Nike literally lists all the reasons why Kobe is hated around the country during the spot, but of course leaves out his legal problems, (almost like they are winking at them in the public eye), Would any company make a man their spokesman who most likely bought himself out of a rape charge and then especially design an ad campaign that stressed why we hate him, if he didn’t just put up the second most points in the history of the NBA in a single game? As Charles Brown was known to say…gad!

As the Olympics wind down, that’s why we can all hope that Miller is on the final 30 seconds of his 15 minutes of fame. He earned his because of his breakout performance in the last Olympics, (in the Salt Lake City games), and for being ranked number one in the World rankings coming into the Olympics, (something that is rare for a USA skier). But in not even coming close to standing behind his boastful and incredulous words, with a championship like performance, not only made him look somewhat the fool, (and us foolish for idolizing him in this way), but it made us consider if he wasn’t being 100% honest when he told us he liked to ski high!

Then to top it off, instead of using this as a platform to appear gracious in defeat and a class act, he simply dismissed his poor performance (and the Olympics in general), as not really mattering, and just thanked the world for giving him the opportunity to party. According to Miller’s statement after going zip for five in his events, “It’s been an awesome two weeks. I got to party and socialize on an Olympic level,”…said allegedly with a former Playboy model on his arm.

This is a great example to the kids at home…consider whom you choose to worship. Here's a young man, who was given a tremendous natural gift. When he used that gift to aspire to the highest levels within his sport, rather than being humble, thankful and appreciating what he was given and what he had acheived, he chose "the dark side" and was focused on just himself. It was all about him, his ability, his right to party, his right to not have to live up to any standards other than his own. And like all people who abuse a God Given gift, it eventually is taken from them. After all, we are all stewarts to what God has given us. We can either care for it wisely or not...but we must be willing to then suffer the consuquences for our actions.

Here’s to hoping this will be the last we have to hear from Mr. Miller, at least in his current state. Let him retire with the millions he’s made from unwitting sponsors who have helped give him the platform from where he fell from, and whom he disappointed with the disinterest he has generated when they counted on him the most. Here's to also hoping he doesn't have to fall TO FAR into the darkness, before he is willing to look toward the light! But that being said...the light will always stay lit for him, whenever he's ready to look for it...just as it does for us all.

But take heart Bode…I hear Paris has a spot reserved for you at her next NYC party though! As Bode would say, "Dude… that Rocks!"

1 comment:

votecrosby said...

Hey Bob;

This is Jason -the one who used to work for you at Ka-Boom about 11 years ago. I ran into Shawn before he skipped town (when he was working at Fry's) but never got a chance to really catch up with him or get any news on how he or you were doing.

Call me sentimental, but I'd like to catch up a little and hear how things are going for you.

I'm back in Carrollton, for the time being, so shoot me an e-mail if you're so inclined: and maybe we can get together for lunch or something.

I'm glad to see that you're still drawing and writing. I was looking at my copy of Template #1 just a few days ago.

Be well;