A Follow-up on Michael Phelps

Andrew Sullivan appar­ently holds a sim­i­lar opin­ion to the one that I voiced ear­lier con­cern­ing the ridicu­lous­ness that is the sports media’s con­cern over Michael Phelps smok­ing pot. Sullivan writes that:

Yes, Michael Phelps took a few hits from a bong at a party. He also threw back a great deal of alco­hol, maybe made a few passes at a few girls and bonded with a few dudes. This is news?

And yet this absurd rit­ual takes place in which Phelps has to pre­tend he did some­thing dread­ful and we all have to tut-tut and frown and fur­row our brows, and the spon­sors cluck and the press preens — while the only con­ceiv­able news is that a 23 year-old had a good time at a party, break­ing no pro­fes­sional rules since he was not com­pet­ing when he was goof­ing off.

And, seri­ously, does any­one think that smok­ing pot would give him an unfair advan­tage in the pool? Please. When on earth are we going to grow up as a culture?

Agreed, now let’s all just let this story fade away and hope that the next time an ath­lete engages in activ­ity that thou­sands of other Americans do every day the media (and blog­gers) don’t even notice or hear about it.

Sports obsession

I’m always a lit­tle dis­gusted by the double-standard to which American ath­letes are held. We as a soci­ety expect far more out of them than we would ever expect out of fel­low cit­i­zens and yet the real­ity is that we glo­rify peo­ple like Michael Phelps because of their phys­i­cal accom­plish­ments not their soci­etal ones. It all just seems like a way for the American peo­ple to be car­ing about some­thing that they see as impor­tant when in real­ity a swim­mer smok­ing pot is about the least impor­tant issue that we ought to be devot­ing our atten­tion to right now. From an ESPN article:

Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowl­edged “regret­table” behav­ior and “bad judg­ment” after a photo in a British news­pa­per Sunday showed him inhal­ing from a mar­i­juana pipe.

In a state­ment released Sunday, the swim­mer who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games did not dis­pute the authen­tic­ity of the exclu­sive pic­ture pub­lished Satruday by the tabloid News of the World.

I engaged in behav­ior which was regret­table and demon­strated bad judg­ment,” Phelps said. “I’m 23 years old and despite the suc­cesses I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youth­ful and inap­pro­pri­ate way, not in a man­ner peo­ple have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the pub­lic it will not hap­pen again.”

Link via Phelps acknowl­edges photo show­ing Olympic swim­ming star smok­ing from mar­i­juana pipe — ESPN.

What if Tim Tebow Were Muslim?

The Plank has an inter­est­ing arti­cle that includes a quote that is extremely crit­i­cal of the way in which the national sports media has glo­ri­fied Tim Tebow’s reli­gious val­ues. Frankly, I found the way in which the sports anchors dur­ing the title game described Tebow to be so bla­tantly biased that it was dis­gust­ing. I agree with the arti­cle when it claims that the same out­pour­ing of approval would not be there were Tebow Muslim or Mormon. Just my opin­ion though, read the arti­cle at the link below.

What if Tim Tebow Were Muslim? — The Plank .

Farmar Hurt

Not good news for the Lakers yes­ter­day; Jordan Farmar will be out until pos­si­bly the mid­dle of February with knee surgery. Good news though is that Phil Jackson says the Lakers will be look­ing into get­ting another point guard with speed to back up Derek Fisher.

This is just not a good injury for the team to get at a time when they’re already show­ing signs of maybe not being the team that started out the sea­son on a tear. Here’s hop­ing they pull it together even with­out Farmar and main­tain their posi­tion and record.

Link (via ESPN).