Michael Phelps wins a gold medal for being a knucklehead.
So this is how Michael Phelps resumes training?
I have to admit I was skeptical when I saw the picture of Phelps and a giant bong on a British news website. You can’t really see his face that well. But just a little while ago, Phelps issued a statement admitting it was him and apologizing for his behavior.
Phelps reputation–and his image–just took a massive splash in the face. He’s 23. He’s going to go to parties. But surely he has to know that in today’s world, someone at each of those parties is going to have a camera. And if he does something he doesn’t want the world to see, he shouldn’t do it. But he did. And now the image we have isn’t the one of the eight gold medals dangling from his neck on the cover of Sports Illustrated as its "Sportsman of the Year". It’s this. And that’s a shame.
As dozens of athletes have found out over the last 25 years, no matter how invincible you seem, you’re just one step away from a national joke. In a miraculous bit of luck, the story has broken on Super Bowl weekend. It would have been page one for a couple of days if the story had hit two days later , but instead it’s not getting a ton of traction in the United States.
You think moms and dads are now rushing out to buy Phelps memorabilia to inspire their kids now? When Phelps mania was its height during the Beijing games, some people paid hundreds of dollars for those autographed Phelps cards that were in a Donruss trading card issue a few years ago. He seemed like a sure bet. A guy almost above reproach in terms of being an All-American hero. Guess not. He’s a young guy. Having a good time. But if you want endorsement deals and you want to be the guy to take swimming to the next level as he’s said numerous times–you just can’t be caught sucking on something other than chlorinated water.