Let me set the record straight right here at the outset, I am not a goodie-two-shoes. I like loud music, I like beer. And when it comes to addiction, I have a long and sordid history with chocolate.
But I am not a national champion. I am not a role model to millions of children, and even if I were, I doubt my indulgence in Corona and Dove Bars would bring my image crashing down. Though, I would probably get some flack for Cadbury Creme Eggs and the occasional Schlitz.
When is it going to be okay for me to tell my children they can look up to an athlete? Ever? Performance enhancing drugs (also widely known as cheating), recreational drugs, infidelity, outlandish salaries and yet always asking for more money…the greed, corruption and excess is not okay.
It is not okay, because Billy down at swim club is watching you, Michael Phelps. And, now? Billy’s mom is not real pleased. “What, Billy? Oh, him? That’s your idol, and that there is his bong.”
I can keep my kids from watching trash television, I can keep my daughter from listening to Britney Spears, but now am I supposed to ban them from the Olympics too? For those of you who say Michael Phelps is just a regular guy having fun, that’s bunk. He is not a pop-star, he’s an athlete. He’s an American superstar. If he didn’t want kids to look up to him, he shouldn’t have gone and won eight gold medals.
Which is why this guy has been, and will always be, my hero. This guy, all his teammates, and especially his coach. This is the person I will tell my children to look up to. Someone who never complains, someone who gives it his all, and someone who probably won’t be passing a peace pipe anytime soon.
Watch the whole thing. It will make your day. Warning: Tissues required.