"Hot as a Pistol"

posted by Momo Fali on February 4, 2009

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.

    Comments

  • MommyTime


    What a great great story! You are right, of course, these are the kinds of hero we all hope our kids will look up to. Thank you for posting this.

  • Sharon


    Jaysus! I had the kleenex ready but you didn’t say I’d need the whole box! 🙂

  • Chuck


    I couldn’t have been more disappointed to hear of Phelps falling. Absolutely angered me.

    The young man in this video? Amazing.I mean 20 points?! Really? Yeah!

  • NukeDad


    One of my all time favorite stories. After Jason won the ESPY that year for best moment, I wondered if Kobe Bryant would have refused it and given it to Jason if he had won. The way he was smiling during Jason’s speech, I think he would have.

  • nonna


    that story gave me goosebumps and i’ve already seen it before! lol i am disappointed in phelps, but he is human and young and we’ve all done something stupid. i’m not excusing his behavior and i think a role model should be held to a higher standard, but still i’m not throwin him under the train either.

  • St


    Oh, now my nose is all stuffy. That was awesome.

  • Captain Dumbass


    Momo, dammit, you made me cry. Thank you.

  • Sadia


    I ignored your Kleenex recommendation, and how my shirt’s soaked with tears. Good thing I’m headed to the shower!

  • ImakehairROCK4u2


    Not only is this a great lesson on who we should really choose as our heros, but how refreshing to see teenage boys embracing this boy the way they did! I predict that the boys on that basketball team will forget who Michael Phelps is a few years down the road, but they will carry Jason’s courage and determination with them for the rest of their lives. That is what makes him a true hero!

  • DysFUNctional Mom


    It’s not safe to let them ‘idolize’ anyone any more! Our hometown hero is Tim Tebow (FL Gator football player) and I swear, if he flakes out on us, I’m going to hurt him!

  • Barb


    I love it! That’s an awesome video.

  • Kat


    What you said is so true. I wish the Olympics would go back to what they were – athletes competing or finally come out as what it is now – a competition betwee pharmaceutical companies.

    I hope nobody believed that any of the athletes competing nowadays are “clean”…

  • DiaperPin Up Girl


    Thank you. What a fantastic story to start my day with.

  • Rikki


    WAAAH!

    That was too much for this PMS-y mom to handle.

  • Jodi


    Damn you Momo! Now my mascara is all down my face!

  • Smart A$$ Mom


    Momo-let me confess. I did watch that video. I am already sad and weepy missing my sister (read:today’s post) so I can’t handle anything to provoke crying. I will watch tomorrow.

    As for Phelps? That idiot. Wearing your Olympic watch to take a bong hit? Any other way and he could have totally lied about it being him.

  • okiesister


    Love it.

    That will be the best day ever for that boy. A cherished memory.
    Love the crowd’s response.

  • Josi


    I’m probably one of those people who takes a bit of joy in other people’s weaknesses because it makes me feel better about myself–but I think “Heck, the guy spent over a year swimming 8 hours a day. He finally has the chance to unwind, he gets a little crazy, and someone takes a picture.” Not too big a deal to me. He obviously doesn’t indulge like this on a regular basis, or he’d never have made it to the Olympics. HOWEVER, I’m hesitant about any sports people being role models outside of their physical discipline because, honestly, the fame and money goes to their head eventually and then their pants seem to come down. THAT makes me rabid.

  • Ursula


    JMac is from my hometown. It has been so great to see this story just continue to keep inspiring people years after it happened.

    As for role models, I hope that my son can look to myself and my husband as his role models first and foremost. I know that we can’t stop him from finding others out there and those people may have done questionable things, but I’m hoping that our example as parents can trump that.

  • kaila


    What a great story. Don’t know how I missed it when it originally came out.

    As for Phelps, I really just don’t know what to say. I think another problem not being addressed is the jerk who took the photos and then released them.

  • Writer Dad


    Wonderful job. I just found your blog this morning and read through five of your posts. I have way too much work to do, and I should have stopped at two, but you have excellent articulation. Great job. See ya tomorrow.

  • Tom


    Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. I don’t have words. This guy is the definition of a sports hero.

  • Xbox4NappyRash


    Oh my.

  • BusyDad


    I get off on a technicality. It’s ok for a guy to cry in the context of sports.

  • Kat


    I love me some Jason.

  • David Peters


    Great post, great story. I was introduced to his story last year when ESPN profiled him and I think he’s tremendous. However… how can you say Britney Spears is not a role model? Have you seen her video for “Womanizer?” I mean, I watched it, like, 30 times just for research and have to say she is one classy girl… you may have missed the mark on that one I’m afraid. And Mike Phelps? Who among us has not won 14 Olympic gold medals, been the recipient of tens of millions of dollars in endorsements and the role model of thousands of kids that hasn’t been caught on film with a bong in our hands? It was an accident, no biggie. Whatever… what a FOOL.

  • Bee and Rose


    Fantastic post! I love that story! I was disappointed as well about Michael Phelps.

  • Melissa


    What an awesome story. And how awesome to see the whole school react to his success the way they did!!

  • Heather


    That gave me goosebumps! Thank you for sharing that! I feel bad for Michael, but I also agree with you.

  • holly


    i am so pissed off right now. i took a no-crying vow 3 years ago.

    now. totally broken.

    thanks.

    thanks a lot.

    now i gotta start all over.

  • JunkDrawer Kathy


    Oh, this was so great. I saw it when it first aired. Cried then like I’m crying right now. Loved, loved, loved it! Thanks for sharing so I could see it again.

  • Ann in NJ


    Now wait a minute. Michael Phelps is an athlete with tremendous personal discipline and natural talent. He didn’t win 8+ Olympic gold medals with the goal of being a role model, he did it because that’s what he was driven to do. The fact that he is MOSTLY a good role model is a bonus for us parents – he could have been a complete jerk and a fabulous athlete. Use it as a way to point out that people are human and make mistakes, and why NOT to smoke pot. And to be careful what you do in the age of cell phone cameras.

  • Ed (zoesdad)


    I really could care less what the guy does—until if affects my kids. I’m so tired of having to explain fallen role models.

  • Jaina


    I need to get home to watch this!!! It looks good though…

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins


    Darn you woman! You have my crying like a BABY!

    My 4yo is currently in swimming lessons and he’s a bit timid about putting his face in the water. He does everything else like a champ – or would if he’d just get over this aversion to water on his face. I had been telling him, “You know, Michael Phelps started by taking swimming lessons, too.” He watched the Olympics with us this year and is all about M.P.! But with these recent news stories (which he hasn’t heard) it makes me not want to use that to cheer him on anymore. And it was my biggest leveraging tool!

    Why is it that celebrities can’t stand being the good guys?

  • Heather


    I had a similar reaction to hearing about this. I mean, I hate to be judgemental too, but breaking the law is breaking the law. I’m not into the Olympics, I never watch any sports, but I know Phelps was a big hero to a lot of kids, and I’m just disappointed that another seemingly good role model has been caught doing drugs.

  • meleah rebeccah


    Michael Phelps is a MORON that threw away all of his endorsement opportunities.

    And he is an asshat for not treating his role with responsibility.

    And don’t Even get me started on Britney Spears.

    My Idols (female role models) include: Chelsea Handler, Tina Fey and Momo Fali.

    Yeah, I know. I have great taste.

  • molly_g


    HOLY SHIT. The tears, they are streaming… Thanks for posting this. That boy is my total hero… and by that I’m refering to Jason… and you are right… his teammates, his coach, his whole school for encouraging him.

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