I am not sure what the National News has been reporting, but Michael Phelps is all the rage in B-more these days. However, unlike the 24-7 news coverage we endured over the summer, this 24-7 news coverage is not positive. Someone posted a picture of Mike, with his face very close to a water pipe which is distinctly empty of smoke. To the casual observer, it appears that this is a bong.
Micheal Phelps is Baltimore's pride and joy. He grew up, and trained, in Towson, MD. Seven years ago, I moved to Towson, and I (ahem) ran on the track of the very high school the esteemed Mr. Phelps was attending at the time. OK so I walked. But that is beside the point.
The point is that shortly after the 2004 Olympics, Towson ceremoniously "re-named" my road "Michael Phelps Way". By "renamed" I mean they changed one road sign and no maps, making it slightly difficult to give directions. About three months after this grand ceremony, Micheal Phelps (a teenager) was discovered doing something unthinkable: he was...oh, perish the thought...drinking. A beer. Excuse me while I faint due to the shock. Suddenly, Baltimore's Hero was slung through the mud.
Please do not misunderstand me - I do not think that drinking to excess (at any age) is an inherently good thing. But, I must admit, I learned this lesson firsthand. As a teenager. I have even taken the occasional refresher course as an adult. Was Micheal Phelps doing something reckless? Stupid? Yes. But people seem to forget that in addition to being an athlete, he was also a kid. Being reckless and stupid comes with the territory.
Now it is like de ja vu all over again. Poor kid. Don't get me wrong. I certainly would not want to see Micheal Phelps waste away into a world of drugs, sex, and rock n'roll. But cut the KID some slack!
The most confusing part of this story is that Kelloggs dropped Michael's endorsement deal becuase they felt the bong picture wasn't consistent with their image. Umm...have you seen this box?
Just wondering...is this supposed to appeal to Olympians? Or stoners?