Not ready for primetime

But I’m going in anyway. We’ll see how the day shakes out, especially with a tap rehearsal until 8:15 p.m. Heh. Should be funny.

So today, since I’m already (still) weak and not the least bit certain that I’ll get through the day without passing out and making a fool of myself, I put the onus on you, my fiends. Here is a question for you today because I’m interested in your opinions:

Should we just accept Michael Phelps’s apology and get on with it? Or should there be consequences?

Weigh in if you like. All opinions will be treated with respect and open-mindedness (unless, of course, you’re smug about the Super Bowl results).

Fink (off to get ready for school, not without a small bit of trepidation) out.


14 thoughts on “Not ready for primetime

  1. Stein

    An apology is great, but doesn’t fit the payment for the crime. How many people would get arrested for this very same thing? I knew of people that went to ONU with me that were arrested on underage drinking and drug possession because they posted pictures of themselves doing the crime on FACEBOOK. Look… nobody’s perfect, but don’t be stupid about it. He dug his own grave on this one. This whole story is like eating a really fancy cake that leaves an aftertaste of bile. Great, our gold-medalist is a pot-head. Even if he’s not, that image will forever be linked with him no matter what he does for the rest of his life.

  2. PKPudlin

    Michael Phelps is an adult and can make his own decisions about what he does with his own time/money etc. He probably understands and accepts that every action carries a consequence. What he did not take into consideration is the fact that he is a celebrity, and as such, is expected to live on a higher plane than we mere mortals – resonate to a higher octave, if you will. Being a celebrity carries with it certain burdens, one of which is that his behavior is held to a higher standard.

    Michael Phelps the Celebrity represents my country to the rest of the world. He represents the best of the best; the creme de la creme of who we are as Americans. Little kids are looking up to him and are inspired by what he did in China. Now?

    I can say that I respect his right to make decisions for himself as an adult, but as a celebrity his decisions and the consequences go much further than they might otherwise.

    I can also say that I am deeply, painfully disappointed.

  3. kodye

    I honestly don’t understand what the big deal is. He was doing something that I’m sure over half of the worlds population has done before. He was just hitting a “marijuana pipe”… it’s not like these were pictures of him shooting heroine, punching old women, or stealing Christmas presents from children. I just think it’s funny that everyone is going crazy over him smoking weed, but the fact that he’s probably drunk as a skunk, and according to reports was more than likley cheating on his girlfriend, is totally socially acceptable. I’m done though… you can’t defend someone smoking weed without sounding like a pothead. The point is, what he wasn’t doing isn’t that big of a deal, it’s not that bad, and the only consequence that should come from it is an embarssing public apology to make everyone happy, because I’m 100% sure Mr. Phelps doesn’t feel any remorse for what he did, and nor should he. He’s 20 something years old. Let the kid party.

  4. Ross

    i disagree with any opinion that attempts to pardon him. look, his athletic achievements in and of themselves do not require him to be a role model. that’s a moral decision. but when he decided to cash in on his achievements and accept big money, it’s a whole different system.

    the companies he endorses should sieze this opportunity to drop him before he becomes a dead albatross around their necks. can you recall another pro athlete of similar accomplishments who had any LESS charisma than him? kid’s a doorknob. his name will be always be good for the US olympic team, they’ll probably install him in some bogus position just to keep the currency of his association, which is quickly becoming a nominal one at best.

    another reason to drop him: it’s only a matter of time before the rape charge shows up. or worse, nothing at all shows up and he continues to be the least interesting athlete of all time. this isn’t schadenfreude on my part, it’s a rare moment of good business sense.

  5. Rat Fink Post author

    I loved reading everyone’s thoughts. Thank you for sharing them — have I mentioned I love smart people? (Well, actually I said I loved smart men, but femmes are included too.)

    Here’s my take. There’s no moral issue for me other than marijuana is still, like it or not, illegal for recreational use in the United States. End of story. Michael Phelps set himself up — or allowed himself to be set up by his handlers — as a shining example of everything that is good, kind, hard-working and admirable in an American. He made many of us proud to be Americans in a time when being proud to be an American is decidedly not cool. Kids look up to him. Then he broke the law. I’d think the same thing about him if he drove his car into a tree because he was drunk.

    I know he did it in 2004 or whatever…but that was before. Sorry, but that makes a difference. I don’t necessarily agree with that fact, but the fact remains. I see double standards everywhere as well. If Phelps wants to smoke weed, well then more power to him. I have no problem with that. As has been said here, he’s an adult and can do what he likes in his spare time. But when you’re a “hero” to probably millions of people (many of them kids), the stakes jump and the priorities change. In other words, if you want to smoke pot and you’re Michael Phelps, don’t be an idiot and let somebody take your picture at a party doing it. You just have to be careful.

    And this is not just me — an aging school marm with an old-fashioned opinion. It’s the ad agencies and corporations that have sunk bazillions into this boy’s image — only to have him poop all over it with a dumb picture. Hopefully, they’ll let it pass since he came forward so quickly with an apology.

    I am in no position to throw darts at anybody. But I think, as always…we makes our choices and we lives with the consequences. Michael Phelps is no exception.

    1. Ross

      I don’t think this is old-fashioned at all; in fact it’s rather progressive. It makes me think of my own opinion as the old-fashioned, or more conservative one.

      your schadenfreude comment was funny. it reminded me of what a great word it really is, and how it represents one of the few outstanding aspects of the german language- the traincar phrasings that sum up whole concepts. Did you read Middlesex? It’s the greatest novel since Rabbit, Run and surely a top ten over the last century. Astonishingly beautiful book, a life-changing read. anyway it has one passage where the protagonist muses over how incredible these expressions are, how accurately they express life’s complexities, and how English seems clumsy in comparison.

  6. TRO

    On a serious note, I don’t think this is going to hurt his endorsement deals much if at all. Right or wrong, most people don’t care enough about some young man smoking pot to make a big change in their buying habits. Especially when he seems to be sincerely showing remorse and an understanding of how his actions do impact on others, which I for one believe he is.

    As to his being a role model. Well, among swimmers and swim fans I guess he might be, but the Olympics doesn’t have the oomph it used to have when it comes to capturing the imaginations of kids as a whole. Or maybe he doesn’t have the personal oomph to capture their attention – as someone said he is kind of a goomer personality and looks-wise.

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Definitely. Actually, I snickered when I read Ross’s account of Phelps being kind of a goober…I thought I was the only one on the planet who was not, shall we say, enamored of his appearance and speech. (I know the lisp isn’t his fault.)

      But you bring up another valid point, TRO. Role models for kids…there are so many on so many different levels now. And it doesn’t seem to be about excellence in something so much anymore as how much money someone makes at doing what they do.

      I spend most of my time every day with kids between the ages of 10 and 18, and if they are any indication of what’s going on in the country as a whole, I can tell you it’s the money that motivates their adoration.

  7. BoomR

    Personally, I think he did the right thing by coming forward with an apology right away (vs. staying silent). All this talk about role models & how his celebrity status requiring him to live even more above board gives me pause to remind many of you:

    HELLO??? This happened FOUR YEARS before his near-nekked body hit the big screen during the Olympics!! So that made him what? 20 at the time? He was a college kid doing what college kids do (well, except me… I waited until I was 31 before I smoked my first green fat one when I lived on Mail).

    Had he done this POST Olympics, then heck yeah – cancel all the contracts & endorsements. But since it happened at a time when he wasn’t living the high life (pardon the pun) on all that post-Olympics $$, then live & let live, I say! Besides, if he was still lighting up 4 years later, I’m pretty confident that it would have shown up in his Olympics drug screening.

    Live & let live (followed closely by “live & learn”).

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Boomy – he actually did do this post-Olympics. The picture was taken in November. And I totally agree with you on the 2004 thing…that’s no big deal to me. That was “before.”

      I’ve just read that USA Swimming has slapped him with a ban. Kellogg dropped him, too. All things considered, I do feel bad for the kid.

      1. BoomR

        I humbly stand corrected – and I feel bad for him on several levels. But as others have commented, you do something really stupid as an adult (and get caught in a Kodak moment to boot), then you should be ready to pay the piper. And I speak from MAJOR experience (if you buy me a couple white zins at that little watering hole the next time I’m town, I may share my tale of woe). OK..the hot tub has finally warmed up – I’m off to soak my head! **smooch**


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