Like a lot of people, seeing athletes (of any nation) who seem like they are good people, like “Il Pomodoro Volante” or Frode Estil, win or otherwise excel epitomizes what I like most about the Olympics. What I like even more, however, is seeing asshole American athletes, whose loudmouthed arrogance embarrasses themselves and (more importantly) my country, fail.
Currently topping this latter list is Bode Miller, who I’m hoping wins no medals at all. [Update: Boo-ya.] I realize some respond favorably to his “individualist streak”. I would, too, if I didn’t think it was phony. In an interview on NBC, he gave the impression that he is sick of relentless media coverage of him and would rather be left alone, but that if they were going to cover him, he would use the exposure to push a cause. He pushes this cause not only through the press, but with really bad commercials, probably paid for by sponsors. The reason I think his pose is disingenuous is that he could have named this web site anything at all, but chose to name it after himself. That doesn’t sound much like someone trying to avoid publicity. A better name might, for example, have been one that had something to do with whatever cause he is pushing. Then, at least, I’d know what this cause is. I don’t though, because when I visit his site, I get told:
…joining Bode Miller and experiencing [this] website requires that you install the Flash 8 Player.
I don’t have as much problem with Flash as some people I know, but my experience is that sites that require it, providing no alternative for those who don’t have it, usually favor style over substance. While Mr. Miller may have enough substance (at least, if you consider athletic ability substantive) to back up his arrogance for this Olympics, when he’s no longer able to go real fast down a mountain on two pieces of fiberglass, I’m guessing he won’t find many willing to join him. I predict an early, lonely, and probably alcoholic, death. Of course, by then, some other obnoxious king of the slopes will probably have replaced him in giving the rest of the world one more reason to hate America.