Have you guys heard about this Michael Phelps character? Get this. He’s a 23-year old stoner who likes playing beer pong and hitting water bongs at house parties. Not only that, but these are state school house parties. What a tool. This guy is such a bum, he dropped out of college last year so he could spend more time hanging out by the pool. Like most aimless losers, he says he’s going to go back to school someday, but we all know he won’t.
On top of that, he doesn’t seem the least bit interested in finding gainful employ. His friends say he found some work last August, but it only lasted, like, a week. I guess it’s hard to hold down a job when there’s all this weed that needs smokin. I tell you, this dope fiend is the embodiment of all that is wrong with America’s youth. Unmotivated, apathetic, and lazy. Phelps is the standard bearer of the Slacker Generation; content to sit on his butt and spark up a fatty while the world passes him by. It’s just so tragic to see another young person with so much potential throw it all away like this.
This is Michael “I Wrestle Dolphins” Phelps we’re talking about. You know, the guy who has 14-Olympic Gold medals (yes, the real Olympics, not the Special ones). The dude who set eight world records last summer. The kid who, for seven days, captivated the entire world with a display of athleticism unrivaled by anyone this side of Mount Olympus. We’re talking about a guy who has reached a level of dominance in his sport that is unimaginable to anyone not named Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods. And all of this before the age of 23, which is depressing to pretty much everyone.
And now what? He smoked a “marijuana pipe” and suddenly he’s the second coming of O.J. Simpson? The way this thing is getting blown up, you’d think he’d made disparaging comments about our new president or something. People everywhere are disappointed, ashamed, and deeply, personally upset by Mr. Phelps’ heinous behavior. The torrent of smug self-righteousness being hurled at him has gotten so out of control it almost makes Keith Olbermann seem bearable.
He smoked pot. Yes, it is kind of illegal, and yes, it is a little bit stupid, and yes, it sets a poor example, but COME ON. Let’s not go overboard here people. The guy tried some weed at a party in college. That sentence could truthfully be applied to 90% of people born during the 50s (including many of our parents), our last three presidents, and every musician ever. Was it a good idea? Probably not. Did they turn out okay in the end? Most of them. Call me crazy, but Michael Phelps doesn’t seem like the type to just throw his life away for a blunt and a Phish album. And what if he does?! Let’s not forget the fact that he could overdose on heroine tomorrow and still have accomplished more with his life than I will likely ever accomplish with mine.
What is most baffling about this whole debacle is the near angelic standards we have set for Mr. Phelps. Why is it that Michael Phelps can’t hit one little bong, but other professional athletes are contractually obligated to commit felonies ranging from animal abuse (Michael Vick), to spousal abuse (all of them), to killing people outside of nightclubs (Ray Lewis)? Why the double standard? Everyone knows Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu were coked out of their minds following the Steelers’ Super Bowl victory and no one said a word! Is it too much to ask for Michael to receive the same courtesy during a non-Olympic year? I don’t think so.
Rather than vilifying him for smoking a bit of dope, why not praise him for abstaining from the veritable smorgasbord of celebrity sins he could have been sampling? I mean, at least he wasn’t soliciting prostitutes (see: Eddie Murphy, Hugh Grant, Eliot Spitzer, et al), driving while intoxicated (see: Shia Lebeouf, Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, and Michael Phelps at age 19), spouting racial epithets (see: Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Rick Warren, and “Dog” the Bounty Hunter), or peeing on people (see: R. Kelly).
The dude had us all glued to our seats, breathlessly watching his every move for an entire week. It was a week of pure exhilaration for us but grueling and toilsome work for him. He gave up four years of his life to entertain us for seven magical days. Hell, he made us care about swimming! And now he wants to get high. So be it. If that’s how he wants to celebrate, I say he’s earned it. I say we owe him that one little pleasure.
Cause let’s be honest, do any of us really care about Michael Phelps the person? No. We care about Michael Phelps the swimmer. We care about Michael Phelps the symbol of American military strength and genetic superiority. As long as he continues to dominate in the pool, he and I got no beef. As far as I’m concerned – shoot, as far as any of us are concerned – he should be free to smoke, drink, and snort anything and everything he can get his hands on.
If I see him toking up at the 2012 London Olympics, that’s a different story.
p.s. I don’t know if you guys read that article above. You should at least read this gem of a quote:
Our source said: “You could tell Michael had smoked before. He grabbed the bong and a lighter and knew exactly what to do.
“He looked just as natural with a bong in his hands as he does swimming in the pool. He was the gold medal winner of bong hits.”
That’s how Michael Phelps rolls. If he’s gonna smoke weed, you better believe he’s gonna smoke it better than everyone else.