Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Bode Miller said in a Newsweek article that he really didn’t want to compete in the Olympic Games. Congratulations. You didn’t.
I’ve become fascinated by Miller over the course of these Olympic Games. I’m also fascinated by how I couldn’t avoid the Nike commercial promoting Miller and the JoinBode.com website when visiting Espn.com and how it mysteriously disappeared about a week into the Games. Hmmm....coincidence?
There are two parties of thought on Miller:
Party 1: Those who lauds and praises Miller for his flippant attitude, espousing the virtue of being true to self even when it flies – especially when it flies – in the face of conventional wisdom.
Party 2: Those who think Miller has unrivaled talent, yet only does enough to be known and not what it takes to be the best at his sport.
My views on Miller directly contradict everything his supporters say and some things his detractors concede.
Miller isn’t a good skier. Of course, he’s better than I am; but that’s why I haven’t chosen skiing as my livelihood. He can go fast. And that means what? Nothing. Why? The top ten skiers in the world are all fast. And if he's a little faster? So what. Skiing isn’t all about speed; it’s about speed controlled, manipulated. Going 100mph doesn’t matter if you don’t make it down the mountain 3 out of 5 times.
Miller is a scared little boy inside an athlete’s body. Of course he’s fearless on the slopes; but life’s not one giant ski run. He refuses to set expectations for himself. And that means what? No one can fail if they never set a standard to succeed at. Instead this person will hide behind the guise of self as his standard; therefore nothing is wrong or right because he has no purpose except to be himself. Risky when you don’t want to be anything.
Miller is selfish and self-deceived. He doesn’t believe in or care about structure or rules, openly mocking such institutions; yet, this brash man who doesn’t care about what people think is constantly back tracking and apologizing. Not very maverickesque.
Quoting Miller himself: “Look, a lot of the people involved with the U.S. Ski Team – the people that I'm representing – are unbelievable a--holes. Rich, cocky, wicked conceited, super-right-wing Republicans. But because of my morals, my principles, I can't judge them for that. The things they've done for me warrant respect, and I'm trying to pay them back."
A brash maverick with such devotion to his philosophies (and thus to himself) should really stick it to the man by bailin’ on these ‘a--holes…rich, cocky, wicked conceited, super-right-wing Republicans’, right? Oh yeah, his ‘morals’ and ‘principles’…
No. It’s his need for a way to support a lifestyle based on self and refusing to answer the call of consequence. Miller came up with a better way to stick it to the man: by showing up 20 pounds over his performance weight, boozin’ and philanderin’. And blowing every race with his trademark, self-indulging sticker of reckless abandon.
Fact: 5th. Disqualified. Did not finish. 6th. Did not finish
Fiction: Miller’s own statement the media after his DNF in his fifth and final event: “…I just wanted to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here!”
Prediction: By the time the 2014 Olympics role around, a 38 year-old Miller will be an afterthought. Why? He has no legacy setting himself apart. Miller’s fast and reckless lifestyle isn’t unique; drug addicts live it everyday. Miller’s lack of respect and care for others or himself isn’t revolutionary; punk kids are kicked out of school for it everyday. Miller’s if-I-can’t-do-it-my-way-then-I’m-not-gonna-do-it philosophy isn’t new; two year-old children put their mothers through it everyday.
He’s Bode’d his life.

1 Comment:

The alleged #5 said...

So much for being a badass>