Monday, February 13, 2006

It's Miller Time (burp)

It's hard keeping up with the Olympics over in Torino because of the time lapse; I see on the net what's going on, then try to watch it, already knowing the results. I've still enjoyed watching some events, like the halfpipe yesterday and the 5000 meter speedskate.
So, Bode Miller. Bode is a renegade; self proclaimed, so I've no problem making the statement. He has a problem with authority and is determined to do his own thing. Up to this point he's become a legend of sorts, being able to pull success; however, it's caught up with him on the biggest, brightest stage. Ouch.
From what I've read, the men's downhill is like the summum bonum (that's Latin, kids) of skiing, the granddaddy of all skiing events. If a person is going to make a claim to greatness in the sport of skiing, this event is it. And Bode pooched it. Pooched it bad.
Ouch. Reporters saw Bode with out with his buddies and a six-pack of family members until late Saturday night. Sunday, Bode didn't emerge from his room until less than an hour before his time to hit the slopes. Why? I don't know; let's speculate. Two words: hang over. According to him, nothing new; but this time he couldn't pull out a performance validating his anti-confirmatory behavior. And it cost him gold, silver, bronze, 4th place...skiing immortality.
Part of me is glad he didn't get a medal. I don't think he deserves it because he didn't treat the sport with respect; and in accordance with universal law, the sport didn't respect him. Additionally, the nature of the Olympic games - and his reckless lifestyle - prevent Miller from a chance of being the greatest at his sport.
Part of me is disappointed because I am an American; Miller is an American. See the correlation? The Olympics garnish individual recognition at the highest level, the only place in sports that produces a true World Champion; however, it is also the ultimate team sport. And Miller let me - and 250 million other people who call America home - down. To fail while expelling ultimate effort can be painful. But it is respectable and I applaud sincere effort against the best in the world. But Bode blew it big time.
Instead of Miller time it's Deneriaz time! Frenchman Antoine Deneriaz exemplified the Olympic spirit, coming back from a torn ACL just 13 months earlier and winning this event by almost 3/4 of a second. I don't know if Deneriaz is alcoholic beverage, but if it is, Antoine should have a glass.
Just not all night before competition.
Right, Bode?