I'm not actually watching the Olympics, but I do read the sports pages. And I've noticed that the sportswriters who are covering some of these high-profile American flameouts are being merciless:
"I didn't feel my inner peace tonight," Weir said. "I didn't feel like my aura is white today. My biorhythms were a little off. I was black inside."
Whatever. Truth is, it's all Weir-speak for this:
Fine, so Johnny Weir is a little eccentric. But you know what? These are amateur athletes. It may say "USA" on the helmet or the uniform or whatever, but really, they're not over there for us (depsite what NBC would have you believe).
They don't owe us anything.
Yet this particular Philly scribe treats a 21-year old who's not getting paid as he will Tom Gordon the first time "Flash" blows a save opportunity as a Phillie.
Am I the only one who thinks there's something wrong with that?
The AP said Lindsey Jacobellis' "hot dogging" board-grab was inexcusable because it cost her a gold medal.
"Inexcusable"? I'm thinking a good rule of thumb for sportswriters is that they should quit if they ever start sounding like middle school teachers trying to give detention time to the athletes they cover.
And obviously none of these scribes have ever seen Tin Cup, in which Kevin Costner's character blows his chance to qualify for the US Open because he refuses to lay up (at least, that's how I remember it). He keeps trying - and failing - to make it over a water hazard that makes the world's best pro golfers pee their pants. Don Johnson's slimy character lays up and secures a forgettable finish near - but not at - the top of the leaderboard.
"Greatness courts failure," Costner's character says. Everybody remembers his spectacular failure, and he wins the respect of the golf community (not to mention Don Johnson's girlfriend, played by the comely Rene Russo).
So if Jacobellis wanted not just to win but to excel - to give a performance for the ages - who can blame her if it didn't work out? If she's OK with herself after taking her shot at greatness and falling short, who are we to criticize her? (And frankly, given the nature of snowboarding, how can we criticize her? This is not Leon Lett dancing at the end of his fumble return; this is an entire sport based on showing off).
In general, who are we to get offended when an American amateur athlete fails to bring home the gold?