Sunday, February 8, 2009

An Open Letter to Michael Phelps

Dear Michael Phelps,

You’ve let me down, Michael. You were a part of the USADA’s My Victory program. I understand the program monitors athletes much more closely than required by the USOC, USA Swimming or any other sanctioning organizations. Supposedly My Victory raised the bar and included many others, including your hard-working colleagues as well as us normal folks that wanted to take the pledge to play clean, play fair and be role models. Since you’re no longer part of the My Victory website I assume you’ve been kicked off the team. Deservedly.

Michael, understand I’m not against a few rounds of binge drinking, nor do I condemn a puff or two of the wack-o-tabacco. But I do; however, draw the line at stupidity. You were stupid.

Many (okay, all) of my well-respected friends (and fans/supporters of yours) have argued that you’re young and deserve a break. Poor Michael “under-the-microscopic-pressure” Phelps has made a “youthful mistake”. Dude, you’re twenty-three years old! You’ve got coaches, advisors, unlimited resources and most of all a mother who has sacrificed all for your career. You have talent, genetics and drive. You have fourteen Olympic medals and multimillion dollar contracts. What’s going on in you effin’ mind?

Bro, let me give you a clue…a frat party + tequila + bong = not a good idea for a high profile celebrity. You did know you were a celebrity, right? Did you not learn from the DWI at nineteen years old?

I hope you take the next three months and contemplate the serious damage you’ve done to the name of athletes, around the world. Take the time to get a grip. Take the time to evaluate your issues with recreational substances.

Come back stronger because of this, Michael. Come back the winner you are. Lots of us will be rooting for you.



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