Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Olympic spirit

Self-esteem (minus the achievement part) has become a cause celebre within America's public schools. I see it in my nephew, who shrugs off disappointments much too easily. Maybe I want him to be more like me, throwing his tennis racket over the fence after losing a crucial point, for example. Yeah, I was a brat, but at least I cared.

"I just did it my way," said much-ballyhooed Olympic skiier Bode Miller after concluding his final event at the Games. In his five races, Miller: finished fifth, disqualified, did not finish, came in sixth and did not finish again.

"I'm not a martyr, and I'm not a do-gooder. I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here."

Interesting interpretation. But the former Time and Newsweek cover boy has much lower expectations that your average athlete.

"Me, it's been an awesome two weeks," Miller told the AP. "I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level. My quality of life is the priority.

While I enjoy seeing the Nike hype machine take a hit, it's disheartening when you compare Miller to, say, Mike Eruzione, or Eric Heiden. Bode says he's anti-establishment, but when did that have anything to do with simply not caring?

Dude, I think they call that narcissism.

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