We live in a media driven hyper culture obsessed with winning. We want to win the war, we want a #1 record, we want the top box office gross, and we want to win at the Olympics thank you very much. The act of competing is secondary to the win itself. What makes Bode Miller unique is that he does not seem to care about winning; he may be focused on the competition as an intrinsic reward in itself.
[horror movie scream]
Like the rest of America I had no idea who Bode Miller was until a few weeks before the games. I got caught up in the media blitz and I saw a guy who was more interested in the fun of competing than the results. I read that he developed a ski boot technology and then shared it with the other racers so he wouldn't have an unfair advantage. How cool is that?
For those calling Bode a lazy pile of crap, I am sorry but you do not become the world champ without a little bit of training. Did any of you Hegemonians see the 60 minutes piece where he was training in a barn in the woods like a scene out of Rocky IV? Who cares that he knocks back a six pack or, um... a great bit more, didn't David Wells pitch a perfect game drunk? Nobody demonized him for it.
The only thing Bode is guilty of is not having a Jordan-esque moment in the big game, and in America losing is a crime, for that you are demonized. Is it me or do most of these people not get what Bode is all about?
Now whether or not Bode choked does not matter to me at all. It's not like he's Bobby Fischer - total screwed up jerk who ignored all the rules, but when the whole world was watching the game in Iceland, Bobby did what nobody thought was possible --he destroyed the Russian chess machine. Bobby talked about how amazing he was for years and how much he despised the Russians.... and when he finally had his shot, he had the skills to pay the bills.
All these arguments over the Olympics! Bode may be a symbol of what is wrong there. It hasn't been about real sport since they let the pros compete; pro tennis as an Olympic Sport? Come on. That is clearly a poorly thought out way to boost the ratings. If you want the athletes and the public to take competition seriously, take away all the loot and glory and have them compete for the sake of determining who the best is on that given day.
All these extravaganzas (the Grammy's, Olympics, Gilligan's Island Reruns) are dinosaurs, at least the way they are done. There is nothing wrong with recognizing achievement alone without all the media whoring.
We are saturated by the media and the solution seems to be more hype. It's like throwing a drowning person a bucket of water. But in an age of reality programming that portrays total fantasy, what can you expect? Hell, look at who can become president these days and can have an unbelievable destroy the world foreign policy and he is not impeached. Now, if he hooked up with an intern and was seen as a political looser by the media...