Standing on my soapbox (Michael Phelps edition)
This guy.. This kid.. This American Hero.. Michael Phelps.. From as early as he can remember all he does is wake up early go to the pool and train, go to school, come home do homework, go to the pool and train, and then go to sleep.. No real weekends like we, the untrained and unrepentant non-athletes, know weekends. He didn't really have the chance to make mistakes like we were able to make mistakes.. The guy has had his head down and blinders on for the better part of his young adulthood in order to be America's shining light and Olympic hero.. Not to say that he has not run into trouble before.. But he is a kid.. A relative child, not only in age, but in knowing how to blow off steam. In my opinon he has held up well to the pressure placed on him by about 300 million people he does not know but represents proudly on the world's stage. As far as I am concerned, I am just happy that he is not out there killing and torturing dogs, disrepecting women, or beating up little kids.. That said, he has to be smarter in his decision making and I think he probably knows that by now.
As for the sponsors that may or may not, or already have dropped there sponsorship... Get off you high horse.. This is not a steroid thing where he cheated somehow in the pool.. This is not a nightmare situation where your product is or will be brought into question because of his personal actions.. There is no doubt in my mind that you college graduates who head these companies dabbled in some things while you were in college.. America is a forgiving place.. Everyone gets a second chance and most time a 3rd, 4th, and 5th.. Who knows if any of these executive types would be where they are had there been cellphones with cameras while they where in school? (not really the point but worth noting)
To clarify: I do not think he should just be let off the hook, he should definetly have to face this down.. Do the interview rounds and whatever else needs to be done to get past this, but understand, when we are children, we make childish mistakes. This is his mistake to own and work out not the American public.
He'll be back in the pool in 2012.. He'll most likely add to his collection of gold, and we will add to our collection of memories.
Hopefully until then, and then ever after, he'll be the picture of perfect........ or at least stay out of trouble...