Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thoughts On Michael Phelps By Gillateen

I'm a firm lover and advocate of anything that is Baltimore as I've went to Cal Ripken's last game, bleed black and purple when the Ravens lose, and still get angry when the "Exodus of The Baltimore Colts" is brought into conversation.

To see our home town hero , Michael Phelps, blasted on news programs everywhere for smoking "pot", "weed", "reefus", or whatever the streetname it's called nowadays is an outrage. Yes, he is an eight time gold medal winner. Yes, being labled as a role model for young children comes with the territory of being a famous athlete. Yes, million dollar companies like Kelloggs don't want the athlete they're endorsing to be a million dollar pothead, but has the media gone too far this time? This was nothing more than a cheap attempt for some would-be photographer to get $30,000 for selling a photo of Phelps smoking weed to the New York Times.

Reporters and newscasters should stop throwing stones and ask themselves two questions: Have I ever smoked weed before and have I ever known the pressure of an entire nation breathing on my back while swimming in Beijing? The answer to the first question would most likely be yes and the answer to the second would most likely be no.

In the end, Olympic and Swimming officials should give Michael Phelps a suffcient number of hours of community service or even fine him, but don't rob swimming of probably it's greatest talent ever. Phelps is still a hero to kids everywhere and is still a kid himself. Let him learn from his mistakes and if he doesn't act accordingly, then the proper precautions should be taken.

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