Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is Obama the stimulus package? Is Phelps a golden boy? Are they heroes?

One would think that with all of the hype surrounding the Obama administration, primarily the President himself, that the key to economic stimulus is Obamania. Look at all of the products out there, from commemorative coins to bobble head dolls, the President is an industry, an economic engine.

Sasha and Malia Obama, as well as their mom Michelle, have been given the responsibility, as mentioned in a previous blog, as fashion trendsetters for their respective age groups. If the President continues to engender good will amongst the American people, maybe, just maybe, he could be the stimulus the country needs, beyond any legislation he can push through Congress.

Just a thought to make you smile today.

On a more serious note, Michael Phelps is in trouble, again. Four years ago, Phelps was arrested for a DUI. After he won eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics, all that was literally washed away in the wake of one of the greatest athletic performances in human history.

Now, after securing millions of dollars in endorsements, Phelps is in trouble again. A picture released by a London newspaper shows Phelps holding a bong, presumably inhaling marijuana, at a party in South Carolina this past November. Ironic that a bong uses water to make it work. Sorry, couldn't resist that.

Anyway, because of his self-admitted bad judgement, now he has lost his endorsement with Kellogg's and has been suspended by USA Swimming for three months. His suspension is equivalent to a Major League Baseball pitcher being suspended for five games, whereas because of the rotation system, the pitcher will only miss one game. Phelps suspension will be over by the time the USA Nationals take place, therefore it is inconsequential.

However, it is a blow to the image of Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. Hopefully, this second brush with embarrassment will help the 23 year-old Phelps deal with the expectations that his celebrity demands. Here's hoping Michael can live up to that standard and that he stays in the sport until 2012.

As a connection, Obama and Phelps have raise the expectations of all Americans. They have, by their accomplishments, have restored a pride in America. However, missteps by either men, can quash those hopes in a moment. Maybe we put too much in people and put them on a pedestal too quick, but human nature demands that we have heroes.

Maybe we should show more faith in them when they disappoint us, for we are the ones that put them there in the first place.