Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, February 19, 2021

not miller time
With his performance in Turin devolving into John Daly-esque sideshow farce, I’m going to declare Bode Miller to be the Olympic equivalent of NFL running back Ricky Williams.

This anecdote says it all:

At lunch in Manhattan a month later, Miller insisted he was serious about his potential Olympic boycott.

“Everyone wants to be rich and famous, but most don’t like it when they get it,” Miller said. “And I’m one of those people. The rich part is O.K., but the famous I can do without.”

In other words, he’ll take the money, but he doesn’t feel like performing up to it. Say what you will about the Terrell Owenses of the world, but at least they show up for work.

Asked if he would not be calling more attention to himself by staying away from the Olympics, Miller paused to sign an autograph for a waiter, then answered: “I could fade away. No problem.”

Three days later, he signed a two-year endorsement deal with Nike. Among other things, the company agreed to set up a Web site, joinbode.com, that contained Miller’s pontifications on things like the excesses of youth sports and his distrust of authority.

Miller then spent the summer, by his own admission, playing golf and drinking beer. He worked out — he has a self-designed regimen that includes pushing an old one-ton paving vehicle up the hills near his home in Franconia, N.H. — but it is not clear how often. Miller kept reporters at arm’s length for months, then showed up for the opening of the World Cup circuit overweight by about 10 pounds at 222.

It’s not often that I feel sorry for mega-corporations, but my sympathies are with Nike and NBC. They were both pretty much forced to rely upon Miller, a capricious brat, to be their marketable poster boy for Team USA. They bet on a losing horse, and are both suffering (especially NBC, whose broadcasts surprisingly are getting trounced by “American Idol” and the like) as a result.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/19/2006 05:30:46 PM
Category: Other Sports | Permalink |

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    During my trashing of Bode Miller, I noted that the biggest tragedy lay in the marketing angle: A fundamental dearth of star power for Team USA, in all sports. (I would cite Men’s Hockey, since you’d assume NHL players would bring their o…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 02/23/2006 @ 08:48:10 PM

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