In our perverse media culture — where Paris Hilton is considered a role model — it is confounding that "bad boy" Bode Miller (who confessed to skiing drunk) has become so universally despised.
Bodie could have avoided this fate had his mentor only been "Crash" Davis, the Kevin Costner character from the classic baseball movie Bull Durham.
As you’ll recall, Costner, the older and wiser mentor cautioned his hot-shot protégé (played by Tim Robbins) that he couldn’t get away with shenanigans until he made it to the big leagues.
In one famous scene he critiqued his protégé’s grooming habits:
"Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you’ll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press’ll think you’re colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob."
Bodie should have seen the movie and acted classy. …Or the American Olympic team should have paired him with a Crash Davis who would have straightened him out. Either way, he would have been better off today.
So why is the normally-forgiving American public being so hard on Bodie? To quote General Patton, "Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser." Losing is the unpardonable sin, it seems. By losing every event he entered, Bodie has forfeited our admiration.
Had Bodie won the gold, the press would have portrayed him as being "colorful." Until he wins the gold, it just means he’s a drunk.