It never ceases to amaze me how corporate giants rule the sporting world. Take for instance the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin this month.
Nike provided a huge cash incentive to sponsor Bode Miller. Nike gets the benefit of having their commercials broadcast everywhere, and then Miller falls flat on his face, in a matter of speaking. Miller is one of those kids that you like to watch fail. You know, the kid down the street who is bragging that he is better than you at everything he does, and then when you finally whip him, or when he gets whipped, you have that smug grin underneath your straight face. I'm all for the patriotism of the Winter Games and of the great U.S. of A, but when Nike puts up huge dollars to have a y kid from the U.S. go win a California-rush-size haul of gold medals, and he fails, well, I can't just help but chuckle. And then Miller rolls his ankle playing a pick-up game of basketball while in the Olympics? Say it isn't so!
Now, Miller isn't the only Olympic athlete that should be thrown under the bus either. Male speed skating stud-muffin Apolo Anton "Yoko" Ohno has yet to produce a gold medal this time around either. And here we were thinking that he was the best in the world. Only time will tell this week if he can improve upon his earlier bronze medal performance.
Let's hope that Nike has learned its lesson this time around, although we all know they haven't. They are getting some brash young kids to push their wares, but the bad thing is that these kids aren't producing the wins like expected. It's bad enough that Nike supports some of the best "brats" in the professional sporting realm. Do they have to spill over into our "pristine" amateur realm as well?