Sunday, February 26, 2006

Have you written your anti-Bode screed yet?

What's taking you so long? Admittedly, it will be hard to top Sally Jenkins: "It's not the winning, it's the trying. The point is that he acted like he didn't try, and didn't care. Failing is forgivable. Getting fatter on beer while you're here is not."

And with true skill and daring, Jenkins condemns the pre-Olympic Miller mania as if she and her media colleagues were simply hoodwinked by an out-of-control sponsor: "He was impossibly over-hyped coming into the Winter Games between Nike's ad campaign, his autobiography, and those nipple-baring magazine covers." As if the media had no choice. As if 60 Minutes had intended to profile Enrico Fabris but was prevented by the personal interference of Phil Knight. On a side note, is anyone else creeped out that Jenkins said "nipples?" Sally: I'm telling your dad.

But what about Nike? At first, you might think it's a shame they backed a loser. And if it's true that Knight is so worshipful of effort and commitment that he nearly flat-lined at Andre Agassi's "Image is everything" Canon campaign, then he must really be pissed, right?

I don't know. The anti-Bode storyline seems a little too convenient for reporters who watch downhill racing exactly once every 4 years. It's a dogpile. Maybe it doesn't yet make Bode Miller sympathetic but I think at some point -- like right now -- these attacks are going to feel so played out. Nike's current spots don't help much at the moment but that can be fixed pretty quickly. And then, Sally Jenkins will hate Bode Miller even more.

NEXT-DAY UPDATE: I'm not sure but I think Deadspin just officially started the anti-anti-Bode backlash.

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