Posted tagged ‘Michael Phelps’

Tiger Woods Voted Athlete of the Decade

December 16, 2009

I’m guessing votes were tabulated prior to his recent “transgressions”.

Or, maybe they actually looked at his on the course achievements, rather than what he has done off the course.

From the Associated Press:

He won 64 times around the world, including 12 majors, and hoisted a trophy on every continent golf is played. He lost only one time with the lead going into the final round. His 56 PGA Tour victories in one incomparable decade were more than anyone except four of golf’s greatest players won in their careers.

Woods was selected Wednesday as the Athlete of the Decade by members of The Associated Press in a vote that was more about 10 years of performance than nearly three weeks of salacious headlines.

Woods received 56 of the 142 votes cast since last month by editors at U.S. newspapers that are members of the AP. More than half of the ballots were returned after the Nov. 27 car accident outside his Florida home that set off sensational tales of infidelity.

Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France six times this decade, finished second with 33 votes. He was followed by Roger Federer, who won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other man, with 25 votes.

Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps came in fourth with 13 votes, followed by New England quarterback Tom Brady (6) and sprinter Usain Bolt (4).

Five other athletes received one vote apiece.

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Marijuana to Save California Economy?

February 24, 2009

Tom Ammiano, a rookie state legislator and former San Francisco supervisor,  is hoping to legalize and tax California’s trade in cannabis.

Is this an opportunity to save the California economy?

Interesting thought. Maybe Michael Phelps will join the crusade 🙂

From NBCBayArea.com:

AB 390 “would remove all penalties in California law on cultivation, transportation, sale, purchase, possession, or use of marijuana, natural THC, or paraphernalia for persons over the age of 21,” Ammiano’s press secretary Quintin Mecke told the San Francisco Weekly.

“California has the opportunity to be the first state in the nation to enact a smart, responsible public policy for the control and regulation of marijuana,” he said.

Mecke suggested taxes on the trade could amount to $1 billion according to advocates.

And I’d bet that’s a conservative estimate.

“With the state in the midst of an historic economic crisis, the move towards regulating and taxing marijuana is simply common sense,” Ammiano said at a morning news conference at the state building on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco.

Estimates value the state’s crop of marijuana at $13.8 billion, double that of the vegetable and grape markets combined. Nationwide, it may be the fourth largest cash crop, behind corn, soy and hay but ahead of wheat.

The proposed bill would allow Californians over the age of 21 to grow, transport, sell, possess and consume the plant, with state and local law enforcement professionals barred from enforcing the federal ban.

The tax would amount to $50 per ounce of marijuana, which retails on the black market for anywhere from $250 to $500 depending on the source and quality.

While it may sound like a pipe dream, with communities from the emerald triangle of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties to liberal districts all along California’s cost all strapped for cash, other lawmakers and voters might just tune in and turn on.

Opinion: Why Such a Fuss Over Michael Phelps’ Pot Photo?

February 6, 2009

Great opinion piece by John Leicester of the Associated Press today on this topic.

Here’s a link to more information about this story, as well as the photo in question.

From the article:

So Michael Phelps seemingly puffed a pot pipe on his own time. Bad boy.

It would have been a bigger deal had he illegally used marijuana to help his record-breaking Olympic performance in Beijing last summer — toking on a water pipe to cope with the stress of the Water Cube.

But no, Phelps was stupidly — perhaps venally — photographed out of competition at a party apparently taking a misguided step down a path trampled by at least two U.S. presidents and the Woodstock generation that taught its kids that the ’60s were swinging and that weed, for some, was part of the fun.

Yes, drugs ruin many lives, and a South Carolina sheriff is doing his job investigating whether charges are warranted. Phelps escaped with little more than a slap on the wrist from his governing body, USA Swimming. Suspending him from competition for three months still leaves him time to sharpen up for July’s world championships. By then, a lot of this smoke and fire will surely have blown over.

The questions Phelps’ fans and sudden new foes (fair-weather friends?) need to be asking are:

  • Why are they so disappointed?
  • Do such errors, however felonious or fragrant the fumes, deserve such a mountain of fuss?

The problem here is not Phelps, but the golden pedestals we build for him and other athletes simply because they swim fast, hit balls out of the park or bend free kicks into goal. By turning sports-people into super-heroes, we’ve set ourselves up for the fall.

Stadiums are more packed than churches. Many spend more on season tickets than they do on giving to charity. Count the number of pages devoted to sports in your newspaper, then count the number for foreign news. Do Manchester United or the Los Angeles Lakers really deserve your attention more than Gaza and global warming?

If anyone has a drug problem it’s us, the sports fans addicted to seeing how far the human body can be pushed, especially when it’s not our own.

Of course, it’s preferable if athletes don’t take performance-enhancing drugs or ruin their young bones and sinews by being pushed beyond the limit, ending their careers before they’ve barely begun. Most definitely, it would be better if sportsmen and women had well-rounded personalities and educations as developed as their muscles, and were not thrown into pools as youngsters and told to swim up and down all day.

But the sorry truth is that many fans don’t really care, as long as their teams and stars give them that buzz of triumph. If, perhaps even when, Phelps scoops up yet more gold medals in 2012 at the London Olympics, his What a Dope! photo in the British tabloid News of the World will be just a hazy memory for those who again will cheer him on. Chest-thump anyone?

Perhaps we’re the potty ones to have become so enamored and expect so much of people whose job happens to be kicking a ball around, getting it through a hoop or, in Phelps’ case, giving fish a run for their money. Surely, there must be more worthy role models out there.

The argument that Phelps is held to higher standards than, say, Janis Joplin, simply because sponsors have paid him megabucks does not hold water either. Sponsors throw cash at people like Phelps because we’re dumb enough to lust after and buy the products our ‘sports heroes’ endorse.

That joke is on us.

Kellogg’s Drops Michael Phelps

February 5, 2009

Reports today state that Kellogg’s plans to  let Michael Phelps contract expire at the end of the month.

From Advertising Age:

“We originally built the relationship with Michael, as well as the other Olympic athletes, to support our association with the U.S. Olympic team,” a Kellogg spokeswoman said in a statement. “Michael’s most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract.”

Kellogg also decided not to renew its Olympic Team sponsorship, which expired in December 2008.

Mr. Phelps behavior was the second black eye for Kellogg, which snagged Mr. Phelps after the Olympics, tying him into an exclusive-for-cereal deal, and keeping him off the Wheaties box.

General Mills didn’t have to wait long for its comeuppance. Just three months later, Anderson Cooper raided Mr. Phelps cabinets as part of a “60 Minutes” interview and found a box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Mr. Phelps also has a lucrative deal with Subway, which has declined to comment on the matter. The chain has a campaign featuring the athlete ready for the airwaves. At this point, the work seems likely to be delayed.

South Carolina Sheriff Investigating Michael Phelps

February 3, 2009

It appears that Michael Phelps might not get a free pass on his “bong hit” photo.

A link to more information, and the photo in question, can be found here.

From the Associated Press:

South Carolina authorities in the county where Michael Phelps was spotted smoking from a marijuana pipe say they are considering a criminal charge against the Olympic superstar.

Lt. Chris Cowan said Tuesday that Richland County sheriff’s investigators are gathering more information about the photo, which showed the swimmer inhaling from a marijuana pipe.

Cowan did not specify what charge was being considered and declined to discuss details of the investigation.

The photograph was first shown in a British tabloid Sunday. News of the World said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina.

Phelps and his advisers did not dispute the photo’s authenticity. He has issued a public apology.

Michael Phelps Image Goes Up in Smoke

February 2, 2009

Sorry, I couldn’t help the headline! Too many plays on words that could be used to describe the new controversial photo surrounding Michael Phelps. 🙂

Last time, it was his close win at the Olympics. Now this. I guess he wasn’t smoking during the Olympics. He’d need to take a break for a snack during the race…

Anyways, the story goes like this. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has acknowledged he engaged in “regrettable” behavior and “demonstrated bad judgment,” after British tabloid News of the World published a photograph of the swimmer smoking from a bong.

I don’t see anything wrong with this but I guess it’s not up to me to decide. Thoughts from anyone?

michael-phelps-bong-hit

Credit: News of the World

From Fox News:

A photo of Phelps smoking marijuana out of a bong at a party in November has brought his endorsement career to a crossroads, marketing experts say. And the megabucks that were flowing in could soon go down the drain unless America’s superstar swimmer, who won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, changes his ways.

“It’s certainly not good and it’s a disaster in terms of the near future,” said Robert Tuchman, president of Premiere Corporate Events, a sports entertainment firm. “He’s very unlikely to have new sponsors come on board and endorse him. And there’s the potential for other sponsors to pull the plug on him, using this is an opportunity. He’s going to take a big hit on this.”

Phelps, 23, acknowledged on Sunday that the photo, which first appeared in the tabloid News of the World, was of him, and he cited his age as an excuse for his poor judgment.

“I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment,” Phelps said. “I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.”

From CNN:

Ryan Smith, a sports attorney and BET talk show host, on Monday spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” about how the incident could affect Phelps’ career.

John Roberts: What was your reaction to news of this picture of Michael Phelps surfacing?

Ryan Smith: The thing with Michael Phelps is, he’s not only been an outspoken athlete against drugs so he’s done a lot of testing, he’s been supportive of WADA, which is the World Anti-Doping Agency. But he’s really a guy of high character.

So you look at this, and my first thought was, “What about his endorsement deals? What’s going to happen in those?” A lot of endorsement deals have clauses that say that you can’t do bad actions like this, not only crimes, but just things that you do bad in public could result in the termination of your contract. So he could lose a lot of money on this.

2008: Caylee Anthony, Barack Obama and More…

January 2, 2009

First before I go any further in recapping 2008, I want to say thank you to the more than 275,000 people who have taken the time to stop by, read and leave a comment on my site. When I started this blog back in August, I never thought that I would reach 1,000 readers, much less nearly 300,000! It absolutely blows my mind!!!

As most of you already know, I only blog for fun during the spare time I have before work, after work and after the kids have gone to bed at night. I’m not a professional. I don’t break the news, I just pass along stories that I find of interest and hope to spark discussion amongst those who stop by the site. I did get interviewed by MSNBC for an article that came out this week. That was pretty cool, possibly the highlight of my year!

Judging by the number of people who have visited the site, it seems that a lot of you have many of the same interests that I have, and I appreciate you taking the time to read! 🙂 I have enjoyed reading each and every comment that has been left and every email that has been sent to me @ roaddawg33@aol.com. (I read them all and try to respond to all as well) Feel free to drop a line anytime via email or visit me on Twitter, Facebook or MySpace.

I would  have to say that the  most read stories I have posted this year have been about Casey and Caylee Anthony. This has been a truly sad story from the beginning. The loss of a little girl who none of us knew until July who it seems was taken by her own mother. (Yes, I believe that she did it and more than likely her family knew about it at some point in time).

I have said this before, and I’ll say it again: I wish that I never had to cover this story. I wish that Caylee Anthony was still alive, with a loving family, celebrating the holidays. I wish that she had the opportunity to grow up, go to school, get married and start a family of her own. Having a 3 and 1 year old is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. I can’t understand how anyone would ever harm their own child. It makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE TO ME!

Unfortunately, not all people live with the same morals and values in this life. This has been a tragedy and I hope that closure will come with the trial in 2009 and those who were a part of the death of a sweet, innocent young child, will face the consequences that they deserve.

When I started the blog in August, I thought that I would only be covering politics, music and sports. I went to my fair share of concerts including: Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Gary Allan, LeeAnn Rhimes, Phil Vassar, Lonestar and Luke Bryan. All were great shows and I can’t wait for another lineup of great acts to come through the Bay Area in 2009. Thanks to KRTY for all the great shows at the Rodeo Club! Bring back Phil Vassar!!!! Best show of ’08.

The Olympics took up quite a bit of my time this summer, watching Michael Phelps run for 8 gold medals in Beijing. Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh also dominated Women’s Volleyball again this year (and Misty got her butt slapped by the President) and who can forget the US Dream Team taking home the gold!

The 2008 Presidential race was one for the ages! In the end, Barack Obama defeated his Republican counterpart John McCain in what could be considered a convincing fashion. Saturday Night Live made Tina Fey famous once again for her impressions of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

There’s been a lot more this year that I just don’t have time to mention: TechCrunch Vs. PR, The Economy and much, much more. You can take a look back through the archives and see what has been discussed. I know there has been a lot! Thanks again to everyone who has taken time out of their day to stop by Kreuzer’s Korner. I’ll try to keep you updated, as always, with the news that I find interesting next year!

Happy New Year Everyone! Here’s to a GREAT 2009!

John Kreuzer