Drinking sports

Bode Miller: “99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer … “

U.S. Olympic ski racer Bode Miller caused an uproar with his recent revelations on “60 Minutes” that perhaps he performs his sport s**tfaced. His statements come amid a University of Buffalo survey that found 9 percent of Americans admitted to drinking at work at least once a day. So perhaps no one should be surprised that some skier takes a belt at his or her job.

I’ve never skied before. I thought I’d like to try it when I was younger and never got around to it. Now, I would have to be uber-wasted just to think about it. I can’t say that I can’t imagine someone ski racing drunk. After all, didn’t Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis once hurl a no-hitter on acid? It just seems as if, you’re going to indulge in some sort of drug, alcohol doesn’t seem to be the right one for ski racing. But what do I know? Like I said, I’ve never even skied.

It also stands to reason that some athletes would ply their trade drunk because so many of their fans are wasted. Think about it. What do a bunch of folks do when they watch the Super Bowl? They watch the commercials. True, but prominent among the commercials are beer ads. And many if not most of those watching the big game are drinking. You go to the major league baseball game or hockey game or football game and people are going to be drinking. So why should it be surprising that an athlete would partake of Jesus in a Jar before work. Perhaps that’s pretzel logic, if so, I would love to tour the Southland, in a traveling minstrel show (Steely Dan reference for those totally confused).

The fact that an athlete drinks or does any other kind of drug before doing their sport isn’t earth-shattering. Hearing an athlete admit it on “60 minutes” is rather unusual. It’s like someone once said (I’m sure someone at some time said): Athletes should be seen and not heard.

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