I was even sort of excited when I found out he was going to have his own reality show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do? I never ended up watching the shows because it became apparent in some of Ryan's post-Olympic interviews that while he certainly is pretty, perhaps his personality and brain power is not at the same caliber as his swimming.
I'm not sure how much of it is an act, but he appears rather dim. I don't think it's an act.
I wondered in this Olympics how much media attention he would get, seeing as how it is pretty clear that he's not the best character story. He doesn't interview well, and some of his waters tend to be on the shallow side. It didn't stop me from rooting for him, even with the hair debacle.
And then there's that night. The story of the robbery, being held at gun point. The "over exaggerated details." The drunken shenanigans.
I watched the Matt Lauer interview last night.
And I got mad. Now before you go thinking that I'm blinded by the pretty smile (and the much better hair), think about these things.
- Ryan and the boys had a night of partying. They were drunk. There was public peeing. A poster was ripped from the wall. Good conduct? No. Were they being drunken idiots? Yes. How is that different from rock stars and movie stars and other athletes? I mean, Lamar Odom OD'd after a WEEK long coke fest in a brothel (complete with hookers), but that's okay.
- Inflating the story was a douche move, no question. He was probably still drunk. Still a douche. We also need to remember we're not dealing with a Mensa scholar here. And still, he (they) didn't do anything Justin Beiber or a hundred other celebrities haven't done.
- Ryan and the boys claimed to have been robbed at gun point. Now they are being called liars. The security guards (who were not police officers) pulled their guns, threatening to call the police. These rent-a-cops pulled their guns. No, they were not put to Ryan's head and cocked, but how rational are you when a gun is drawn in your general direction (and you're drunk off your ass)? What would we be saying if a security guard pulled a gun on an intoxicated individual in this country? Hell, police can't even pull their guns anymore.
- To "pay for the damages," all four swimmers had to give the security guards (not police, not gas station owner) all the money they had. Huh. That sort of sounds like armed robbery to me. These security guards actually have no legal authority, yet then demanded all their money. If the poster cost $50, that would be a lot. I'd guess Ryan and the boys turned over a lot more than that.
- Jimmy Feigan had to pay $11,000 in order to settle this case and get his passport back. How in the hell does reporting a false incident result in $11,000 in restitution? Extortion is more like it.
- Matt Lauer is a prick. Ryan Lochte may be a douche (you wonder how much Tums his agent and publicist go through). Matt Lauer did nothing but bully Ryan Lochte in that interview. It's a case of someone who has more power (in this case intellectual power) brow-beating someone who is not equipped to hold his own.
In summary, Ryan Lochte is not bright. He did a stupid thing (for which he has apologized). However, he and his teammates were actually robbed at gunpoint, and Jimmy Feigan was extorted, and we all seem to be okay with it. Oh, and Matt Lauer is a bully.
Let's look into the shady corruption of the security guards and Brazilian government, and let Ryan Lochte go away for a while. I think that might be best for all of us.