Sucky Thought of the Day

Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past inactive to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.

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21 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:

    I’m reminded of an old Simpsons clip, riffing off an even older commercial…

    The town of Springfield moves 5 miles down the road to escape the mountain of trash they’ve created. On their way, a piece of litter is thrown out the window, landing at the foot of a Native American. The camera zooms in on his face, where a single tear rolls down his cheek. That leads to this exchange:
    Native American-Indian #2: Do yourself a favour. Don’t turn around.
    [camera pans across to show the old Spingfield as a huge land of rubbish and waste]
    Native American-Indian #2: [off-screen] I told you not to turn around.

    Why am I reminded of this? Well, Tom is Native American #1, noting the suckiness of Michael Phelps being old at 27. I am Native American #2. The land of rubbish and waste are the female gymnasts, over-the-hill by their late teens.

    Don’t turn around, Tom. Don’t. Turn. Around.Report

  2. North says:

    Meh, he’s an old man only from the perspective of an olympic swimmer. By any more general perspective he’s only just getting into adulthood.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to North says:

      Yea, but now that he’s no longer an Olympic swimmer, what is he?

      He’s a 27-year-old with (presumably) a college degree and no work experience.Report

      • North in reply to Kazzy says:

        He’s a 27 year old with a college degree and a massively famous name plus the prestige and dough that comes from winning a but ton of gold medals. I think he’ll be fine.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to North says:

          Oh, fine, no doubt. More than fine. But I do wonder where he goes from here. Endorsements and speaking engagement for the next 40 years? Coaching? Sleeping on a giant pile of money with many beautiful women?

          I just think there are a number of paths that aren’t really viable options for him, because A) he doesn’t have the skills or experience, B) his fame and celebrity would make it hard for him to be successful, as least in the short-term (if co-workers customers spend all day asking for autographs and taking pictures with him, it is hard to be effective), or C) he has no interest in them. But, yes, the options that are available to him that aren’t available to most of us are, indeed, quite fine.Report

  3. Tim Kowal says:

    There is indeed something ironically scary and a little depressing about actually achieving what you set out to and leaving nothing much else of consequence for the next several decades of otherwise good productive years.Report

  4. Mike Schilling says:

    I was going to quote

    Ophelia, she’s ’neath the window
    For her I feel so afraid
    On her twenty-second birthday
    She already is an old maid

    But, you know, he was really a middle-class Jewish kid named Zimmerman.Report

  5. Kolohe says:

    The Simpsons first full length episode aired when Phelps was 4 years old.

    Hell, most athletes are ‘done’ by the time they’re 30. Some don’t adjust, true, but the vast majority do. Speaking good about Fox News for a second, Chris Wallace ran a really good segment with Michelle Kwan just before the Olympics started that talk about exactly this transition. That she had to figure out what to do with the rest of her life after her competitive career was over and how to harness that laser focus that consumed thousands of hours – tens of thousands of hours – previously expended on skating.Report

  6. James K says:

    A good opportunity to be glad that I’m in a career where at 30, I’m still considered young.Report

  7. greginak says:

    Fantastic experience of the day. I just watched the live NASA feed of the Curiosity probe landing on Mars. Got see it all the same time NASA did including the first grainy pix. And on my other monitor i had a Google meetup of a bunch of scientists and science writers to talk and explain everything. Amazing. The future is so frickin cool.

    Space awesome. Literally.Report

  8. Pyre says:

    I felt the same way when I finally gave up Martial Arts at 38 (end of December 2010). A couple years before that, I kinda knew but I wasn’t ready to leave until injuries finally pushed me out.

    The whole “What do I do now” question is a hard one to answer.Report

  9. mark boggs says:

    Hey, I’m a 5’8″ white guy with marginal vertical leap who plays goalkeeper in a Saturday Mexican soccer league who thinks each game is a World Cup final. And I’m a golf professional who chases a white ball around a pasture trying to be Tiger Woods every time I tee it up. I suppose Mr. Phelps will find something for which he has a passion, no matter how it might pale in other’s eyes compared to his Olympic achievements.

    This all came to me when I was watching those large women lift absurd amounts of weight. I couldn’t fathom what made them want to do that. But the American girl, Missy Robles?, had struggled and struggled to do her clean and jerk, but on her final try, she just whipped that thing right up and over her head, and as she ran off that stage, the smile on her face was the answer to my question.

    We all have our windmills, and maybe they only make sense to us, but as long as it makes sense to us, what else should matter?Report

  10. Johanna says:

    My 14 year old was completely giddy at the idea that a girl six months her senior won a gold and started to try to figure out when a local swimmer who made the top 15 at this years Olympic trials if she missed making the cut again for the next Olympics which would make this swimmer 24 the following Olympics and in my daughter’s eyes, probably be too old. I of course reminded her that Dara Torres just missed her cut at 44 this year. I feel better now.Report