According to the photo on the right (credit Mike Siegel of The Seattle Times for that gem, by the way), Apolo Ohno gave an anti-drinking speech at my former middle school on Friday afternoon. Guess I got to the party about twelve years too early.
Anyways, that got me thinking about all the anti-drug and anti-drinking messages athletes are asked to present to vulnerable teens, tweens, pre-pubescents, adolescents, whatever you want to call them. I mean, it’s pretty weird to think about. Put yourself in their shoes. What the hell would you say to a group of 12-year-olds who wanted your advice on how to avoid alcohol?
I remember one of those speeches from back when I was in seventh or eighth grade. Former Husky basketball players Donald Watts and Todd MacCulloch came and preached the gospel to us. And I believed it. I loved Husky basketball, and I just figured that those guys knew what they were talking about. Plus they were physical specimens (well, Watts was, at least) and couldn’t possibly be doing drugs or alcohol at the time. Or so I thought.