From Yahoo Sports:
"... This was mostly because Phelps had been sold to America as this superhero, super son, boy next door. It wasn’t enough for his agents to have him known as a guy who could swim really fast. The sports star system has to make these men and women into more than they could possibly ever be. It’s a machine. [>.<]
Phelps had never actually displayed any characteristics that he was particularly smart (or dumb), nice (or mean), funny (or boring), interesting (or dull). He was just a great swimmer with a normal guy’s personality. That wasn’t enough, though. With sports marketers, one of us is never enough. The athlete has to be one of a kind, perfect not just in competition, but in life. ..."
What Phelps allegedly did does not even compare to the "incineration" of the Woods' family. Getting hammered at a party at age 23 is; I hate to say, standard operating procedure.
As for Woods: Whether it be an illicit affair in Black Oak, Arkansas and the wife is chasing her husband down the driveway with a tire iron or an illicit affair in the "swanky" town of Windermere, Florida and a really pissed-off, super-model, wife is chasing Tiger Woods down the driveway with with a nine-iron: the collateral damage despite your income bracket is catastrophic to families, reputations and worst of all, the back of your skull.
How can one compare that to Michael Phelps and why did it have the same economic consequences?
Age-groupers who read the blog and expect to be famous, take notes and learn, the second mouse gets the cheese!
I found the image on the College Swimming forum: Attribution: M%40rcopako, Creative Commons license.