Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tyler Clary did not call out Michael Phelps!

Tyler Clary is being scolded by the opportunistic press to paint him as something that he is not.

Tyler Clary is a strong capable man but the sportswriters in the past 48-hours are setting him up as an ad hoc straw-man for "calling out" America's "sweetie", Michael Phelps. Clary never called out Michael Phelps and Phelps has seemingly fallen for it or has pretended to. (Reports say that Phelps is upset.)

The press loves conflict and reporters need ink or electrons; (if it's the internet), to stay employable. So, stretching the truth goes a very long way for a reporter. In the last Olympic-cycle they chose Alain Bernard as their straw man and now they are doing it to Tyler because it is profitable.

Conflict, drama, and fear sell papers. "If it bleeds, it leads" permeate media newsrooms all throughout America.  Sportscasters loved  Mohammed Ali as they pretended to loathe his poetry and lack of manners. Matt Drudge, fearing Hillary Clinton was ill stated on his radio show with high emotion: "Hillary dear, take care of yourself. We need you..." Later he mentioned elsewhere: "I need Hillary Clinton. I need to be part of her world. That's my bank."

"That's my bank!?..."

That is a pretty revealing statement and I think it applies here to Tyler Clary who is in my opinion is being "mugged" in the press with abject glee and forethought for he is not the new "Ryan Lochte", his "arch rival."

Everything Clary said about Phelps has been uttered in one way or another by Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, in both the press and on TV yet that is not ever mentioned - Compare the evidence.
Tyler Clary as quoted at CNN:
“The fact that he doesn’t have to work as hard to get that done, it’s a real shame,” Clary told the paper. “I think it’s too bad. You see that all too often, where you get athletes that are incredibly talented that really take it for granted. I think the things he could have done if he’d worked as hard as I do would have been even more incredible than what he has pulled off.


Now let's get Bob Bowman version of Michael Phelps' work ethic.
Bob Bowman as quoted at ESPN 
Form ESPN:
"I used every trick I had," Bowman said. "At first, I tried to be really patient, which is not a strong suit. I acted like it didn't bother me even though it killed me. Then I said, 'Screw that,' and got all over him and he missed like two straight weeks." 
Bowman said he confronted Phelps about his commitment a few times, describing their conversations like this: "He wouldn't show up and I'd say, 'Where the f--- are you?' And he'd be equally urbane and intellectual, and then would miss two more weeks."

Tyler Clary, after seeing an effigy of his "straw-man-self" burn at Faranheit 451 as coaches, pundits and other people who take this recreational sport as seriously as religion, takes the high road and apologizes via Twitter.

He had nothing to apologize about. Nothing at all for everything he said was true and published elsewhere, but perception trumps reality and Tyler took the high road because it has a better view and apologize to the "DIVA."

So now that I have gone negative, I need to offer something positive:

There is a famous story about President Ronald Reagan, George Bush and a guy named James Baker. I will cut to the chase and tell you the ending.  George Bush after saying terrible things about Ronald Reagan when he ran against him for the Republican presidential nominee became his Vice President. James Baker who called Reagan's economic policies "Voodoo economics" became his Secretary of State.

Ronald Reagan turned enemies into both friends and staunch allies. Michael Phelps could have done the same thing. I recommend he read Chris Matthews' book, Hardball. 


Anonymous said...


No wonder Phelps wanted to swim that 400IM and kick Clary's ass. Maybe other things were said that didn't get media attention.

I'm actually starting to feel bad for Clary. He set himself up for a major fall when he wins less medals than Phelps.

These athletes should feel very proud for just making the team and anything else should be a very nice bonus.

Jen said...

I think the technical difference in this case is that he was commenting on Phelps work ethic in the time prior to Bejing (it was in relation to training together in 2007-2008). The Bowman quotes you included are in reference to the post-Bejing period.

Grumbling about someone's work ethic that led to the greatest Olympic performance in history seems a bit off. Maybe Phelps wasn't happy every day leading up to that Olympics, but he clearly put in the work to pull off swimming (and winning) 17 times in 8 days.

If you haven't heard the full audio of the interview, it is available at

Anonymous said...

If this is just a media conspiracy then you just fell for it as well...

"Phelps has seemingly fallen for it or has pretended to. (Reports say that Phelps is upset.)"

Your distaste for Michael Phelps is blinding you and making you look petty.

Anonymous said...

Clary just wants to make waves. He doesn't want to be RC Cola in the Phelps/Lockte Coke/Pepsi war.

Tony Austin said...

I did not call it a "conspiracy" I called it a process. i.e. Making "hay" out of conflict is simply the news industry model. I even gave examples. Sorry you were not able to grasp that.

Petty or not, I simply don't care. I love swimming and I don't have to walk a thin line between advertisers or a governing body hoping I don't make an enemy. You can't imagine how proud I am of my readers and even the readers like you who "school" me.

Tony Austin said...

If Michael Phelps is Coke, and Ryan Lochte is the Pepsi, then Tyler Clary is bottled Fiji water.

Honest in it's description; (just pure water), will not bamboozle you into thinking you will unite the world; ("I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke"), won't promise that you will be one of the "cool kids";(Pepsi endorsers include: Britnay Spears, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Jeff Gordon.)and it's pure on the inside.


Liliana said...

Not sure why Phelps' training is of any concern to Clary. It puzzles me more than anything he actually said or didn't say. Who cares what he does during his training?! Man, mind your own business, know your body and do what's best for you. Don't call someone who has 14 gold medals 'unprepared' just because you don't understand the way his body and his talent work for him.

Tony Austin said...

Couldn't the same thing be said about Bob Bowman as to why it was any of the public's business?

I am glad he did, and I am glad Tyler did as too. It's refreshing to hear what an articulate athlete has to say.