"It's like having a pet dog for a long time. You get attached to it, and when it dies you miss it."
"Memorizing lines and trying to like, say 'em and still, like, do movement … it was hard."
One of those quotes is Jesse Owens speaking about having a world record broken and one is Ryan Lochte talking about being on the set of 90210. Which is to say, these are not quotes going on anyone's tombstone.
Ryan Lochte is going to trademark "Jeah." Which is some kind of pop culture reference now destined to be splashed on all sorts of swimming-related gear. Can you hear that? It's coming and soon people will be looking back to better times and saying "What has happened to our Olympians?" or "this is a sign of the times." To that I say: "who gives a shit? (And Jesse Owens once compared his world records to a dead dog.)" Athletes play sports and that is the only reason we should bother caring about them.
Jeah™, Ryan Lochte is probably not as smart as you. He's even probably a little bit of an asshole on top of it. But who cares? Aside from allowing us to feel better about ourselves since we are not word class athletes, Ryan Lochte's stupid grill or inability to walk and talk at the same time is meaningless. It's no better than condescending
behind the back of to the star quarterback at your high school because he gets all the girls. You're still you—you will always still be you—and you probably haven't thought about the high school quarterback in years anyway. And good for you, because it's all so meaningless.
That's Ryan Lochte. He's a guy who is famous and getting all this attention (and money) for being good at sports and also might be kind of empty between the brains. We can continue to make fun of him for this, but that's not going to make big-titted Mary Jane like us any more. Ryan Lochte will still find himself on the Tonight Show and other teen dramas. Maybe he'll even get on The Bachelor. He will continue flashing that vacant, bedazzled smile to those willing to pay attention. Good for him. But let's not turn Ryan Lochte into a referendum on the state of our athletes as though it's something we should actually care about.