August 27, 2008 Gotta love those little quotes that are so loaded they're just begging to be unpacked. I just heard one, and last week I read another, so I can power-surge this half hour I have in which to come up with next week's column, plus one for early deadline the following week.
Debbie Phelps was in the middle of an interview with Robin Roberts. Ms. Roberts was asking Michael Phelp's mom if she might be a little worried whether her son would be able to remain the humble young man she had raised once he'd had all the glory heaped on him so suddenly.
I can only remember parts of the interview, but from what I remember, she said she thought so. Then she added, (and this is a direct quote—I know, because I quickly jotted it down) "I said to him, 'Thank God that He gave you long arms and long fingers.' And Michael answered, 'I know, Mom. I know, Mom.'"
That reassured me, because I had also had that thought in my mind. "Hope all that glory doesn't ruin that kid who seems so... without airs."
And it was, after all, the length of a fingernail in one of the meets. He could also probably be very thankful for electronic touch-pads.
But I, with his mom and probably most every other U.S. mom, was very proud of how he represented our country. And of how he treated his mom, I might add. So I hope she's right that he's grounded enough to handle the sudden fame.