HIGHTOWER: Gooberhead: Nike

Time once again for Hightower's "Gooberhead Award." The prestigious prize awarded periodically to pompous pontificators who have their tongues moving, but don't seem to have their brains in gear.Today's awardee is not a politician, not even a person, but this Goober has one of the best-known names in the world: Nike! Nike shoes are worn by the highest-paid athletes of practically every sport, its ads absolutely saturate the TV screen and Nike's logo is on everything from billboards to entire football teams. But none of this keeps the $9 billion giant from popping-off like a pipsqueak, as it's been doing in a recent ad campaign tied-in to the Olympics. The ad says: [deep, resonant mike-effect] "You don't win silver, you lose Gold. "Hey, that's the old Olympic spirit, isn't it? So much for, "It's not whether you win that matters, but how you play the game," huh? What a great lesson for America's kids: If you don't win first place, you're a loser, you don't count.The asinine arrogance of Nike's ad is an affront to all the silver-medal winners of the Olympics, as well as to the Bronze winners, to those who didn't win any medals and to those who tried but didn't make the Olympic Team. As 1984 Silver Medalist Amy White said: "I am insulted every time I see it. They are slapping every athlete and every country that doesn't win gold in the face."Hello, Nike: The Olympics are about sportsmanship not about gold.But then, what would Nike know about sportsmanship? This is a company that has totally abandoned U.S. shoemakers, moving its production and our jobs to corrupt dictatorships like Indonesia, where it can pay workers a nickel-an-hour to make the shoes it ships back here and sells to you for $175 a pair. Nike always "goes for the gold," morality be damned. What a Gooberhead!

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