Tell Ryan Lochte That Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

ryan-lochte-mesa-2015-4

Commentary by Joe Johnson

Comedian Adam Carolla has a comedy bit where he states that every group of friends needs the one guy that will yell ” DUDE! MAINTAIN!” when somebody in the group is about to do something stupid. Essentially every group needs a voice of reason. Ryan Lochte and company certainly needed a “DUDE! MAINTAIN!” guy the other night.

Here we are, almost a week into “Lochtegate” and I would bet a mortgage payment that Ryan Lochte and company wish they had just come clean about what really happened at that Rio gas station or even avoided the situation all together.

By now, it’s pretty obvious that when the cab of the four American swimmers – Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger – stopped at the gas station, they were indeed taken from their cab, had a gun brandished at them and were shaken down for their money. The problem is, the swimmers failed to mention the events leading up to that point. They failed to mention the alleged trashing of the bathroom, the altercation with the security guard and their general boorish behavior that got them into trouble to begin with. And therein lies the issue.

On the surface, what Lochte and company did at the gas station isn’t the worst thing you’ll ever see. Was it immature? Yes. Was it embarrassing to them and Team USA? Yes. But, they didn’t deserve to have a gun waved at them. That escalates the situation to an entirely different level. A level in which they likely would have had the support of the general public and the powers that be. So, why the lies and half-truths when a simple apology and payment for any damage to the gas station would have likely sufficed?

It just seems like one bad decision after another bad decision followed by more bad decisions.

I was a swim coach for a long time. When I would travel with my swimmers, I had three very easy rules/guidelines for staying out of trouble. While the “wisdom” I imparted on my swimmers would not be considered earth-shattering, it could be considered life-changing.

It was as follows –

1) DON’T DO ANYTHING STUPID –
” This one is pretty self explanatory” I would tell them. “If you’re not sure if what you’re about to do is stupid or not, then it probably is. If you’re still not sure, then come and ask me and I will let you know.”

2) NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT-
Again, pretty self explanatory. Just go to / stay in your room – I guarantee you’re not going to miss anything worth sticking around for. In fact, I can almost guarantee trouble will find you whether you’re looking for it or not.

3) THE COVER-UP IS ALWAYS WORSE THAN THE CRIME
So, you’ve ignored rules one and two and done something pretty stupid. Don’t compound the issue by lying about it too. Just come clean and deal with whatever the fallout may be. Authority figures tend to get extremely cranky when lied to.

So back to our Olympian friends…
They were out extremely late, in a foreign country and maybe/possibly intoxicated. What exactly did they think was going to happen? When something did happen, they lied about it. It would have entirely possible for them to avoid the situation and fallout all together by applying the rules above.

It’s a textbook example of what I always looked to avoid as a coach, and it should be a lesson to all athletes out there on how seemingly sophomoric behavior can have profound and long lasting consequences.

And finally and maybe most important, Ryan Lochte is 32 years old and a celebrity. Has he not learned that someone is ALWAYS watching? He had to have known his concocted story was bound to fall apart. He should have been the “DUDE! MAINTAIN!” guy, not the ringleader of men behaving badly.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

39 comments

  1. Bennie Bouwer

    Very true Nothing good happens after midnight Ever!!!Especially in developing countries You are experienced enough to know that mr Lochte I hope!!!

  2. Maren Roush

    It’s what my parents always told me. Good advice.

  3. Diane Pavelin

    If at 32 years old, Lochte hasn’t learned good judgement, nobody telling him not to do something would’ve made a difference. The guy’s an idiot-always has been, always will be.

    Feigen was on an Olympic team with Lochte before, so he should’ve also known better than to trust Lochte’s judgement. And as a 26 year old, should’ve been the voice of reason if Lochte was acting like a childish idiot. Feigen deserves whatever he gets for his role in it.

    Unfortunately, the younger guys (Conger, Bentz) are going to find out what a bad idea it was to hang out with Lochte. They trusted him and Feigen to know the ropes, and instead were figuratively hung out to dry by Lochte when he skipped out of Rio and left them to face the music.

  4. avatar
    Lisa Schneider

    Amen!

  5. avatar
    Kristy Caudill

    This whole thing is crap. Everyone is blowing it out of proportion, not just the swimmers and it wasn’t JUST Lochte involved like the news is making out to be. So they had a bad night that they tried to cover up… There are a lot of people this has happened to. They were out having a good time after they had worked their asses off, what’s wrong with that?! I’m not saying what happened was ok but damn people, give it a rest. There are more serious things going on in this world. Everyone else is acting so self righteous! It happened they apologized, they are paying the price especially with all the news and hate bashing. Let them be and move onto somebody else’s drama.

    • avatar
      Jon USA

      “This whole thing is crap” You are right , a 32 years old with a brain of 12 years old is crap..
      ” it wasn’t JUST Lochte involved ” right but he was the chief lier.
      “There are a lot of people this has happened to” – no my darling, there are not so many famous people without brain.
      “They were out having a good time after they had worked their asses off, what’s wrong with that?! ” you are right, nothing wrong but damaging somebody else property obviously.
      “It happened they apologized,” No, the order of events is they did something stupid, they tried to cover it up, got caught and forced to apologize. Can you understand the difference?
      ” they are paying the price” that the way of the world baby, you do the crime, you do the time.
      Capice???

  6. Tory Johnston

    maybe if he wasn’t a 32 year old boy child then this wouldn’t have even happened.??

  7. Pablo Valedon

    I say this to my kids all the time.

  8. Debi Olivier

    Celeste – lol. Whose quote is that?!?

  9. Celeste Moehlman Bertirotti

    Like I said many a time…..Can’t take credit cause I think my parents told me that one.

    • Debi Olivier

      Mine, too. An oldie but goodie.

  10. Donna Pim

    Sad his career is Mard by this what a let down

  11. Len Iglar

    Lara Buss Hurst-

    • Lara Buss Hurst

      “Ain’t nothin’ open after midnight except legs and the ER”

  12. Karen Frischauf Kavanagh

    That’s the exact quote I said to my daughter while watching this story break.

  13. Rhonda Bertolet

    My mother has told me that my entire adult life and it is the truth!!! I also believe he has learned a valuable lesson this time bc in my experience the older you are you truly do learn from your mistakes!! Forgiven Lochte!!❤️

    • avatar
      Ms. Spiegl

      I forgive Ryan Lochte.

  14. Scott Selnick

    So it’s a no no now to be out after 12 am? Really ? The focus should be on the piece of a crap corrupt country that blackmailed our athletes

    • avatar
      Maria

      How exactly did these USA college educated athletes; grown men, got corrupted in one night by this corrupt country?

    • avatar
      Joe Johnson

      It’s not necessarily about being out after midnight, it’s more about being smart enough to know your surroundings understanding that no good can come of being out in a foreign country in the middle of the night.

  15. avatar
    Al Barrett

    USA Swimming should be ashamed they turned there backs on there swimmers. The bathroom was not trashed and they were robbed. The only thing that has changed was when the robbery took place, how the robbery took place, and how far away the weapon was from Lochte’s forehead.

    • avatar
      Chris

      If they were victims of a robbery, then why would they apologize? For what? For being robbed? LOL.. Lochte is offering an apology because his lies are unraveling. That’s really funny to apologize for being a victim of a robbery!!! I have to remember if I’m ever robbed, the next day, I will apologize to the world for the thief who took my property.

    • avatar
      Jon USA

      They damaged the gas station property. NOBODY disputes that. They lied about the police robbing them. Do you understand the difference between telling a story and lying ? When you lie, the story details are not true. And about how far the gun was from his head, only a drunken jerk that damaged somebody’s property will boast that he was a man not to obey a guard. What a jerk!

  16. avatar
    Chris

    wow blowing it out of proportion? who raised you? I was taught that if I make a mistake, to own up to it. What does this teach all the other young swimmers out there who are aspiring to get to the Olympics. Oh work hard, win a gold medal, go party all night, vandalize a business that is owned by someone who is working just as hard as you in life, piss on their property, then make up a story that you got robbed with a gun to your head after people with police badges pulled you over…oh and they took your wallet too? Then, keep lying about it as your fellow teammates get yanked off a plane in Brazil, while you and your lawyer maintain that the story is true! Not only are you a liar, and a vandal, but you are a horrible friend too. Then if you are Kristy, just tell the world they are over reacting to all of this because you certainly deserve a fun night out that turns into one of the biggest Olympic embarrassments in the history of the games. Ok sounds great. Good luck to the kids you raise. Bottom line, even if a robbery took place, even if something happened to our swimmers, there is NEVER AN EXCUSE TO LIE ABOUT OTHERS AND CONTINUE TO PERPETUATE THE LIE!!! If something happened to them, they should have reported it to the proper authorities or kept their mouths shut. Instead, Lochte reports it to his mom who has to run to the media right away. What mother does that to her own son? If I had a son who had gotten robbed at gunpoint, I would have jumped out of my hotel bed and ran to meet him immediately. I would not have fallen back asleep to wake up the next morning to tell the NEWS!! If those boys got robbed, they would have been freaking out! They were far from robbed. They were vandals in someone else home. shameful, embarrassing, & pathetic.

  17. Abby Givens Beverly

    I didn’t read all of this article because I really feel that SW has beat this into the ground. Enough already!!! Find something different to report on. I think we all know now that these four men made a huge judgement error. Apologies have been made. Move on, please.

    • Sara J. Sanchez

      Finally someone makes an intelligent observation.

    • avatar
      Joe Johnson

      We cover swimming..,. Like it or not, this is the biggest story in swimming.

  18. Reva Wells Harris

    Can you just move on to another story now???

  19. Cynthia Granata

    The problem isn’t so much the after hours mischief with these cases of arrested development, it’s primarily the lack of moral courage which impelled them to lie about it, and thereby contribute to an international incident, highlighting both their bad judgment and boorish, entitled, spoiled “frat bro” stereotypical behavior and furnishing an opportunity for Brazil to tap into the long festering anti-American resentments, whether or not justified, to bolster its self image. This is what it looks like to be an “ugly American” abroad–it accomplishes 2 things: disrepute to yourself and country, and gives offense to the host country as well as reinforcing prejudicial hatreds everywhere. These idiots are not innocent “kids”–they are representatives of the U.S. Perhaps, going forward, these novice travelers need to be schooled in how they ought to comport themselves when guests in another country.

  20. avatar
    B j Johnson

    Well thought out, Well written and good advice also. Stick to your guns Joe. Bad behavior is bad behavior. Everyone makes a bad decision, but it is how you own up to your bad decision and take ownership of your bad behavior that shows your true character.
    It warms our hearts to know as a youngster you were listening ! Your parents are very proud of you.

  21. avatar
    KRISTEN

    I cannot believe that 2 times during what should have been devoted to Olympic coverage, NBC broadcast the Ryan show! What is wrong with this egotistical man who still failed to apologize for this fiasco and took up valuable air time for Olympians once again as the Olympics come to a close. Then the fake sniffling and the worst part when Matt asked how he felt when the other Olympians were stuck in Brazil….he said with fake emotion “hurt”!!!! HURT? you were hurt! What did he even do to try to help them? How about pay Jimmy’s fine? Did he offer to do that? NBC needs to can the interview on monday, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH WITH THIS ATTENTION STARVED MAN

  22. avatar
    Scott

    So what I have heard recently is that only one news outlet actually went to the gas station and investigated the place and interviewed witnesses – USA Today. All other news outlets just took the word of the Brazil police. The same police that were called one of the most corrupt in the world – and these news outlets just took their word.

    Well, USA Today did not find any damage at all to the restroom that was allegedly vandalized. Their interviews revealed that the swimmers didn’t even use the restroom there. The security guard at the gas station shook down the swimmers for money and displayed a badge and weapon.

    For some reason, the majority of the American media hates America. And they jump on any opportunity to show Americans in a bad light, ignoring any facts that are not in line with their narrative.

    • avatar
      Jon usa

      Well, if telling the truth is hateing America, I Am guilty. And they did not use the bathroom, but he damaged a sign. And he admitted that he lied about the robbery. What is your problem now?